20 May 2022
The term "work experience" does not just mean the one or two weeks' compulsory placement during school. It is also an important part of university life – whether you are just starting out or changing career.
Now that assignments are (mostly) done and thoughts turn to the summer, you may be looking forward to some deserved time off.
But if you’re also looking to the future – and ways to make your CV stand out from the crowd, boost your knowledge and skills and gain more insight into jobs that might suit you - you can’t go wrong with finding a work opportunity. It might also mean you can fit in this experience along with some beach time before next year!
More and more employers are now back to "business as usual", so internships and work experience are increasingly available. Actually, "business as usual" in post-pandemic life now means something different in terms of the way we work - but that also gives more choice for your work experience.
You may prefer to work on the company premises or find something that offers hybrid working. If it suits you better, you can also look for a role working solely from home.
Some of you reading this may have already applied for a paid ARU Summer Internship through ARU Temps. This year they have more on offer than ever before, in a range of roles, organisations (including ARU) and locations, so you have the option of experiencing the actual workplace, or applying for remote work if, say, transport is an issue.
If you haven’t already registered with ARU Temps, they still have vacancies for summer (and ongoing) work.
Daniel Kelly, BA (Hons) Digital Media Production student secured a Digital Content Internship with the ARU Employability Service last summer. He says:
'I thought the 8-week internship was well-suited to what I was looking for and having completed it, I can confidently say that I really enjoyed my time working with the team and truly believe I created some great work that will benefit me in my future prospects.
'The project I was involved with was not something I have done before, but it was fun and really made me feel invested in what I was creating. This made it more enjoyable and helped me to determine whether I wanted to do something similar in the future. After presenting the final outcome to the entire team, I was so delighted to hear that they loved it!'
The Bright Network Internship Experience UK is a great example of a valuable remote opportunity. Each year, students apply for a three-day virtual experience to meet leading global organisations from various industry sectors - including business, marketing, financial, law, public sector, charities and technology – all offering skills sessions and project work. These experiences have been ‘created to help you explore a new sector and upskill… to supercharge your CV ahead of the autumn application season’.
As many of the companies who take part also offer graduate schemes and permanent work, this is also a unique opportunity to ask direct questions on how to apply and secure a job with them. Applications open on 25 May, and internships will take place from 20-22 June.
If you are not sure of your next steps and are looking for something fairly generic (and paid), you could work for an organisation such as the National Citizen Service (NCS) during vacations. NCS is a national not-for-profit organisation offering a personal and social development programme for 15-17 year olds, and they need students to help lead activities and community projects.
The programmes are run up and down the country, so there may well be something local to you. This is just one example of an organisation offering skills and confidence-boosting work opportunities for you to take advantage of.
Another internship vacancy resource is the Career Centre job search facility, where you can not only look for work but track favoured employers and save your searches. The career option pages (arranged by school) also have ideas on where to find paid and voluntary work experience.
If you would like any support with finding an opportunity and applying, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Holbrook, Employability & Careers Adviser
Our Employability Service works with students throughout their time at ARU and after they graduate. The Service offers careers advice, online resources, and help with job searches, applications and interview preparation. Our Employability & Careers Advisers may mention some of these resources and services in their blogs, to give you an idea of the careers support that's on offer at ARU. Some of these resources sit behind a login and can only be accessed by current students.