Employer Liaison Intern Jess presents her top tips for gaining the most benefit from work experience and what Internships, Work Experience and Volunteering Week has to offer…
So – you’ve put it off long enough. It’s time to start planning your life a little further ahead than just what you’re going to have for dinner tonight. It’s time to get some work experience. Fear not! Internships and voluntary work can actually be a lot of fun, and are unbelievably valuable to your CV when looking for something more long term.
Careers and Employability are running a week long programme (Monday 6 – Thursday 9 February), full of activities, presentations and workshops that aim to increase students’ skills and employability prospects. Further information on these events can be found on the intranet and don’t forget to book, space is limited on some of the workshops and you don’t want to miss out!
Come along to Internships, Work Experience and Volunteering Fair
The grand finale of the week, the IWEV Fair, will be on Thursday 9 February, 11:00 – 15:00 in the Students’ Union, Great Hall. An unmissable opportunity to meet some big and small businesses and charities that are offering paid and unpaid opportunities. An up-to-date list of all the exhibitors attending can be found on the intranet.
Tips on making the most of your work experience
Here are my tips, from one intern to another, on making the most of this opportunity:
- Do your research and go in prepared. Read up on the organisation thoroughly before your interview, and check out their social media accounts too. If you can drop in some facts and figures on the organisation during your interview, you are likely to super impress your potential employer. Having good background knowledge will assure your new colleagues that you’re taking the position seriously over the first few days.
- Smile! It shows you’re approachable, and pleased to be there. Post 14 parcels at once? Smile. Asked to do overtime? Smile. Computer crashes? Smile. Your fellow employees are more willing to give you a hand with something if you’re really friendly.
- Always ask questions. The people you work with will have a plethora of expertise in your area of interest that you should make the most of tapping into. Asking questions shows that you’re engaging in your role. As you’re a fresh pair of eyes, it can be very worthwhile for the team to hear your new questions and your perspective on things.
- Treat every task equally – no matter how big or small. Go along to a champagne reception and liaise with press? I would love to! Walk around London for three hours to find a specific shade of mahogany clothes hanger? I would love to! There will always be low moments when completing work experience. However, the best interns will meet these tasks with enthusiasm, which will be what sets you apart from the rest.
- Say thank you. A nice card and a box of chocolates can go a long way when you leave your placement. It will help the organisation remember you in the future, for when a more long term position may come available.
Stay in touch
All the latest news and events leading up to and during the events are available on Careers and Employability’s facebook and twitter feeds. Please join us in sharing these events and information with your fellow students.
Your feedback and help please
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Jess, Employer Liaison Marketing Intern.
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