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How to gain work experience as a student

Posted: October 12 2019

Margarida, Creative Writing

Everyone tells you that you need to gain work experience whilst at university in order to stand out once you graduate. Everything that equips you with the necessary soft and hard skills needed for a graduate job can be considered work experience – it doesn’t matter if it’s paid or not. But how exactly can you do this? There are a few options to consider:

1. Summer job

This is a common choice for university students as the summer break can be quite long and the money is always welcome. The go-to industry tends to be hospitality, but retail usually comes second. Look for a summer job either in your hometown or close to the university.

2. Internship/work experience

These are a boost on your CV and are available at most companies, big or small. They can be paid or unpaid depending on their duration and the company. Whether it is general admin or department- specific, it will introduce you to the working world. You can find some of these opportunities on the companies’ website or the university’s Jobs Board. If you need help with the application process visit the Professional Development Centre!

3. Part-time job

Everything from retail to promotional and student ambassador jobs is available. You’ll be able to find jobs that fit around your timetable, that will give you valuable skills and help with your finances. These are also available on the Brunel Jobs Board.

4. Volunteering

Volunteering, just like any paid job, can provide you with many tools that will be beneficial to your future career. It can be a one-off experience or a continuous one, that’s up to you. Visit Brunel Volunteers to find out how you can get involved in the community.

5. Society committee role

Often an overlooked experience, but still a valuable one. Being elected and performing a society committee role will show employers you can balance your responsibilities, work in a team and successfully manage an organization.

Whatever you decide to do, all forms of work experience are beneficial. They’re a good opportunity to boost your CV, practice interviews and obtain a wide array of skills. The important thing is to get yourself out there!