It’s never too early to do work experience. With so many people now having degrees, work experience helps graduates to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. Increasingly, employers expect graduates to be able to add value to their organisations from day one. Whether you opt for an internship, volunteering or working part time, the skills you gain will look good on your CV.
Work experience gives you specific examples to draw upon at interviews, such as when you have solved problems, come up with new ideas or worked as part of a team. To find work experience opportunities, search for placements in the Prospects database.
An internship is a fixed limited period of time spent within industry. Some students do an internship as a compulsory part of their degree while others choose to do one. With each company it can differ lasting anything from one week to a year and can be part time or full time. As with the length, the payment that is offered depends on the company. You could receive minimum wage, have just your costs covered or in some cases receive nothing at all.
Usually certain jobs are set aside for interns to do, such as helping with a company project. It is a good way to explore an industry and network to build up your contacts for your future career. There are certain industries where an internship, or unpaid work experience, is the only way in for most people.