The Importance of Work Experience
A survey by Highfliers called The Graduate Market in 2017, illustrated the importance employers place on work experience as well as good qualifications.
Spending as little as one day with an employer, doing simple tasks or merely work shadowing (watching an experienced employee at work) can be hugely beneficial . Reasons for doing work experience include:
developing transferable skills, such as communication and team working
understanding how organisations work or bringing a job they have read about to life
building confidence in interacting with adults
confirming interest in a career or (equally useful!) deciding it is not for them
a foot in the door - if they impress the employer they may be asked back on a more formal arrangement, such as an internship, or encouraged to apply when vacancies arise.
providing valuable content for a UCAS personal statement to give evidence of an interest in a particular subject/occupation
Below are some recommended websites
Due to Covid we have had to adjust ways of offering students at Willingdon the chance to take virtual work experience. Here are some of our students' experiences:
MY WEEK OF VIRTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE AT BOUNDLESS THEATRE
By Matthew Wakefield
Last week I participated in ‘Boundless theatre’s’ virtual work experience, after gaining one of 50 places for students from years 10-12 across the country.
I imagine that this type of experience is a very different experience from normal work experience, as not only was I one of 50 students but everything was done virtually via Google meet.
We started the week by being introduced to the Boundless group. They are a theatre company whose target demographic are 15-25 year olds, but during lockdown they diversified and started a fictional podcast called Radio Elusia. We were informed that in groups of 11 we would be working through the process of making our own podcast over the week. Each day we worked with a different team member (producer, artistic director, social media manager) running through what their work entailed, attending group master classes and being set independent work. We then had hour-long Q&A sessions where we really got to discover what it takes to have a creative career and the intricacies of the theatre world. To be honest I did not think I would enjoy these, as I have my heart set on going into the music industry, but I have learnt so much from these sessions. One of the most valuable lessons they taught us was how to get our voices heard.
As the week progressed our group met regularly to develop our programme. Luckily we all had different interests and areas of expertise, so we very quickly managed to assign roles and get on with creating our podcast. We chose the subject of mental health as we were all passionate about it and felt that it was very relevant to the current pandemic situation. We had writers, producers, directors, vocalists and me writing and recording the music. The finished product will be released in a couple of weeks on some podcast providers.
In the end it was an amazing, insightful experience and I have a lot to think over regarding my future.
Here is the podcast I created with my group during virtual work experience which is available on Spotify. Hope you enjoy.
WORK EXPERIENCE AT THE LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP
By Jake Brown
For my work experience I did four days' work at the London Stock Exchange Group, working and learning with various different departments to understand the various roles inside the business.
I liked the professional environment and learning about all the different departments inside the business. It was also amazing to tag along to some team meetings and even board meetings. It was great to learn some work ethic skills, time management, pressure management and social skills.
Work experience definitely impacted my awareness of work as it allowed me to open my eyes up to a lot of roles I didn’t know existed and allowed me to have a clearer picture of my career path.
WORK EXPERIENCE AT THE PICTURE HOUSE RESTAURANT - UCKFIELD
By Axel Rogers
For my work experience I worked in a restaurant in Uckfield called the Picture House. I spent three days in the kitchen, doing two day services and a Friday night from 5-10pm.
I also spent one day in front of house doing the tables, taking orders etc. Being a waiter was awful, I hated speaking to customers and taking their orders, but working in the kitchen was great, I got to cook food and work in a really fun team and learn more about my passion.
I learnt more about how the industry works and how kitchens work together as a team and get food cooked quickly and efficiently for hungry customers out front. I was far more suited to working there, I didn't have to deal with needy customers and could leave everyone else to do that.
We are always looking to improve our Careers provision and welcome your feedback regarding the Careers section of our website.