How and why to get work experience

So why is work experience so important?

  • It means you can earn money during your studies
  • You’ll gain skills valued by future employers (e.g. commercial awareness, initiative, team work)
  • You can build relevant experience for your future career
  • You’ll find out what an industry / job role is like in reality
  • It helps to build your network / contacts

What can I do?

It can be challenging to find part-time work that is linked to your degree or the sector you would like to work in after graduation. Many students combine their part time job with some volunteering and work experience (e.g. internships and work shadowing) to earn money as well as gain valuable relevant work experience.

For a wide range of part-time, internship and work experience vacancies visit the Careers & Enterprise Centre’s job board: QM Job Online.

Roles on campus and in the local area

There are many part-time opportunities on campus, from Student Ambassadors and Library Shelvers, to residential, café, and bar staff. See the work experience hub to explore the variety of ways (paid and voluntary) you can develop your experience on campus. For jobs within the Student’s Union see: www.qmsu.org/jobs/

Campus jobs are in high demand, so get your application in early. Limiting your search to only jobs on campus will restrict your success, so look for opportunities in the local area too. Temp Roles, Internships and other part time work opportunities can be found at www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/qrecruit

Oxford Circus is just 15 minutes away on the tube. Take a look at www.oxfordstreet.co.uk for a list of the shops who you can then contact to find out about vacancies. Even closer is Spitalfields, which has a number of bars, shops and restaurants, as does the shopping centre Westfield Stratford City which is only one underground station away from the QMUL Mile End campus. See http://uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity/  and www.spitalfields.co.uk for vacancies, but also use the list of the shops and restaurants as a starting point for identifying potential opportunities.

Many independent local businesses still advertise vacancies in their windows. This is where handing in CVs in person can work. Council websites such as www.towerhamlets.gov.uk can also be a source of part-time vacancies in the local area. For lists of other job websites and useful information visit www.careerstagged.co.uk and use the tag ‘part-time’.

Do almost anything

Aside from the obvious options of retail, restaurants and administrative roles there are also lots of unusual and exciting part-time jobs out there. From museums, call centres and events work to leisure centres and hospitals, part-time work can be as varied as your search.

Seasonal work

Most retailers and restaurants recruit additional staff for the increased demand during Christmas and the January sales. Tourist attractions, festivals and sporting venues often recruit for summer roles, and in the run up to exam periods there is usually an increase in the demand for tutors and activity workers.

If you’ve found some great part-time work, why not tell us about it? Tweet us @qmcareers or comment below.

See our recent blog from 3rd year LLB student Megan Domas, who gained work experience as a Student Adviser in the Legal Advice Centre. She tells us why it was such a useful experience.

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One thought on “How and why to get work experience

  1. Pingback: First year opportunities | QMUL Jobs Blog

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