In an increasingly competitive graduate job market a good degree, even from a world class institution, is not enough to secure the job that you want when you graduate.
As well as looking at your academic achievements, graduate employers will want to see evidence that you have developed a range of skills that will be beneficial in the workplace.
One of the most useful and beneficial ways of doing this (and helping you to decide the types of jobs that you want to apply for after graduation) is by gaining work experience.
Work experience can take many forms and can vary depending on the industry you wish to work in.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What type of experience would suit you best?
- How flexible can you be in terms of location?
- Would you prefer a formal scheme or are you prepared to apply speculatively?
Find out more about the benefits of work experience here
Find out how to make the most of your work experience here
Applying for advertised opportunities
Check our regular email bulletins, website and Facebook page for opportunities created specifically for Durham students. Bear in mind that applications for formal internships and placements are competitive, so be sure to put as much time and effort into these as you would a graduate job application.
Making a speculative application
Work experience isn't always advertised, particularly in the media, third sector and with smaller organisations, so it's always worth applying speculatively to companies and organisations you're interested in. Ensure that you research the organisation fully. In your application demonstrate a good awareness of what they do, explain why you are keen to be part of it and suggest where you might be best to make a valuable contribution. A proactive and well researched approach such as this could secure you a place in a highly competitive field.
Work Experience Events & Initiatives
For further details of specific work experience events, initiatives and competitions, including the Work Experience Forum and Summer of Experience, please visit Work Experience Events & Initiatives
Support with Applying for Work Experience
The Placement Officer can provide support with applying for specific work experience opportunities. These one to one appointments are designed to help students with preparing and tailoring their CV and covering letter for a specific work experience opportunity, identified by the student. The purpose of these appointments is not to offer general advice or guidance on work experience.
To book an appointment with the Placement Officer visit the Student Services Portal
- Gap Year Help Sheet (last modified: 5 September 2018)
- Insight Programmes - application dates (last modified: 24 September 2018)
- Speculative Applications Help Sheet (last modified: 24 July 2018)
- Spring Weeks and Insight Days (last modified: 17 January 2019)
- Work Experience 1st Year students (last modified: 7 December 2018)
- Work Experience Help Sheet (last modified: 7 December 2018)