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Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre

Work Experience Events & Initiatives

Summer of Experience

Did you have a summer of experience?

Summer of Experience is a competition designed to inspire students to do something meaningful, and beneficial to their employability, with their summer vacation. We then ask you to tell us about it – for the chance to win an award and prize. We are interested in hearing about all experiences; from voluntary work, summers spent travelling, to internships in the City - and anything in between! This initiative is open to all students, regardless of year or course of study.

How to enter

We invite students to submit a short report of their summer's experience – this can be via :

- entry form

- short video

The choice is yours. There is no need to do both.

Then what happens?

All entries are viewed by a panel of judges from Careers & Enterprise:

- The panel award 1st, 2nd and 3rd places (and in some cases Highly Commended)

- Each of these awarded students receive a certificate

- Students awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd places receive a £20 Amazon gift voucher

- Entrants will have the opportunity to have their 'Summer of Experience' published on our website, if selected, and may be invited to speak at our Work Experience Forum on 27th November.

Key Dates

- Competition opens Monday 7th October

- Last date for entries Monday 28th October

- All applicants will be notified of the outcome by mid-November

How do I enter?

Students will be sent an email before the start of Michaelmas term, with the link to click on, which will allow them to enter. It's absolutely fine to begin preparing your entry beforehand though. You will be asked to provide; an outline of your experience, personal highlights, what you learnt/gained from the experience, and your advice to students considering a similar experience. You can also submit photographs to support your entry.

2018 Winners

1st Place

Natalia Falacinska - A Journalistic Eye-Opener

2nd Place

Natalie Howard – 12 Weeks of Project Management

3rd Place

Faheem Musa – My Summer of Experience

The judges also awarded two Highly Commended awards as follows:

Highly Commended

George Wilson – Research Assistant at NIAB EMR

Natasha Livingstone - Pave Internship: Telegraph India, video entry

Congratulations to all winners!

To find out more about some of the winners experiences, come along to the Work Experience Forum


The Work Experience Forum

**Just confirmed: date for next event will be Wednesday 27th November 2019**

This annual Careers & Enterprise event has been designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore and discover more about the importance of work experience opportunities and how these can directly benefit and widen your career choices. The forum brings together a prestigious employer, with skills and expertise in graduate recruitment, and some of Durham’s most dynamic students to talk about the benefits and reasons for undertaking work experience. The purpose of the event is to inspire our student cohort to plan and undertake work experience, in order to progress their career planning.

Check back in October for further details. Please see below for the details of the 2018 event.

Work Experience Forum: Wednesday 28th November 2018

Agenda for the Forum

12.15pm Introduction: Victoria Cawkwell & Helen Jackson (Work Experience Development Manager, Careers & Enterprise)

  • What is work experience?
  • Why do work experience
  • How do I get work experience?

12.30pm The Importance of Work Experience from an Employer’s Perspective: Ross Wilkinson (Senior Learning Officer, Culture Durham)

12.45pm Student Presentations:

Hear from a variety of students who have undertaken work experience recently. Hear about their experience, including how they got their opportunity, what they learned, and what they say their top tips are! There will be a range of experiences shared, from insight weeks, journalism, Parliament through to a year long placement (tbc).

There will be the opportunity for a Q&A session with all speakers also.

Work Experience Forum

To sign up for the Work Experience Forum and guarantee your place go to the Student Services Portal. Sign up now as places are limited!