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Work experience

What are the benefits of gaining work experience?

The world of work can feel like a nebulous concept until you experience it. The term ‘work experience’ generally denotes carrying out some form of activities typical for a particular job, enabling you to gain some exposure to, and understanding of, a particular role. The work carried out should encourage reflection on the experience and identify the learning that comes from working. This learning process is beneficial in supporting your development, both personal and professional, particularly in relation to employability skills. Early engagement with work experience opportunities is highly encouraged by many universities, and there are provisions in place to support this transition.

Every year, there are many thousands of students graduating from British universities. If we include students graduating around the world, this runs into the millions. The graduate job market is extremely competitive and to succeed, you need to have an edge over other students. Work experience enables you to develop essential skills which make you more employable. A report by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) highlights communication, teamwork and commercial acumen among the skills that are sought by employers. In addition to a degree, employers want students to have gained experience in the real working environment. In research carried out by High Fliers (2019) on the graduate recruitment market, leading employers emphasised that:

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