Benefits of work experience

Work experience provides many benefits, giving you skills and experience that will allow you stand out to potential employers as well as helping you choose the right sector to work in.

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"Building useful skills that cannot be taught in the classroom as well as contacts that students otherwise would not be exposed to. A prospective employer will always look favourably on the effort taken by those who have done work experience, which empowers new talent and gives them an edge to push for the most sought after graduate positions in the field.”

Avanade UK’s General Manager

Soft skills

Work experience equips you with valuable skills such as team working, communication skills and commercial awareness. All of these are sought after by employers, especially at a graduate level.

Road test a company, sector and role

As a student, work experience gives you the chance to try things out to see if they suit you. Want to find out what a company is actually like to work for or what doing a certain job is like? Work experience gives you the chance to experience this - for a week, a fortnight, a summer or even a year.

Differentiate yourself

Work experience also helps you to differentiate yourself, an important thing to factor in when competition for jobs is so fierce.

Personal development

Work experience isn't just about impressing potential employers, it is also about your personal development!
The skills - both soft and technically focused - will all help you start on the professional development path.

If you plan to work towards professional registration, the skills you learn during work experience are the first steps towards ticking off competencies.

Be sure to take advantage of the IET's Career Manager tool to record all you achieve during your placements and internships.

Enhance your employability

Work experience also equips you with knowledge that will enhance your job applications and particularly your interviews. Because you've gained a better understanding of the sector you want to go into, you'll be able to talk more authoritatively and ask questions that resonate with the employer

The possibility of leading to full-time job offers

Some long-term internships can lead to full-time employment.

"It is essential to differentiate yourself. A willingness to work rather than have a good time shows diligence. Graduates these days need to have work ready skills from their first day, such as deadline management, phone and email etiquette and the ability to work well with a variety of ages in a team."

Mott MacDonald's Learning and Development Manager

"It can crystallise your mind about your career choice, either confirming that you are making exactly the right choice, or change your mind. If the latter happens, you should view this positively as you can re-direct your energy into an area you find more stimulating,"

Chief Executive of the Inspiring Futures Foundation.