Why is Work Experience Important?

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Hundreds of work experience sites are thrown at students, whether it be through uni emails or social network. With such a large list of links to trek through, the journey to work experience can feel tedious not to mention tiring. But is the struggle worth it?

It certainly is according to the latest study by Highfliers, an independent research company specialising in students and graduates. Last months report revealed that graduates with some form of work experience/ internship were three times more likely to receive a graduate job offer.

With work experience being so significant, more and more students are tackling the job market with experience under their belts. The research from the The UK Graduates Career Survey 2013 unveiled that students from the leading universities are applying for graduate jobs earlier than ever before. Not to mention the staggering 75% rise in job applications in the past 5 years, causing work experience to become essential as opposed to desirable.

Over half of recruiters say graduates with no work experience are unlikely to succeed in the selection process, with only 11% of inexperienced graduates receiving job offers and 36% of experienced students receiving at least one. Managing Director of the research, Martin Birchall highlights the importance of a placement:

‘Our latest research highlights that work experience is no longer an optional extra for university students, in an essential part of preparing for the graduate job market. Students who just focus on their degree studies without spending time in the workplace are unlikely to develop the skills and interests that graduate employers are looking for.’ ‘Our latest research highlights that work experience is no longer an optional extra for university students, in an essential part of preparing for the graduate job market. Students who just focus on their degree studies without spending time in the workplace are unlikely to develop the skills and interests that graduate employers are looking for.’

However finding work experience is not always as straightforward as it appears. With an average of 85 applicants for every grad job, the battle for internships can be just as challenging.

By visiting the university Career Destinations (on campus or online) there are a number of internships available, including those belonging to the Student Excel Program. This program is designed to offer work experience on campus over the vacations, saving students the trouble of organising travel or accommodation when on placement.

Even if you are unsure of which career path to take, work experience is the most beneficial way to sample the job market and potentially help students make those all important decisions. If you are still unsure of where to even start or maybe you have your heart set on one company, why not apply directly to employers? You’ll never know unless you ask! If you’re still just dipping your feet into the job pool – here are some useful websites to visit. (See below)

http://www.southampton.ac.uk/careers/placements/

http://www.inspiringinterns.com/

http://www.enternships.com/

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Editor of Wessex Scene 2014-15
Features Editor 2013-14
Writer 2012-2013

I have been involved with the publication throughout my time at university. As editor, I have worked with my team to redesign the magazine, the website and even create special editions on top of our monthly issues.

I primarily write news, features and lifestyle pieces.

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