Your ultimate information pack on work experience

Work experience helps students at a wide range of ages and educational levels to gain relevant experience, and transferable skills, and prove their dedication and preparation for their next steps in academia or employment. 

Whether you’re in secondary school, university, or finished with both, this article contains valuable information about work experience. Let’s whiz through everything you need to know from ‘who’ and ‘when’ to ‘what’ and ‘how’, along with advice!

If you’re seeking specific answers to your exact stage in life or circumstances, scan the content list for the answers you need.

We also have a previous blog on how to find work experience. Remember, if you need help with creating an amazing application to an undergraduate course, postgraduate course, internship or job, we’ve got you covered. Our team can match you with an expert coach skilled with the perfect expertise for your needs. We ONLY offer tailored approaches which is why we have so many success stories!

Content

What’s work experience

Work experience is a transformative opportunity that opens doors to personal and professional growth. It goes beyond textbooks and classrooms, providing real-world insights and practical skills that complement academic learning. 

Work experience could be shadowing, volunteering, interning or actual paid work. It can range from weeks to years! However, depending on the role and responsibilities, if your experience exceeds a year you might classify your work as professional experience.

Whether you’re a year 10 student exploring career options or a university applicant seeking to stand out, work experience offers a valuable platform to develop essential qualities such as adaptability, teamwork, and problem-solving. 

At The Profs, we recognise the significance of work experience in shaping your future, and our team of expert consultants are here to guide you in securing meaningful work placements that align with your aspirations.

Why is work experience important for students?

Work experience holds paramount significance for students on their path to success. It offers a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and practical skills, preparing students for the challenges of the real world. 

So, how does work experience benefit students? Admissions teams and/or employers might favour applicants with relevant work experience because:

  • They appear truly dedicated to their field.
  • They are hardworking and can balance their time.
  • They have worked on relevant skills.
  • They have real-world experience outside of the classroom.
  • They have been proactive and taken the initiative to gain experience.

By immersing themselves in professional environments, students gain invaluable insights, develop essential qualities like adaptability and teamwork, and build a strong foundation for their future careers.

If you’d like work experience but you’re not sure what kind you need or where to start, we can advise and guide you. Our knowledgeable consultants have lots of experience in helping students reach their goals.

Who completes work experience?

Lots of people complete work experience for various reasons. Check out the table below:

WhoReason/s
Year 10 studentTo explore potential career paths and gain an idea of goals for the future.
Year 12 studentTo assist them with their university and/or internship and/or job application as well as learn more about future career paths.
Undergraduate studentTo assist them with their postgraduate and/or internship and/or job application.
Postgraduate studentTo assist them with their PhD and/or job application.
Employed personTo assist them with rising through the ranks in their current role and/or industry, or to help them with making a change in their role and/or industry.

Who completes work placements?

Work experience and work placements are often used interchangeably, however, some institutions specify a difference between the two.

Work placement is often used to refer to mandatory or strongly suggested work that a student must complete to apply for a degree or complete it. Hence, work placements are for students studying a vocational subject or in a specific industry. 

Work placement students are often in Year 11 or 12 (when you’re 16 years old or 17) preparing for their university application. They are also often undergraduate students who need to complete a work placement to complete their degree e.g. social work.

Multiple employers actively host work placement students and might even invite the student back permanently, so it’s a good idea to try to use an opportunity like this to make an impression and network.

Can work experience count towards my degree?

Yes, however, your course will outline if this is the case. 

If you’re an undergraduate student embarking on a degree like Medicine, you will be assigned work placement as part of your degree. You will complete work in your university’s partner hospital alongside studying for your course and completing exams and assignments. Hence, the completion of your work placement will count towards your degree.

So, if you’re completing a degree which does not specify work placement as part of your module/s then it is highly unlikely that you can make complete work experience and have it count towards your degree.

What kind of work experience do I need?

The kind of work experience you need depends on your level of study or stage in life, as well as your industry of interest. Read on for a quick run-through of the work experience needed for a variety of popular ages/stages. Lots of advice and tips are included!

If you’d like work experience but you’re not sure what kind you need or where to start, we can advise and guide you. Our knowledgeable consultants have lots of experience in helping students reach their goals.

Work experience for university admissions

Securing a coveted spot at a prestigious university requires more than just excellent grades and a stellar personal statement. 

Universities value well-rounded applicants who demonstrate practical skills, adaptability, and a commitment to their chosen field. One effective way to showcase these qualities is through relevant work experience. If you want to boost your undergraduate application, you’ll need to gain decent work experience throughout secondary school.

Remember, if you need help with creating an amazing application to an undergraduate course, postgraduate course, internship or job, we’ve got you covered. Our team can match you with an expert coach skilled with the perfect expertise for your needs. We ONLY offer tailored approaches which is why we have so many success stories!

Work experience for secondary school students

Work experience is not limited to university applicants. Year 10 and Year 12 students can also benefit greatly from early exposure to the world of work. Here are some tips for securing valuable work experience during these critical stages of your education.

Work experience for Year 10 students

Year 10 is an ideal time to explore different industries and gain a broad understanding of the world of work. Engaging in work experience at this stage can help you develop essential transferable skills and gain insight into potential career paths.

When is work experience in Year 10?

You will have the option to complete work experience in Year 10 or 11; the summer term of Year 10 is the most popular time.

What can I do for Year 10 work experience?

Contact local businesses, non-profit organisations, or government agencies to inquire about work experience opportunities. This can include placements in retail, hospitality, marketing, or community service.

Research industries that align with your interests and career aspirations. Reach out to them directly, expressing your enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. 

Alternatively, seek guidance from your school’s career advisor or work experience coordinator, who can provide valuable insights and connect you with relevant opportunities.

Work experience for year 12 students

Undergraduate university applicants should aim to have work experience from year 11 or 12 in positions and/or institutions related to their degree. For example, you might apply for a 1 to 2-week-long work experience programme with JP Morgan or HSBC if you’re applying for a degree in Finance or Economics. 

As a Year 12 student, it’s essential to focus on work experience that aligns with your intended university course or career aspirations. Research companies, organisations, or professionals in your chosen field and reach out to inquire about internship or shadowing opportunities. This targeted work experience can provide you with a deeper understanding of your desired field and help you make informed decisions about your future studies and career path.

Remember, regardless of your year level, securing work experience requires preparation, persistence, and a proactive approach. Reach out to contacts, network with professionals in your desired field, and utilise online platforms that connect students with work experience opportunities.

Work experience plays a pivotal role in university admissions and can significantly enhance your career prospects. Tailor your work experience choices to align with your desired field of study or career path. By gaining practical skills, demonstrating commitment, and showcasing your passion, you’ll stand out as a well-rounded applicant and increase your chances of success in both university admissions and future professional endeavours.

When is work experience in Year 12?

Students are usually allocated one or two weeks of work experience in Year 12. This is common in the summer term. 

How do I find my work experience in year 11 or 12?

Here are some tips on how to get work experience during secondary school for undergraduate admissions:

  • Local businesses and volunteering: Explore local businesses or community organisations for part-time roles or volunteer opportunities. Consider sectors related to your academic interests to gain relevant experience.
  • Shadowing opportunities: Contact professionals in your desired field for shadowing opportunities. Attend career fairs or networking events to connect with potential mentors.
  • Internship programmes: Research and apply for structured internship programs offered by companies or industry associations. Look for opportunities that align with your intended university major.

How do I gain work experience during my undergraduate?

If you’re not on work placement, you might still opt to undertake work experience for these reasons:

  • Gain practical skills: Undertaking work experience during undergraduate studies provides students with the opportunity to acquire practical skills that complement their theoretical knowledge. It allows them to apply what they have learned in a real-world setting, enhancing their understanding and competency in their chosen field.
  • Industry insights: Work experience exposes students to the inner workings of their industry of interest. They can gain valuable insights into industry trends, practices, and challenges, helping them make informed career decisions and develop a deeper understanding of their chosen profession.
  • Networking opportunities: Completing work experience during undergraduate studies allows students to expand their professional network. They can connect with professionals, mentors, and potential future employers, opening doors to future career opportunities. Networking during work experience can be instrumental in securing internships, job placements, or even mentorship opportunities.
  • Resume enhancement: Work experience during undergraduate studies adds significant value to a student’s resume. It demonstrates their proactive approach to learning, commitment to professional development, and the ability to apply their skills in practical settings. Employers often value candidates with relevant work experience, as it showcases their readiness for the workforce.
  • Personal and professional growth: Work experience provides a platform for personal and professional growth. Students can develop crucial skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management. They gain confidence, adaptability, and a better understanding of their strengths and areas for improvement, fostering their overall growth and self-awareness.

Here are some tips on how to get work experience during university:

  • Summer internships: Apply for summer internships relevant to your undergraduate major. Seek placements that offer hands-on experience and exposure to industry practices.
  • Networking events: Attend industry-specific networking events or university career fairs. Connect with professionals and express your interest in gaining practical experience.

Again, if you need any support finding the right work experience and securing it, as well as succeeding in your degree, contact our experts!

Degree courses where work experience is essential

Certain academic programmes that prepare students for specific professions or industries, such as accountancy, architecture, civil engineering, media production, and town and country planning, often require work experience as part of their qualification criteria. 

Universities seek applicants who have engaged in relevant work experiences that showcase their passion and aptitude for a particular career. Additionally, universities value applicants who demonstrate commercial awareness, indicating a grasp of practical business operations and a realistic understanding of the professional environment they aspire to join. 

By acquiring work experience, students can meet these expectations and present themselves as well-rounded candidates for their chosen career paths.

Many schools are not equipped to steer students towards the right work experience for their degree or assist them with successfully securing competitive work experience. Hence, their university applications suffer. Don’t gamble with your future. Our experienced consultants can guide you to success.

What about work experience during university (postgraduate)?

Postgraduate university applicants should aim to have work experience during or after their undergraduate. This should be in a position and/or institution related to their postgraduate discipline and/or career goals.

Here are some tips on how to get work experience during university and/or for postgraduate admissions:

  • Research assistant positions: Explore opportunities to work as a research assistant within your academic department. Collaborate with professors on projects related to your postgraduate interests.
  • Industry conferences: Attend conferences and seminars in your field to network with professionals. Explore possibilities for collaborative projects or internships within your industry.

Will work experience help with MS (US)?

The importance of work experience varies when applying for an MS programme (Master’s degree) in the US. Some programmes prioritise prior work experience, while others emphasise academic achievements and potential. However, incorporating work experience into your application can enhance it and offer a unique perspective on your journey.

Concerns often arise regarding the relevance of professional backgrounds to higher education applications in the USA. It’s crucial to recognise that the importance of work experience varies among disciplines and universities. Certain fields may seek applicants with practical exposure, while others prioritise academic accomplishments.

Lack of previous work experience should not discourage your pursuit of higher education in the USA. Many universities equally value relevant internships, projects, or research experiences as valuable components of an application.

The Profs specialise in US and UK university admissions. So, if you need any assistance, talk to our experts.

Can I get into university with work experience?

All universities have entry requirements. Top UK universities require high A level or IB (or equivalent) grades in subjects related to your chosen discipline. If you do not have these qualifications or fall far below the grade requirements, it’s highly unlikely that you stand a chance of receiving an offer – even if you have work experience. 

In very rare circumstances, some universities, like Imperial, accept applicants who have lower grades than what is required if they have amazing work experience that’s related to their degree. However, this is usually for postgraduate entry rather than undergraduate and they typically still have decent grades alongside experience that is both professional and extensive. In fact, some postgraduate courses don’t accept applicants with “too much” professional work experience.

Always check your university and programme’s entry requirements directly on their website for the most accurate information. Universities often state if they are willing to make any allowances for exceptional individuals. 

Chat with a university admissions expert for further insight and advice.

Do UK universities care about work experience?

In short, having no work experience will not stop you from getting a coveted place at an esteemed university.

However, UK universities do care about work experience. If you meet the grade requirements and have a strong personal statement, you might not stand out next to three of your peers who also meet the grade requirements and have strong personal statements. However, if you have work experience in something related to your discipline this could help prove your dedication and genuine passion for your course and give you a leg-up against your peers. 

Even if you can’t find relevant work experience, you might be able to talk about a student job you had that taught you transferable skills, such as time management and communication skills, or you might be able to reference a challenge you overcame. Things like this can help boost your application. 

If you’re applying to a competitive university, it’s best to do everything in your power to stand out. Work experience is one way of doing this. Why not put your best foot forward?

However, if you’re an applicant with a compelling personal statement that exceeds the academic requirements and has extracurricular achievements related to your course or extensive knowledge on your subject from wider reading, you may very well secure your place without any work experience.

Please note: Some courses, like Medicine, are highly unlikely to consider candidates with zero work experience. So, the above advice should only be applied to programmes that do not ask for work experience. 

Chat with a university admissions expert for further insight and advice.

What about internships?

Work experience and internships share similarities but have key distinctions. Work experience generally refers to any exposure to a professional environment, including part-time jobs or short-term roles. It encompasses a broader spectrum of professional engagement and may involve various tasks.

On the other hand, an internship is a structured, often formalised, and supervised programme designed to provide practical training in a specific field. Internships are typically more focused, offering hands-on experience related to the intern’s academic or career interests. While work experience can be more general, internships aim to immerse individuals in a particular industry or role, providing targeted skill development and networking opportunities.

There are a range of internship opportunities; you can pursue some as soon as you finish secondary school, others during your undergraduate, and others after your graduation.

Here’s a bullet-point list of industry examples where internships are common:

  • Technology: Software Development Intern, IT Support Intern or Data Analysis Intern.
  • Finance: Investment Banking Intern, Financial Analyst Intern or Accounting Intern.
  • Marketing: Social Media Marketing Intern, Content Marketing Intern or Market Research Intern.
  • Healthcare: Medical Research Intern, Clinical Intern or Health Administration Intern.
  • Engineering: Mechanical Engineering Intern, Electrical Engineering Intern or Civil Engineering Intern.
  • Media and Journalism: Journalism Intern, Video Production Intern or Public Relations Intern.
  • Education: Teaching Intern, Educational Programme Intern or Curriculum Development Intern.
  • Fashion and Design: Fashion Design Intern, Graphic Design Intern or Merchandising Intern.
  • Environmental Science: Environmental Research Intern, Conservation Intern or Sustainability Intern.
  • Hospitality and Tourism: Hotel Management Intern, Event Planning Intern or Tourism Marketing Intern.

Need help securing an internship? They can be pretty competitive. Luckily, our consultants are experts in this area and can help you secure the perfect opportunity.

What work experience do I need for my career?

Work experience for aspiring doctors 

If you aspire to pursue a career in medicine, gaining work experience in a healthcare setting is crucial. Admissions committees look for candidates who have a deep understanding of the medical profession and can showcase their dedication to patient care. 

Consider volunteering at hospitals, clinics, or care facilities to gain valuable insights into the healthcare industry. Shadowing doctors and participating in medical outreach programmes can also provide valuable exposure.

Here are some ideas for good work experience for aspiring doctors:

  • Hospital volunteer: Assist in various departments, shadowing doctors and nurses.
  • Clinical research assistant: Contribute to ongoing medical research projects.
  • Health outreach programmes: Volunteer for health-related nonprofits or community health initiatives.
  • Medical scribe: Gain experience documenting patient interactions and medical histories.
  • Emergency medical technician (EMT): Obtain certification to provide emergency medical care.

How to get work experience as an aspiring doctor:

Aspiring doctors can secure valuable work experience by proactively seeking opportunities in healthcare settings. Begin by reaching out to local hospitals, clinics, and healthcare organisations to inquire about volunteer programs. Networking with healthcare professionals, attending career fairs, and joining medical associations can provide insights into potential opportunities. 

Additionally, consider applying for internships or research assistant positions at medical institutions. Online platforms dedicated to connecting volunteers with healthcare opportunities can be useful in identifying available roles. It’s crucial to approach work experience with a genuine interest in healthcare, professionalism, and a commitment to ethical standards.

Work experience for future pilots

For those dreaming of soaring through the skies as a pilot, securing work experience in the aviation industry is essential. Contact local flight schools, airports, or aviation companies to inquire about internship or apprenticeship opportunities. Getting hands-on experience with flight operations, aircraft maintenance, or air traffic control can demonstrate your passion for aviation and your ability to thrive in this dynamic field.

Here are some ideas for good work experience for aspiring pilots:

  • Airport ground staff: Gain insights into airport operations and procedures.
  • Aircraft intern: Work with airlines or aviation companies to understand industry functions.
  • Air traffic control assistant: Observe air traffic controllers and learn about airspace management.
  • Aircraft maintenance intern: Explore the maintenance aspects of aviation.

How to get work experience as an aspiring pilot:

Aspiring pilots can acquire valuable work experience by actively seeking opportunities within the aviation industry. Begin by reaching out to local airports, airlines, and aviation companies to inquire about internships or entry-level positions. Networking with aviation professionals, attending industry events, and joining aviation clubs or organisations can provide valuable connections. 

Additionally, consider enrolling in aviation-related courses or training programmes that may offer hands-on experiences. Volunteering at airshows, participating in aviation workshops, and staying updated on industry news are also effective ways to demonstrate passion and commitment to a future career as a pilot.

Work experience for aspiring lawyers

Law schools appreciate candidates who have a solid understanding of the legal profession and the practical application of law. Seek opportunities to shadow lawyers, paralegals, or judges to gain first-hand exposure to the legal system. Additionally, volunteering at legal aid organisations or participating in mock trial competitions can showcase your advocacy skills and your passion for justice.

Here are some ideas for good work experience for aspiring lawyers:

  • Legal internship: Work with law firms or legal departments to understand day-to-day operations.
  • Court clerk: Observe courtroom proceedings and gain insights into legal proceedings.
  • Legal research Assistant: Assist in legal research projects to develop research and analysis skills.
  • Paralegal assistant: Support paralegals in administrative tasks and document preparation.
  • Legal aid volunteer: Provide assistance to individuals with limited access to legal services.

How to get work experience as an aspiring lawyer:

Aspiring lawyers can obtain valuable work experience by actively seeking opportunities within the legal field. Start by researching local law firms, legal aid organisations, and court systems to identify internship or volunteer positions. Networking with legal professionals through events, seminars, and law school programs can open doors to potential opportunities. 

Joining legal clubs or organisations, participating in moot court competitions, and attending legal workshops can enhance knowledge and showcase dedication to a legal career. Additionally, staying informed about legal developments and engaging in pro bono work can further demonstrate a commitment to the legal profession.

Work experience for future psychologists

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in psychology, gaining relevant work experience is highly advantageous. Look for opportunities to assist psychologists or researchers in clinical settings, such as hospitals, mental health centres, or academic institutions. Volunteering at helplines or counselling centres can also provide valuable insights into the field of mental health and help you develop essential knowledge and skills for future study and practice.

Work Experience Examples for Aspiring Psychologists:

  • Clinical psychology internship: Gain hands-on experience in a clinical setting, working under licensed psychologists.
  • Research assistant: Assist psychologists in research projects to develop research and analytical skills.
  • Mental health support volunteer: Volunteer with mental health organisations to provide support and assistance.
  • Counselling centre intern: Work in university counselling centres to understand counselling processes and techniques.
  • Educational psychology assistant: Collaborate with educators and psychologists to address educational challenges.

How to get work experience as an aspiring psychologist:

Aspiring psychologists can acquire valuable work experience by actively seeking opportunities in psychology-related settings. Start by exploring internships or volunteer positions at local mental health clinics, counselling centres, or research institutions. Networking with psychologists through professional organisations, conferences, and academic events can provide insights and potential connections. 

Joining psychology clubs, participating in relevant workshops, and engaging in community service projects related to mental health can enhance both practical skills and understanding of the field. Additionally, reaching out to professors or mentors for guidance and recommendations can help secure meaningful work experience opportunities.

Work experience for midwifery

If you’re aspiring to become a midwife, gaining relevant work experience is highly beneficial. Look for opportunities to assist midwives or healthcare professionals in clinical settings, such as hospitals, maternity units, or birthing centres. Volunteering at women’s health organisations or prenatal clinics can also provide valuable insights into the field of midwifery and help you develop essential skills for future study and practice.

Work experience examples for aspiring midwives:

  • Maternity ward internship: Gain hands-on experience in a hospital’s maternity ward, working under experienced midwives.
  • Prenatal care assistant: Assist healthcare professionals in providing prenatal care to pregnant women.
  • Women’s health support volunteer: Volunteer with organisations focused on women’s health to offer support and assistance.
  • Birthing centre intern: Work in birthing centres to understand the birthing process and midwifery techniques.
  • Childbirth education assistant: Collaborate with educators and midwives to address childbirth education challenges.

How to get work experience as an aspiring midwife:

Aspiring midwives can acquire valuable work experience by actively seeking opportunities in midwifery-related settings. Start by exploring internships or volunteer positions at local hospitals, maternity units, or women’s health clinics. Networking with midwives through professional organisations, conferences, and academic events can provide insights and potential connections. 

Joining midwifery-related clubs, participating in relevant workshops, and engaging in community service projects related to women’s health can enhance both practical skills and understanding of the field. Additionally, reaching out to professors or mentors for guidance and recommendations can help secure meaningful work experience opportunities.

Work experience for engineering 

If you’re aspiring to become an engineer, gaining relevant work experience is highly advantageous. Look for opportunities to assist engineers or professionals in engineering settings, such as construction sites, research labs, or engineering firms. Volunteering at STEM organisations or participating in engineering projects can also provide valuable insights into the field of engineering and help you develop essential skills for future study and practice.

Work experience examples for aspiring engineers:

  • Engineering internship: Gain hands-on experience in an engineering firm, working under experienced engineers.
  • Research assistant in engineering projects: Assist professionals in research projects to develop research and analytical skills.
  • STEM outreach volunteer: Volunteer with STEM organisations to promote engineering education and outreach.
  • Construction site intern: Work on construction sites to understand practical aspects of engineering projects.
  • Environmental engineering assistant: Collaborate with environmental engineers to address challenges related to sustainability.

How to get work experience as an aspiring engineer:

Aspiring engineers can acquire valuable work experience by actively seeking opportunities in engineering-related settings. Start by exploring internships or volunteer positions at local engineering firms, research labs, or construction projects. Networking with engineers through professional organisations, conferences, and academic events can provide insights and potential connections. 

Joining engineering clubs, participating in relevant workshops, and engaging in community service projects related to STEM can enhance both practical skills and understanding of the field. Additionally, reaching out to professors or mentors for guidance and recommendations can help secure meaningful work experience opportunities.

Work experience for the police

If you’re aspiring to pursue a career in law enforcement, gaining relevant work experience is highly beneficial. Look for opportunities to engage with police departments, community organisations, or legal advocacy groups to understand the dynamics of the criminal justice system. Volunteering or interning in roles that involve community outreach, crime prevention, or legal support can provide valuable insights into the field of policing and help you develop essential skills for your future career.

Work experience examples for aspiring police professionals:

  • Police department internship: Gain firsthand experience by interning with a local police department, and observing daily operations.
  • Community outreach volunteer: Engage in community outreach programs to foster positive relationships between law enforcement and the community.
  • Legal advocacy intern: Intern with legal advocacy groups that work closely with law enforcement agencies.
  • Crime prevention assistant: Work on projects related to crime prevention strategies and community safety initiatives.
  • Police Explorers programme: Participate in Police Explorers programs offered by some law enforcement agencies for hands-on experience.

How to get work experience as an aspiring police professional:

Aspiring police professionals can acquire valuable work experience by actively seeking opportunities in law enforcement-related settings. Start by reaching out to local police departments to inquire about internship or volunteer programs. Attend community events, town hall meetings, or career fairs where you can connect with law enforcement professionals. 

Joining community organisations focused on crime prevention or safety can provide additional avenues for experience. Networking with individuals in the law enforcement field and expressing your genuine interest in contributing to community safety can open doors to meaningful work experience opportunities. Additionally, seeking guidance from mentors or law enforcement professionals can provide valuable insights and recommendations for securing relevant experiences.

Work experience with animals

If you’re passionate about working with animals and aspiring to build a career in animal care, gaining relevant work experience is crucial. Seek opportunities to immerse yourself in settings where animals are cared for, whether it’s at veterinary clinics, animal shelters, zoos, or wildlife rehabilitation centres. Volunteering or interning in roles that involve direct animal care, veterinary support, or conservation efforts can provide valuable insights into the field and help you develop essential skills for your future profession.

Work experience examples for aspiring animal care professionals:

  • Veterinary clinic internship: Gain hands-on experience by interning at a veterinary clinic, assisting with animal examinations and treatments.
  • Animal shelter volunteer: Work with animal shelters to care for and attend to the needs of animals awaiting adoption.
  • Zookeeper assistant: Intern as a zookeeper assistant to learn about animal husbandry, exhibit maintenance, and enrichment activities.
  • Wildlife rehabilitation volunteer: Volunteer with wildlife rehabilitation centres to aid in the care and rehabilitation of injured or orphaned wildlife.
  • Conservation project intern: Intern with conservation organisations involved in projects aimed at preserving animal habitats and biodiversity.

How to get work experience as an aspiring animal care professional:

Aspiring animal care professionals can acquire valuable work experience by actively seeking opportunities in environments where animals are cared for. Begin by reaching out to local veterinary clinics, animal shelters, or wildlife organisations to inquire about internships or volunteer positions. Attend animal-related events, workshops, or seminars to network with professionals in the field. 

Joining animal advocacy groups or participating in community initiatives related to animal welfare can provide additional avenues for experience. Demonstrating a genuine love for animals and a commitment to their well-being will enhance your chances of securing meaningful work experience opportunities. Additionally, seeking guidance from mentors or professionals in the animal care field can provide valuable insights and recommendations for obtaining relevant experiences.

Work experience for every industry is different. Whether you want clarity on what work experience you need, how to secure it, or generally how to get your dream job, we can help. Don’t believe us? Check out our countless success stories

Where to write work experience in a resume (CV)

Where you should write your work experience in your resume is dependent on your level of experience.

If you have work experience that you’re particularly proud of and want to showcase, you should put this at the beginning of your resume under your contact details. Strong resumes often have a short personal bio paragraph before they break down the educational history and employment history with other relevant qualifications, awards, achievements and/or skills. So, if you have prestigious or impressive work experience you can flag it in your personal bio paragraph.

For the most part, employment is listed chronologically in its own section. You should only include work experience within your employment section if you do not have enough professional experience to list. However, again, if your work experience is particularly impressive then you should keep it in. 

Those with less than five years of employment are likely to put their academic section before their employment section, and those with ten years might do the reverse. Your most recent achievements and experience are more relevant to your employer.

It’s also worth noting that resumes often document work history up to a decade or it gets a bit dense. However, if you’ve been working in impressive and relevant roles for 15 years, you might opt to list your last 10 jobs in detail, and the five prior jobs in one short and succinct paragraph. 

If you have only had student jobs and some work experience, then it’s good to list all of this and highlight how your student jobs have equipped you with transferable skills. However, if you have had a couple of skilled jobs since your student jobs, you might choose not to list your student jobs. 

The goal is to keep your resume as relevant to your industry as possible, not include anything and everything that you’ve ever done. Similarly, irrelevant and unskilled student jobs could detract from relevant work or work experience that you do have, so try to write your resume with what your potential employers and hiring managers would value in mind.

Here at The Profs, we have experienced consultants who can help you write the perfect resume and coach you through your job applications to maximise your chances of success!

How should I write my resume if I have no work experience?

If you have no work experience but you’ve had skilled jobs, then focus on your skilled jobs as that’s much more valuable.

If you have no work experience but you’ve had jobs, even if they’re menial student jobs, mention them. Talk about the skills they taught you and how they made you into a worker who’s ready to put in effort and is keen to learn.

If you are a student with little to no work experience or employment history, you should write a personal bio paragraph where you introduce yourself and highlight your employable characteristics e.g. dedicated, articulate and/or friendly. Next, jump into your academic history and showcase your good grades as well as any academic achievements. If you have received any awards, won any competitions or learned any skills, mention them. 

However, remain relevant to your industry and try not to mention things from before university unless they’re incredibly relevant and impressive. It is unlikely your secondary school achievements are relevant, and it is certain your primary school achievements are not! If you have no work experience, it’s important that you have a robust academic record and/or achievements to speak of.

All that said, having work experience makes you a much more competitive candidate and gives you valuable skills that’ll help you in your first job. So, why not invest some time into getting someone to assist you in your job search?

Here at The Profs, we have experienced consultants who can help you write the perfect resume and coach you through your job applications to maximise your chances of success!

Can work experience be paid?

Yes, work experience can be paid. Some companies offer paid internships or work placements, providing financial compensation for the individual’s time and contributions. Paid work experience is often prevalent in industries such as finance, technology, and engineering.

Can work experience be volunteering?

Absolutely. Many individuals choose to gain work experience through volunteer opportunities. Volunteering allows individuals to contribute to meaningful causes, build valuable skills, and make a positive impact on their communities. Volunteer work experience is especially common in fields such as social services, healthcare, and environmental conservation.

Start building your future now

At The Profs, we understand the importance of work experience in shaping your academic and professional journey. We have expert consultants who can assist you with your undergraduate, postgraduate, internship, work experience and employment applications! 

Our team of experienced employment and university admission consultants can provide personalised guidance and support to help you secure valuable work experience opportunities. We know how to find opportunities, secure them and build the future you’ve been dreaming of; our satisfied students are proof of that!

Contact us today to take the first step toward success.

FAQs

Does work experience have to be paid?

Work experience can be both paid and unpaid. The nature of compensation often depends on the industry, employer policies, and the specific arrangement between the individual and the organisation. While some positions offer monetary compensation, others prioritise the experience gained during the placement.

How is work experience calculated?

Work experience is usually counted in months or years. Identify your start and end date to determine the total number of months of experience. There’s a free online calculator here.

Are work experience students covered by WorkCover?

In the realm of WorkCover insurance, anyone directly employed by your company, whether on a casual, part-time, or full-time basis, is considered a worker. While contractors may not always fall under the worker category for WorkCover purposes, exceptions exist. So, WorkCover typically covers all workers.

Work experience students are covered if they are paid. If they are not, or if anyone is not paid for any other reason, they are not classified as workers. Hence, WorkCover does not encompass them.

Can you get work experience outside of a company?

Yes. For example, you could volunteer for a non-profit charity, work for yourself online or as a freelancer. You could make and sell things, build a website, or you could even start your own business. Alternatively, you might shadow an author, artist, or independent contractor or ask to help out at an independent and/or family-owned store or restaurant. 

Can I go to university without A levels?

Yes, you can. Loads of top universities with prestigious reputations, like Oxbridge and Russell Group universities, accept International Baccalaureate qualifications instead of A levels. They also accept a variety of international qualifications deemed equivalent to A levels. If you type in your chosen university along with ‘international entry requirements’ you’ll soon find what qualifications they accept.

If you haven’t completed A levels or IB, you’re unlikely to get into traditional universities like these, however, you should always check entry requirements. Some universities accept BTEC, vocational qualifications or access to higher education courses etc. 

Some universities, like Keele for example, offer foundation courses (lasting one academic year) that are equivalent to A levels and if you pass this you can go on to take an undergraduate degree. 

You can also try calling admissions teams at multiple universities to check whether you can take standardised tests, like the TMUA, to prove your academic aptitude. If you have great GCSEs you could also try taking standardised tests like the SAT and applying for university in another country with your secondary school grades and an impressive SAT score. 

What are some work experience examples?

Work experience spans a wide range of fields and industries, providing individuals with valuable exposure to different professional environments. Here are some diverse examples:

  • Marketing Internship: Assist the marketing team in executing campaigns, analysing data, and contributing to creative initiatives.
  • Software Development Intern: Work alongside experienced developers, participate in coding projects, and gain hands-on experience in software development.
  • Nursing Clinical Placement: Engage in practical nursing tasks under the supervision of experienced healthcare professionals in a clinical setting.
  • Journalism Work Experience: Contribute to news reporting, conduct interviews, and assist with content creation in a newsroom or media organisation.
  • Environmental Conservation Volunteer: Participate in conservation projects, learn about biodiversity, and contribute to environmental protection efforts.
  • Graphic Design Assistant: Collaborate with a design team, work on visual projects, and gain insights into the creative process in a design studio.
  • Legal Clerkship: Assist lawyers with legal research, document preparation, and courtroom tasks to understand the legal profession.
  • Engineering Internship: Gain exposure to engineering projects, assist in design tasks, and learn from experienced engineers in a professional setting.
  • Social Work Placement: Work with social workers, engage with clients and contribute to community-based initiatives addressing social issues.
  • Event Planning Assistant: Support event planners in organising and executing events, from logistics to coordination, in the events industry.