Thinking of embarking on a work experience placement? It’s a great way to get first-hand insight into your dream job, learn valuable skills, and make important contacts. If you have some questions before you start, we’ve got you covered in this blog where we answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) students often have about work experience.
Work experience basics
Work experience is typically a short-term placement where you get the chance to observe (and sometimes participate in) a real job setting. Think of it as an opportunity to learn about a particular industry or profession – this way you can decide whether or not it suits you before diving into further study or work.
Work experience FAQs
If you have questions about work experience, we have the answers right here. Let’s dive in.
Is work experience mandatory for high school students?
It is in many schools, but not always. Some vocational and university courses may also include work experience (more commonly referred to as work integrated learning).
Is work experience paid?
Typically, work experience isn’t paid, as it’s considered a learning opportunity rather than a job. However, some companies might offer a small stipend to help cover expenses. Keep in mind that if you’re not being paid, you should not be expected to perform any tasks a normal employee would.
Why is work experience important?
Work experience gives you a taste of what a particular job or industry is really like. It helps you develop skills, gain insights, and make more informed career choices.
How do I find a work experience placement?
Your school can usually help you find a placement. They might have partnerships with local businesses or provide a list of approved options. You can also ask family or friends for suggestions, contact your chosen business directly, or search online databases (like ours).
What should I wear for work experience?
It’s best to ask your supervisor or the company beforehand, but generally, it’s a good idea to dress neatly and in clothes appropriate for the type of work you’ll be doing.
Should I bring anything with me to my work experience?
It’s a good idea to bring a notebook and pen to jot down any observations or things you learn. You might also like to bring something for lunch and a bottle of water.
How long does work experience last?
Work experience placements usually run between three to seven days. This is generally enough enough time to give you a good sense of the job.
What if I don’t like my work experience placement?
It’s totally OK if you decide it’s not right for you, but you can still use this as a learning opportunity. Think about what you didn’t enjoy and why – this will help you make better-informed decisions in the future.
How do I make the most of my work experience?
Be proactive, ask questions, observe, and show eagerness to learn. Treat it as an opportunity to gain as much knowledge and experience as you can!
Can I include work experience on my resume or university applications?
Absolutely! Work experience is a great addition to your resume or university applications. It shows initiative and gives insight into your interests and skills.
What if I have additional questions or concerns after my work experience?
You can always reach out to your school or the business where your did your placement. They’re there to support you even after your work experience is complete.
Find out more
If there’s still more you’d like to know about work experience, you can read more blogs and search for placements on our website here.