Gaining work experience
Undertaking work experience in your first and second years will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study. Work experience develops valuable skills and qualities that employers are looking for and is essential for many roles. It can also help you to confirm or rule out particular career choices. Furthermore, experience in the workplace can bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career.
You have plenty of options open to you. You could work part-time around your studies, undertake volunteering or approach organisations directly to negotiate short periods of work experience. Some organisations offer paid internships over the summer or of one year’s duration.
The University of Plymouth Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities.
Tutor and academic support
Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so definitely approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately write references for your employment or further study applications, so establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.
Clubs and societies
Participating in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and can seek out opportunities. It also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members can develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds and society promotion.
You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to your studies or take the opportunity to explore the university’s wide range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.