Internships and other work experiences
Internships and other work experiences

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Internships and other work experiences

Week 1: What is an internship or work experience opportunity?

Introduction

Welcome to Week 1 of the free badged course Internships and other work experiences. Congratulations! You’ve taken your first step towards gaining valuable work experience and achieving the career you want to have.

The word ‘internship’ might be familiar to you but do you know what it actually means or how to choose the right opportunities to support your future plans? This course will help you to identify what’s right for you, what to look for and how to obtain appropriate experience and maximise your learning and career development throughout.

While ‘internship’ is a commonly used word and will feature regularly throughout this course, it is important to understand that there are other forms of work experience that are equally useful and that in some sectors the word ‘internship’ is not commonly used.

If you’re a mature applicant, not currently in education or looking for part-time positions, internship and work experience opportunities are certainly available to you. However, you’ll find that many of the roles advertised online are aimed at school, college or university students, so a more proactive approach can be beneficial. Of course, this can be a useful approach for anyone looking for work experience and you’ll explore it in more detail as you progress through the course.

This week, you’ll start by exploring some definitions and learning more about the terminology employers use to describe work experience, so you’ll know what to look for. You’ll reflect on any work experience that you’ve already had and start to identify what you want to gain from completing this course.

Watch this video that introduces the week:

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1
Skip transcript: Video 1

Transcript: Video 1

Week 1: What is an internship or work experience opportunity?

Welcome to Week 1 of Internships and other work experiences. You’ll start this week exploring what an internship is and how employers structure them. You’ll learn about other forms of work experience you could choose, including volunteering, a secondment or a work placement, and reflect on your own work experiences so far. Finally, you’ll identify your personal aims for this course.

End transcript: Video 1
Video 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • describe an internship and understand the difference between that and other forms of work experience
  • identify key learning points from your own work experiences so far
  • clarify your aims for the course.

Before you start, The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations of the course. Your input will help to further improve the online learning experience. If you’d like to help, and if you haven’t done so already, please fill in this optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

INT_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371