Internships and other work experiences
Internships and other work experiences

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Internships and other work experiences

2.3 What else?

Building up your knowledge, experience or list of contacts, or developing your skills, could be exactly what you hope to gain from a work experience. But you might have other reasons for doing it. The next activity will encourage you to focus on your own motives for undertaking work experience.

Activity 3 What do I want from my work experience?

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes for this activity

Take a few moments to reflect on what you want to gain from the next piece of work experience you undertake. You probably touched on this in Activity 4 in Week 1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] when you considered what you wanted to gain from this course, but this is an opportunity to do some more detailed thinking about the work experience you need to look for. Start by answering the following questions:

  • 1. Do you need to fill a gap in your skills/experience? If so, what is the gap?
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  • 2. Do you want to find out if a particular role or organisation will suit your values? What values are important to you?
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  • 3. Are you targeting a specific sector or employer? Or do you simply want to gain some experience of the world of work?
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Knowing the answers to questions like these will help you make decisions as you progress through the rest of this course.

Use the box below to note down any other reasons you have for undertaking work experience. For example, it might be to build your confidence, help your academic studies or earn some money.

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Discussion

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want to do – that just gives you a wider range of potential opportunities to apply for. Choosing something that sounds interesting and plays to your strengths is a great starting point.

This might be a good time to have a discussion with a careers professional if you have access to one – either within your institution or independently – to talk through all of your work this week on skills and values.

Once you have a better idea of the ideal internship or work experience for your needs, you need to make sure that your plan is practical too. You’ll explore some of these practical priorities in the next section.

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