Most students will need some form of part time work to boost their finances whilst they study. However, there are schemes in place that might also help your CV to look more attractive when you graduate – these are in the form of internships, or some degrees even offer placement years. Here are a few reasons why searching for this kind of career placement can improve your future success.
You might graduate alongside hundreds of other students with the same qualification as you, who will be looking to apply for the same roles as you. Having specific work experience in your field or role already on your CV before you graduate will really improve your chances of being hired, as it’s so important to employers. Having real situations with projects or clients that you can draw upon at an interview will allow you offer proof of your capabilities.
Placements or internships can also be offered out by larger, more well-known companies that you might not otherwise be qualified to work with. Having big names on your CV can be impressive to other companies in the future.
Similarly, building your portfolio with work you have done outside your degree is invaluable, particularly if you are in arts, design, marketing, or writing. It will allow you to demonstrate that you can work to a brief and have experience in meeting the demands of clients. Ensure that you keep track of anything you design or build whilst on placement and make sure you have access to copies before you leave – for some jobs it might be necessary, or at least courteous, to ask for permission to use pieces in your portfolio, so it’s worth speaking to your line manager.
Building connections to people who work in your field can really help you once you have graduated. A placement can therefore build up your LinkedIn profile and make yourself known within your sector. Keep contact with those you met on your internship – you never know when these relationships might come in hand.
This is more of a short-term benefit, but as a student is worth bearing in mind. Internships and placements are often subsidised by the university, meaning that their rate of pay can be much higher than other part-time employment. If you’re sensible, having extra funds put aside for when you graduate might give you the flexibility to spend longer searching for the best role, rather than needing to jump straight into a job because you need to pay your rent.
A Future Position?
Although it is not a guarantee, many internships and placements can lead to future full-time employment and can be a great opportunity to impress. Think of your placement as an extended interview – and if you’re interested in continuing to work for a company past your placement, be sure to let them know!