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Advice on getting your own work experience

Obviously, your options for work experience aren’t just restricted to the ones we've proposed, and you can always create your own opportunities.


A method we recommend:


  1. Make a list of the top ten companies you’d like to work for in the industry that you’re interested in. Note: Be smart about the ones you choose. For example, look for companies with headquarters near where you live – don’t just choose the biggest and most famous businesses that you can think of.

  2. Go to each of their websites and find whatever information you can about their work experience opportunities and whether you are eligible or not.

  3. Then, for the ones you are eligible for (as well as the ones that don’t have any information about work experience on their website, because it doesn’t hurt to try), ring them up! Make sure that you have a CV to email them as well, but phoning them is the best way to stand out from any other applicants - they’ll be impressed that you had the courage to actually speak to them directly. When you’re on the phone, you should of course make sure that you are talking to a staff member who is in the position to be able to help you, but always be polite.


Other options include:


  • Networking - use your connections e.g. your friends’ parents or your parents’ friends, to find people working in the industry that you’re interested in; ask any guest speakers at your school if you could do work experience with them or if they knew someone who could help you; go to careers fairs and ask how you could get work experience with a certain company

  • Volunteering – work experience doesn’t have to just be at a company – there are so many places you can learn something at, e.g. your local charity, museum, library, environmental organisation, shelter etc. There are also always lots of international student-led organisations being started and accepting new team members – you could apply for a role online!

  • Starting your own organisation – trust us, you’ll learn just as much – or maybe even more! This is an especially good option for those who don’t actually know what industry they may be interested in, or want to work on their leadership and outreach skills. (If you’re struggling for an idea, try thinking about an issue you’re passionate about, or something that isn’t readily available and you feel a lot of people are in need of. For example, ours was a platform in Thailand to publish and promote student voices.)

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