Everyone knows the adage; you can’t get a job if you don’thave experience but you can’t get experience if no one will hire you. This isthe harsh truth that many a university graduate has encountered, but there arenow more ways than ever to gain experience — the first step towards securing full-timeemployment.
Paid or voluntary, internships remain one of the best waysto gain experience in your industry. Interns are exposed to the ordinaryactivities of an organisation and as the program continues, they are normallygiven more autonomy and responsibility.
The long-term benefits are even more significant, with manyinterns (provided they perform well) eventually hired by that same company, sometimesin a full-time capacity.
Similar to an internship, work experience is exactly what itsounds like. Often completed as part of a high school or university program, itinvolves students assisting employees with any number of activities, whichcould be taking minutes during a meeting, brainstorming for an advertisingcampaign or posting on the company website.
Work experience is traditionally unpaid but the benefits areextremely valuable. Not only do students get the opportunity to understand howa business operates on a daily basis, they also meet a number of people withinthe industry. These types of networks can be one way to get a foot in the doorsomewhere in the future.
This won’t necessarily be applicable to all occupations butthere are several industries where an impressive portfolio is even morevaluable than traditional work experience. Obtaining a role in advertising,design, journalism, software engineering, video game development or marketingcould be made far easier with relevant examples of work.
A reporting role at a major newspaper will be likely filledby a graduate with a track record of published work rather than a someone withthe same qualification but no evidence of articles outside of their coursework.
Current students have greater access to educationalresources than any cohort before them. Technological advances have enhanced thecapacity for learning from home and on-the-go, with countless programs, materialand online courses available.
Software development hopefuls can practice various codinglanguages, marketing students can add a string to their bow with Indesigntutorials via YouTube and sites like EdX even offer a range of online coursesfrom powerhouse universities in the vein of Harvard, Dartmouth and MIT.