This year’s Fair boasts over 90 employers from across different sectors, which means you need to have a good plan before you attend. Continue reading
Are you enrolled on a 4 year programme with a placement year or considering transferring to one? We have some key tips to help you plan your placement adventure before you leave for the summer
The 2016 Next Generation Award gives you the chance to win an incredible six-month tailored work experience placement shared across our sponsors Honda, JLR, McLaren, Nissan, Peugeot, and Toyota as well as a £9000 cash prize!
Autocar has teamed up with Courland Automotive & the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders to bring you this invaluable opportunity to get your foot in the door with some of the world’s leading car manufacturers and win the prestigious ‘Next Generation’ Award.
It’s held in very high regard within the motoring industry and is a fantastic opportunity for any engineering, design or marketing students interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry aged 17-25.
So what do you have to do?
“Describe an original idea or innovation that could improve the UK automotive industry.”
The idea should fall into one of five categories – Mobility, Connectivity, Sustainability, Customer Experience or Marketing and Communications.
For more info visit: http://www.autocar.co.uk/nextgenerationaward
This post has been provided by a third party – please read our disclaimer.
For those of you who are not familiar with Creative Access’s work, we are a charity that provides paid internship opportunities in the creative sector for young people from under-represented BAME backgrounds (Black, Asian and non-white Ethnic minorities). We aim to improve diversity within the creative world and address the imbalance in the sector by improving the chances of each of our candidates and helping them secure permanent full-time jobs.
Since launching in 2012 Creative Access has proudly placed 500 talented interns into the creative industries. By adhering to our motto, ‘Media cannot reflect society, if society is not reflected in the media’; we have generated hundreds of internships with more that 200 media partners across the UK in 13 sectors (advertising, book publishing, film, magazine publishing, marketing, music, newspapers, PR, radio, talent, television and theatre, museums & galleries).
Here at Creative Access, we make sure that our interns are equipped with all the knowledge and skills that are needed to have a successful career in the creative sector. Each of our interns is assigned a senior mentor at the company they are placed with. We also provide comprehensive training through our monthly masterclass sessions where they are encouraged to network with one another and our experienced panel of industry professionals. Our masterclasses have proven to be a huge success and have been hosted by the House of Commons, The Telegraph, the BBC and Google to name a few.
To date, 80% of our alumni have gone on to secure permanent positions in the creative sector. This fantastic achievement motivates us to continue our mission to ensure that under-represented communities continue to thrive in the creative world.
We are currently advertising a wide range of opportunities with companies such as Sugar Films, Google, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Harlequin UK, Radiocentre and National Theatre
You can take a look at our full range of opportunities here http://creativeaccess.org.uk/opportunities and register with us here http://creativeaccess.org.uk/register to receive regular email updates with our brand new internships.
A work placement/internship is a structured form of work experience often with a focus on a particular project. The duration is usually between 8 weeks to a year. These opportunities are often targeted at penultimate year students although on occasions there is graduate provision.
Work experience can be defined as a period of time spent undertaking projects and tasks in a work setting, these activities can enhance your programme of study regardless of whether it is an integral or optional part of your university experience.
On the other hand, work shadowing involves closely observing someone at work doing a particular role, rather than taking on a working role yourself.
All of these activities can be recorded as work related learning which according to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, are planned activities, which use the context of work to develop knowledge, skills and understanding, essential for the world of work. This involves learning through the experience of work, about work and developing understanding of practises and procedures.
The advantage of work shadowing is that it usually only lasts a day, giving you an opportunity to experience a variety of professions first hand, which could enable you to narrow down your career options. It is also easier for employers to organise and gives you a unique opportunity to gain a realistic insight into a profession and potentially challenge your current perception of what it involves. It also gives you the chance to ask questions to someone who is actually doing one of the roles you are currently considering, and formulate useful contacts.
You would then be in a good position to negotiate for a work placement/ experience with the organisation you have visited. By doing work shadowing you have demonstrated your interest in a role, which shows you are motivated and employers may only offer work experience to those they perceive to be truly committed. However should you decide that that type of work is not for you, at least you will not have invested huge amounts of time in exploring the role and you can learn from this experience when investigating alternatives.
It may not be possible, due to confidentiality issues to work shadow all roles or all aspects of role, especially in health or security organisations.
Work experience is usually carried out over a longer period of time. It can be a block placement over several weeks, or one day a week over several months. This allows you to get a more varied view of the job. For example in Finance, business demands vary over the year, with the end of March being the peak. Work experience gives you the chance to apply your increasing knowledge and undertake some of the activities that a profession demands. You learn by doing rather than observing, therefore, developing the skills that are needed in the workplace and gaining a sense of what it feels like to work in a team or on your own, and how your responsibilities impact on those of others. The levels of supervision would vary depending on your needs and the company’s resources, and in some cases you may be assigned to a mentor. It is a chance to gain inside knowledge and prove your potential which can increasingly lead to permanent employment upon graduation.
If you obtain your own placement/internship you may not be guaranteed any remuneration although some organisations will pay travel expenses and provide a lunch allowance whereas if you opt for a placement scheme, an allowance of between £150-200 per week is paid. For guidelines please refer to the Gov.uk article, ‘Employment Rights and Pay for Interns’ (https://www.gov.uk/employment-rights-for-interns).
The advantage of a placement scheme is that the employer is offering a well established programme and formal induction and mentoring are in place. For some companies at least 1 in five placement interns convert into graduate level employment. The remuneration is fixed so there is no need to negotiate.
Whether you are looking for work shadowing or work experience/placements, the principles usually remain the same. If you need to investigate a particular role, then work shadowing may fit the bill but if you need a broader overview of the world of work then, work experience may help to facilitate this.
There are two main ways of accessing opportunities: directly through advertised vacancies and indirectly which involves speculatively approaching organisations to see if they would consider you. Only 30% of positions are advertised, so it is well worth building contacts and making speculative applications.
Network: Make sure you make the most of any existing networks you may have eg. Family, friends, tutors, alumni and the Placement and Development Officers. Online networks such as Facebook or Linked In may help you with this.
Research: Source other contacts through professional bodies, chambers of commerce, career directories, and other general and company websites. Set below are some useful sites to get you started.
- My Jobs Online (www.reading.ac.uk/careers/myjobsonline)
- ratemyplacement (www.ratemyplacement.co.uk)
- Prospects (www.prospects.ac.uk )
- TARGET Jobs (www.targetjobs.co.uk)
- Step (www.step.org.uk)
- Milkround (www.milkround.com)
If a position is advertised then check the application process as for placements/internships some deadlines are early and can vary from year to year. You may need to complete online application forms, undertake psychometric tests and attend assessment centres including a formal interview. Research well so you match the competencies required. Identify experiences which elicit skills needed, keep to the word count, use active verbs and ensure your referees no exactly what you are applying for so they can highlight your relevant attributes. If you are trying to access the hidden opportunities then follow the steps below.
CV: You need to prepare a targeted CV. (See coaching information on I want to write a successful CV).
Covering letter: Write a covering letter outlining what you are aiming to achieve, address this to a named person. A letter addressed Sir/Madam doesn’t get you very far as it shows you haven’t done much research, and may imply that you have sent your details to a number of employers. If you get the basics right, then you’ll get better buy in from the organisations. Name dropping can also help, as if you say Mr/Mrs… from … advised me to contact you about … then this will give you immense credibility.
Phone call: Follow up your written request with a phone call, and try to arrange a meeting to discuss the possible openings.
Email: Follow up any meeting with an email thanking them for seeing you and outline what you agreed.
Beware, if the opportunity provider detects you are doing this to meet a module obligation rather than because you are really interested, they may not be so keen to co operate. On the other hand, if the module relates to what they are about, then they may be keen to assist you. Make sure you pitch it right.
Email the company to thank them formally, and follow up any action points that they may have recommended to you, especially if you promised to do them!
Keep a record of all your training responsibilities and achievements.
If you’re not gaining sufficient experience say so!
Enjoy yourself network and make new connections.
Take time to reflect and ask yourself the following questions:
- Would you like to do that kind of job yourself? Why?
- What would you enjoy most -and least – about a job like this? Do the positives outweigh the negatives?
- What were the main activities? Do you find them interesting? Or would they frustrate and bore you?
- What were the skills developed during your work experience? Which ones need further refinement?
- What capabilities does the job need? Do you have them? If not then could you develop them? How?
- What have you learned about the work place? What is the culture like? Were there any politics?
- How could you get into this kind of job? Where would you look for vacancies?
- Look at your optional work related learning modules and sign up if appropriate.
- Identify possible opportunities for work placements, experience or shadowing during vacations. Set up a blog, or get an old fashioned diary so that you can record and reflect upon your experiences.
- Refer to Experience works to investigate campus schemes and opportunities
- Check the Headstart programme on the SEECC website for presentations on writing CVs and finding work experience.
- Develop your networking skills at careers fairs see SEECC website for details.
- If you want applications checked, arrange to see a placement and development officer.