Work experience enhances the skills and knowledge gained throughout your degree, and in today’s competitive job market, employers are more likely to recruit graduates who have gained work experience alongside their studies.
Work experience it is a fantastic way to gain real life experience of working in a particular sector or role, helping you to make more informed career decisions.
For some graduate opportunities, previous work experience significantly increases your prospects of securing an offer.
Work experience can take many forms including part-time work, vacation work, work shadowing, voluntary work, placements and internships.
Read our Work Experience, Placements and Internships guide for detailed information on how to find and apply for work experience opportunities.
An increasing number of students choose to work part-time throughout their degree or during the holidays to fund their studies and enhance their employability.
Work shadowing is an informal type of work experience where you observe someone in their role and aims to provide an insight rather than hands on experience.
These opportunities are usually short term, unpaid and arranged through speculative applications.
A work placement will allow you to put the knowledge and skills you have gained throughout your degree into practice in the world of work.
The length of time spent in a work placement will depend on the sector and employer.
Some work placements are undertaken during holidays and last between one and three months, whereas on some degree courses you will need to spend a year in industry, this is often referred to as a 'sandwich placement'.
A sandwich placement enables students to gain graduate-level work experience with one or more organisations, over a twelve month period, as part of their degree.
Undertaking a sandwich placement is a great way to gain experience in the industry or sector you’re interested in, and develop the key skills and competencies sought by graduate recruiters.
An internship is a fixed or limited period of work experience offered by an organisation.
Internships are usually undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field.
Read the TARGETjobs Internships guide for detailed advice on how to secure an internship.
The University encourages all employers offering any student work experience or placement or internship opportunity to pay as a minimum, the national minimum wage.
Any compulsory work experience, placement or internship that forms an integral and assessed part of a programme of study is not subject to national minimum wage legislation and may be offered as unpaid. For example, Nursing and Teaching placements. (Should not exceed 180 hours).
If you feel that there is an unpaid opportunity that will benefit your long term goal, we advise that this doesn't exceed two weeks, and the University encourages all employers who are not able to provide paid work experience to provide travel expenses or other benefits in kind.
Work experience and internships that are available after you have graduated from University, must be paid at least national minumum wage in order to be communicated with you through University channels.
You can also apply for paid internships across the University in a wide variety of roles through the Manchester Met Graduate Internship Scheme.