Work experience

Gaining any type of work experience, before, during and after university can only be a benefit. Whether it's through volunteering, course placements, vacation work, work shaddowing, pat-time work or gaining experiences abroad, this experience will help you to build your confidence and gain hands on skills that will look great on your CV.

Here at Marjon are are many ways in which we can help you gain that experience by talking to one of the Underground Team about your options. Work experience can help you road test various career opportunities that will assist you in finding the perfect job. Being reliable and having a positive experience in whatever you do can help you gain those all important references needed for most job applications.

For more information about work experience opportunities please use our UndergroundatMarjon Facebook page or email one of the team at Underground@marjon.ac.uk for further assistance.

Volunteering

Volunteering has always been about helping other people, but do you realise how much it can help you? Giving up your time to volunteer can be incredibly rewarding by helping you to develop new skills and gain experience that will look great on your CV. Volunteering prepares you for the world of work and dramatically enhances your chances of future employment.

Volunteering through Marjon works towards ensuring that every student has the opportunity to volunteer and make a positive difference in your local community and beyond through having access to relevant opportunities and receiving effective support.

For further information on local volunteering opportunities that will suit you whilst at University, please email volunteer@marjon.ac.uk or check out the Marjon Student Volunteering Facebook Page for the latest opportunities.

Here are some further links that will assist you in your search for volunteering opportunities:

 

Part-time work

The Benefits

Many students view part time work as simply a way of providing a useful additional income to supplement their student loan.  Any work experience enables you to develop essential transferable skills and enhances your employability to future prospective employers.  So, that bar job you took in the first year of your studies provides evidence of your “ability to work within a team, resolve conflicts and maintain high standards of customer service”.  If you have a particular career in mind, your choice of work could be used to reflect this.  For example, if your aim is to work within sport, a part-time post as a receptionist in a leisure centre would give you an insight into an aspect of the industry.  Part time work can also be a great way to meet new people and improve your social networks.

The Pitfalls

When considering taking part time work, you should be conscious of the impact that this could have on your studies.  Although your timetable of lectures and seminars may initially appear to leave you with time to spare, this is because there is a greater focus on self-study.  Beware also of over-committing yourself during vacations when you may have assignments and revision to factor in.  Outside work commitments are not an acceptable reason for absence from timetabled sessions and missed deadlines.  Employment that allows for more flexibility, such as jobs within the hospitality sector, may enable you to combine work and study effectively. 

Your Rights

Even if you are employed on a casual, part time basis, you are entitled to certain employment benefits, such as minimum wage.  If you are in any doubt as to your terms and conditions, you should contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Vacancy Sources

Part time vacancies are advertised in the same places as full time posts, such as local newspapers, recruitment agencies and websites and the Job Centre.  Additionally, there are several websites specialising in employment for students, such as e4s.  Keep an eye out for flyers, shop window advertisements and supermarket notice boards.

Speculative Approach

Many part time vacancies are not advertised, due to the expense that this involves.  Often, it is a case of ‘being in the right place at the right time’.  You can increase your chances of finding employment by ensuring that all your friends and family know you are looking for work.  If a vacancy arises, personal contacts can provide a useful ‘foot in the door’.

The direct approach can be a very effective job search method, showing initiative and motivation.  Arm yourself with an appropriate CV, i.e. not a ‘graduate’ CV, but one that focuses on your work experience and relevant skills, and be prepared to answer questions about yourself on the spot.  Make sure you dress to impress and demonstrate your interpersonal skills.  This type of approach works well for businesses connected with the service industry, such as hotels, restaurants and bars.  If this approach feels a bit too direct for you, you may be more comfortable sending your CV to prospective employers, with a covering letter detailing the type of position you are seeking and what you can offer.  It is usually more effective to send your application to a ‘named’ person and then perhaps to follow up your letter with a telephone call a few days later.

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