Guide

Work experience and internships

Updated on 26 May 2022

Learn why work experience can help you when it comes to applying for a job, and how to find a relevant opportunity.

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Why work is experience important

Work experience is now a necessity in many occupations and sectors, and a huge advantage in most. Sometimes it may lead to a permanent job offer.

You will gain a range of benefits from work experience, including:

  • developing desirable transferable employability skills such as commercial awareness, teamwork, verbal and written communication, project management, and IT skills
  • developing specific knowledge of a sector
  • finding out what jobs would suit you
  • finding out more about your individual strengths and weaknesses
  • developing your professional network of contacts

Types of work experience

Employers look to recruit graduates who have some knowledge of the world of work. Each opportunity, no matter how short, can help you build up a portfolio of experiences to impress future employers.

This work-related learning can be can be obtained from a variety of work experience options:

  • internships / summer placements
  • work shadowing
  • insight programmes
  • casual and part-time work
  • volunteering
  • industrial placements
  • University-based project work with external organisations

Learn more about work experience:

Internships

Internships or work placements are terms used interchangeably by employers to refer to short periods of work experience that they offer to current students and recent graduates. They can vary in length from a few weeks to up to 12 months.

Internships are a great way to gain work experience, develop your skills, and make industry contacts. They can be completed outside of your studies, during University vacation periods, or after graduation.

For some University of Dundee students you may be eligible to take our 20 credit level 2 Internship Module.

Where to find internships and placements

These websites will help you find information, advice, and adverts about internships, placements, and work experience. Some will advertise opportunities across all sectors, and others are sector-specific.

Advice on international work experience opportunities

Understanding virtual internship opportunities