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Work experience, of any type, is a great way of boosting your employment prospects. Impressing in it could help you land a graduate role. Volunteering is another great way to gain valuable work experience. Whatever you choose to do, it is important you do your research first.
Internships and work experience vary from sector to sector and organisation to organisation. Many large organisations offer structured, paid internship programmes. Often these internships are only open to students in their final year of study. Applications for a summer internship usually close in the first half of the calendar year. A small to medium-sized organisation is more likely to offer a flexible and less structured internship. They may call these summer or vacation work rather than internships.
Securing an internship or short-term employment gives you the opportunity to:
Whether you apply for an advertised role or approach your preferred organisations directly, it's important to consider first the:
Do your best to be professional, display a strong work ethic, take personal responsibility and be friendly to everyone you meet. Impressing the employer during this time could land you a graduate role!
You can find a list of relevant websites in the 'Internships | Work experience' section of the Resources page.
Voluntary work shows an employer you're a responsible person who can commit to a project. It is a good way to develop your skills and gain valuable experience. These experiences provide you with great examples to use in job interviews.
When choosing volunteer work, consider the following points:
When you first join an organisation, even as a volunteer, you should be provided with an induction. This should include a tour of the premises and outline of the heath and safety procedures. It may also include:
If you're considering an opportunity to volunteer abroad, it's important to consider the reputation and ethics of the organisation, and the costs involved and how you'll fund them.
Many people have found volunteering abroad to be an enriching experience. But it is important you do your research.
As you research your options, ask yourself the following questions:
You will find a list of organisations involved in volunteering abroad and in New Zealand on the Resources page.
Page authorised by Student Services Directorate
Last updated on Tuesday 19 February 2019