How to gain experience
From day one at university, it's important to think about how you can gain the skills and experience you need to make yourself employable in the future. For most employers a degree is not enough; they'll be looking for evidence of skills gained through other activities such as part-time work, internships, volunteering or involvement in student societies. Use the 'Year by Year' section of our website to get some ideas about how to get involved and develop the skills employers want.
Finding relevant work experience
If you have a career in mind, try to gain directly relevant work experience. This will help you to decide whether it is something you'd like to pursue in the future and be useful evidence on your CV. Explore opportunities for relevant part-time, vacation work and internships via the Looking for Work section of the Careers Service website, or try to gain experience via volunteering. Also, check out the Occupations section of our website for links to sites which may advertise vacancies in a specific career area.
Talk to someone working in a career area of interest to find out if they can give advice on finding relevant work experience. Find contacts via the Edinburgh alumni Connect.Ed database if you don't have any contacts yourself. Connect.ed can be found in the Careers tab on your MyEd portal - and you can search for contacts there by employer, job title, locations, and School (UG and PG). You can also use LinkedIn to find Edinburgh alumni working in areas you’re interested in.
But remember, it's not always necessary to have relevant work experience to be successful in entering a specific career area on graduation. Many employers are interested in the skills you have gained throughout your time at university. If you aren't sure then speak to a careers adviser.