What Can You Do to Gain Work Experience as a Student?

smiling college students

Earning a university degree is a great way to open up career opportunities. However, it may not be enough to land you a job you love after graduation — you also need to have work experience. Whether you’re able to work part-time or you only have summer breaks for seasonal work and internships, there are ways you can gain valuable work experience while you’re still a student.

1. Look on Campus

The easiest place to find a part-time job is on campus. Employers are aware you need to fit work around your classes and will create a flexible schedule that works for you.

2. Apply for Internships Early

The top internships are often competitive, especially those that pay well and are in a field many students want to enter after they graduate. To improve your chances, you’ll need to apply several months before the summer. Use a document or spreadsheet to keep track of all the positions you want to apply for along with their application deadlines and the supporting documentation you need to apply.

3. Head to the Career Centre

If you want to find a specific type of part-time work or are struggling to know where to look for internships, head to the campus career center. The staff will share job openings from nearby businesses, let you know how to hear about interesting internships, and even help you prepare for interviews.

4. Use Your Network

Another great resource is your network. This includes other students, your professors, and faculty members as well as your former employers and coworkers. Reach out to these people to ask about opportunities. Just letting them know you’re looking for work will ensure they think of you if they hear about anything.

5. Consider Various Opportunities

It’s important not to limit yourself just because you want to gain a particular type of work experience — most roles will enable you to develop transferable skills. Plus, you don’t just need to look for formal internships or jobs. For instance, supporting your professor with a research project could be useful and rewarding.

6. Join Extracurriculars

You can gain valuable experience while participating in activities you enjoy by joining extracurriculars on campus like clubs and organizations. Pre-professional clubs and elected roles at organizations will give you the chance to learn skills that will look great on your resume. If you’re not successful the first time, remember you can always try again later. Also bear in mind that other types of clubs may help you develop relevant skills, especially if they involve the chance to volunteer at events or in your community.
It’s important to live where you can easily commute to your job or other commitments and where you can relax after a long day of working or studying. This is easier to find in off-campus housing. Ottawa students can find a home at 1Eleven. Choose between a private room in a two- or four-bedroom apartment or a one-bedroom apartment just for you. All the apartments have a kitchen, living room, and furnishings to make you feel at home. Contact us to book a tour.

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