After learning from a recent survey that two thirds of employers look for graduates with relevant work experience, it’s now more important than ever to develop your job-specific skills – whilst discovering what you truly enjoy!
Personally, during my first year at university I had no idea what industry or job I wanted to go into – and that’s ok. Hence, I decided to immerse myself in societies like Enactus where I not only developed my personal skills through entrepreneurial projects, but also expanded my professional network. Within Enactus, I would work with local refugees in Birmingham, developing workshops to aid their employability, and I’m now currently working with autistic students to raise their confidence and awareness of businesses. These experiences have enhanced my communication skills by working with a variety of people and also conducting presentations in front of Business Advisors. Not only this, but I’ve managed to advance my leadership skills through taking up a committee position as Project Leader, which is not only an experience, but a great learning opportunity.
Also, I managed to secure a part-time job at Selfridges where I’ve been working for over a year, within the Designerwear Department. Working during term-time has meant I’ve effectively managed my time with various other commitments and learnt to prioritise accordingly. On a day-to-day basis I initially didn’t think my skills developed in retail could be applied to a professional environment, but they are definitely transferable; from conversing with customers, to building relationships and even solving problems. I would recommend finding a part-time job, whether it may be in retail or even working as a Brand Ambassador at university, which I do for The Economist. The experience and skills you gain and develop are invaluable in paving your future career path.
Going into interviews and assessment centres, I feel confident in my ability, especially having developed an array of personal skills – so work experience is definitely worth it!
Written by Zafirah Nurmamodo, Careers+Placements Associate