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How to make the most of your time in work experience

The basics

As with most things, start by doing your research and asking questions to find out what kind of work you’ll be doing. Consider asking for someone to act as a mentor or supervisor so that you can get feedback and ask questions about the job and the industry in general.

Grab what you can

Most companies said that when placements make it clear that they’re keen for responsibility, they happily offer new opportunities. So take the initiative and be sure to take everything you’re offered, for example, additional schemes and training. Offer colleagues help, no matter the task, and make yourself as invaluable as possible.

Ask for what you want

Talk to your manager and be honest about your skills and ambitions. If there’s another area of the company you want to experience then be sure to make this known. If your colleagues are working on something you find interesting, ask if you can be involved. Of course, you need to be careful not to sound too demanding, and you must be prepared to do some grunt work or tasks you don’t find interesting.

Record what you learn

Use the IET's Career Manager tool to keep a log of what you worked on and what you took away from each task. This will help you in the future when you apply for jobs, and also a little further down your career when you begin to consider professional registration.

Ask for references

When your work placement is coming to an end always be sure to ask for a written reference from your employer. You can take this with you to your new position to prove your work ethic and dedication.