Working on your research can feel so intense that it can be difficult to see the value of fitting in placements and work experience opportunities. It’s more tempting to focus on the work at hand than to think about what will happen when the research finishes and how an employer may view your experience.
Some of the researchers we see talk about how their undergraduate experience means that they don’t need more experience. But if an employer were to ask about experience gained in the last three years, it may not seem such a valid explanation. In all circumstances, you need to consider what sets you apart from other candidates who’ve achieved the same level of education. Remember, if you’re going for a job that requires a PhD, then this will be the absolute minimum standard that every candidate will meet. What else have you got to offer?
Getting work experience will help with your career decision making. Even if you see your future in academic research, it’s useful to test your conviction. For anyone thinking about working in industry, experience is essential.
How we can help
The Careers Service can help you to find work experience opportunities, from exploring the different types of experience and showing you where to find advertised opportunities, to learning how to find and approach relevant organisations.
To get you started with looking for local organisations, try searching our North East Graduate Directory. These organisations have all had some sort of contact with the University, either through attending events or hiring students.
Newcastle Work Experience is a scheme which enables Newcastle University students to gain paid project based experience with a local company, during term-time for 100 hours, or over the summer for up to 10 weeks. Contrary to popular belief, these opportunities are open to PhD students and over the years we’ve arranged many successful and rewarding placements.
Need more help?
For more information about how to access help from the Careers Service, see our Support page.