Making the Most of Work Experience

Work experience is a common component of getting your SACE, but it’s also a really useful tool to help you develop a pathway for your future and build your experience and connections. You don’t have to have any idea about what you’d like to do in your career to benefit from work experience, but you will have to be prepared. After all, not much could be worse than arriving for your first day of placement and being stumped when they ask you a simple question like your name!

Here are just a few tips and activities to help you make work experience a valuable experience.

1. Do your research
Have a think about the employers that you’d like to work for, and the sorts of job prospects that different industries might have. Resources like the Course Navigator, Job Outlook, My Future and Job Guide can be helpful here.

2. Consider what you have to offer
All the skills and experiences you have contribute to the total value you can offer on placement. So why not examine all of your different components – work, study, extracurricular and your work experience as a whole. You’d be surprised at how all the different elements work together.

3. Start self-marketing
Once you’ve thought about your offer, you can start working on how you portray yourself to your potential supervisor. Your supervisor will want to know who you are and why you want to do your placement with their organisation, so get prepared with a few interesting facts about yourself and how you can benefit the organisation.

4. Be prepared!
Before your first day of work experience, make sure you’ve consider all the requirements of the week. Simple things like knowing the appropriate dress code, asking if any ID will be necessary on arrival, who will be your contact and what deliverables are required when you finish go a long way to helping you feel organised.

5. Exceed expectations
During work experience, every organisation wants a student who is punctual, engaged and makes the effort – whether that’s through taking initiative, dressing appropriately, and building interpersonal skills. Knowing this, you can do your best to exceed their expectations by arriving early, asking what is required before you start and learning how to work and communicate with the team. Show your eagerness to learn new skills, acquire knowledge and gain experience and every one will be impressed with your enthusiasm.

The next step…

With all of these steps covered, you will be well on your way to a stellar work experience. You should find your knowledge about careers expanded, and better yet, may even have a referee for jobs in the future.

Flinders University can help you in making the most of your work experience. Use our Course Navigator for potential careers and courses, ask our divisions about work experience opportunities, or speak to one of our advisers about the range of courses we have on offer and your potential pathway.

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