Man wearing mask using a laptop

February 12, 2021, by Abigail Rowse

Work Experience, Placements and Internships in a Pandemic

By Chris Colegate, Careers and Employability Placement Consultant

In ‘normal’ circumstances it is competitive trying to find work experience. For many students in the current climate, it is fair to say this has become even more challenging. 

But – and it’s a big but – it is not all doom and gloom in terms of the work experience opportunities in 2021. Reports from the graduate recruitment market show that more than half of the UK’s leading employers are hoping to be able to offer in-person vacation work placements and internships this summer. In addition, the majority of companies are now experienced in moving provision to a ‘virtual offer’. This is likely to be commonplace for upcoming spring schemes.

What’s available?

Despite the ongoing disruption, employers are still very keen to offer work experience to students in their early years. After all, many of these successful placements lead to recruitment on to their graduate programmes.

Whether it’s for a year-long placement, a spring scheme or a summer internship, keep searching. You are likely to find there is still an offer out there with companies across the UK. MyCareer is an excellent source of vacancy information. In addition, check out external job boards such as RateMyPlacement, TARGETjobs and Gradcracker. You can find all these job boards and more on our sources of vacancies page on our website.

What’s on offer at the University?

The Nottingham Internship Scheme is long-established and will again this year offer a range of paid spring and summer opportunities exclusively to Nottingham students. These will be fully virtual in the spring and we hope to have in-person internships taking place again in the summer.

You can engage in a virtual overseas experience to build your intercultural awareness and develop a range of new skills. You could even be supported with funding from our International Work Experience Grant.

Postgraduate students can access paid placement experience through the Researcher Academy Placements programme.

Consider attending some of our virtual events such as our careers fairs and employer presentations. The Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair is coming up on Wednesday 3 March 2021.

Build your portfolio

Remember it’s not all about a formal internship or placement with a big company. Students have the opportunity to build a portfolio of work experience and skills in a range of different ways.

Online learning through University platforms such as magpie are a great way to develop new technical and transferable skills. You could also choose to undertake online learning and qualifications provided by external sources such as Google Skillshop or Codeacademy.

Unitemps, volunteering, and the Nottingham Advantage Award are all other ways to gain experience in a range of different settings.

Whatever you do will add value to your portfolio of skills and will support your applications and future career. Please book an appointment with one of our team if you would like further support with work experience, placements, and internships.

Posted in International Work Experience GrantInternshipMagpieThe Nottingham Advantage AwardVolunteeringWork experience