Posted in: Career Guide, Guides & Tips

How Students Can Gain Job Experience Before Graduation

Many students usually see working a job as just a way to make extra money. We understand that money matters to you as a student. It can help cover some expenses that your parents, guardian, or sponsor may not always be able to cover. However, as a student, this gives you an opportunity to gain job experience.

This experience can help you become a more responsible and disciplined person, greatly improve your self-confidence, and teach you how to manage your money wisely. As you can see there’s more to working as a student than just making money.

With that said, the more significant value is the job experience it will definitely add to your CV, giving you an advantage when looking for full employment after school, especially these days when some employers demand up to 2 years of experience on a job even when the candidate is just a fresh graduate. Here are ways to gain work experience while still a student:

1. Gain job experience with part-time jobs

Getting a part-time job for students allows you to choose what time of the day to work. As a student, a flexible job routine is a very good idea, and if it pays well, you can also have some extra spending money.

This kind of job will likely not be obviously advertised, which means that you will have to seek it out.

Take time to check for small and medium-scale businesses, companies, and establishments around you that may need your services and give you that flexibility, and approach them with your offer.

While it is a good idea to look for part-time jobs related to your interests, don’t forget to consider less obvious options too, like serving tables at a bar. These can also teach you many useful skills and make you more versatile.

2. Vacation jobs for students

The great thing about working during school vacations is that the job won’t get in the way of your schoolwork. This simply means that you can concentrate fully on your job without having to juggle it with your classes. All you have to think about is doing your job well and improving your skills at it.

3. Internships, industrial training, or work placements

Internships and industrial training are good ways to gain valuable job experience in your field of study. A work placement is usually offered by schools as part of the degree courses a student must complete before graduation.

Whether you are paid or not, the important thing is that it provides an opportunity for you to have a deeper and more real-world understanding of your field of study and also provides a robust job experience.

If you do well, you might land a full-time job once you are ready for full-time employment after graduation.

Even if you don’t end up getting hired by the same company or establishment, you’ll still gain a valuable reference that can help you in your future job search. Not to talk about the connections with people who could potentially be your future coworkers or business partners.

4. Volunteering

Volunteering means offering your time and services to others without expecting monetary compensation in return. It’s a chance to enhance your current skills and gain new ones.

When you volunteer, you acquire experience, make a positive impact on the organization or community, and connect with individuals who may serve as reliable references for future job opportunities or even potentially hire you themselves one day.

5. Work shadowing

Work shadowing is a learning experience where a student or someone interested in a particular career field observes and follows a more experienced person in a specific job or profession.

During work shadowing, the individual “shadows” the experienced professional to gain insight into the daily tasks, responsibilities, and routines of the job.

Work shadowing is similar to an apprenticeship. Just that it is less structured.

The duration can vary from a few hours to several days or weeks, depending on the arrangement and goals. It could be an opportunity for you to gain experience and explore career options in a place where paid work experience positions are rare.

Work shadow opportunities are rarely advertised, so they are hard to find. However, having an existing connection with the organization of interest or having a mentor, relative, or senior friend who works in the organization can be an excellent way to arrange a work shadowing opportunity.

During a work shadowing experience, it’s important to ask questions when you don’t understand something and figure out some other important details by keenly observing.

6. Freelancing and work-from-home jobs

Freelancing and remote work have become increasingly accessible and viable options for students looking to gain job experience, earn income, and develop skills. This is because it is quite flexible and allows the student to work in his or her free time during the day or even at night.

All you need is a computer and a good internet connection.

You may have to use an internet-enabled phone as well. Most of the common jobs are writer, editor, data entry, virtual consultant, and customer service representative.

Another significant advantage of remote work and freelancing is the geographical flexibility it offers. As a student, you may be studying in one part of the world, but you can work for a company or clients located in entirely different regions or countries.

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