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Graduates are more employable with work experience

Like thousands of other graduates across the UK, a few months ago I found myself sweaty-palmed, panicking, and asking the question “what now????. The fear of not having that safety blanket student loan to live on pushed me into a part-time job where I knew my destiny didn’t lie.

I became incredibly thankful for the work experience I had carried out the previous year when it came to frantically searching for the PR career I wanted. It meant that I had directly relevant skills to talk about in applications and interviews, which eventually came to fruition on the Smoking Gun interview day!

I had spent three important weeks as an intern at Smoking Gun in the summer of my second year of uni. So when I spotted the vacancy for their first ever graduate scheme, I felt well equipped so applied. Luckily enough for me, the team thought I’d do a great job of filling that empty pair of shoes.

It goes without question that work experience helps you to stand out in your applications. It shows you’ve got the passion and commitment to actively pursue the career you’re striving for, not forgetting the wealth of knowledge you pick up just from being in the environment.

Having interned several times before making my debut as Smoking Gun’s first graduate, I also got to know what worked best for me. If you’ve finished university and aren’t sure which path to take, work experience is a great way to narrow down what you want from your career. Whichever way you look at it, work experience pays for itself when you’re feeling lost after finishing your degree.

Tips to get the most out of your work experience

  • Get stuck in – Sometimes you aren’t given the most glamorous jobs when you’re on work experience. But it’s important to learn your prospective job from the bottom upwards, so that you understand every cog in the wheel. Whatever the task, be happy to do it as a way of showing your enthusiasm.
  • Try everything – The best way of knowing where to start on the ladder to your career is by trying it. Be curious and explore your options.
  • Keep in touch  – Work experience is a great way to start making helpful industry contacts, especially in the communications industry! So it’s always worthwhile to take the time to build rapport with those around you. It’s also about being remembered, as well as your skills.
  • Looking for more advice on PR, social media, and marketing? Why not get in contact or submit a brief to inject a little ingeniousness into your brand.

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