What is a Work Experience Course?
Work experience courses are challenging work opportunities related to your major or intended career that require you to reﬂect and integrate your college learning in the professional world.
The skills students develop through their work experience can be significant and can give them an advantage in their career field. A quality work experience focuses on the critical skills new professionals need to be competitive in the workplace such as problem solving, critical thinking, cooperation, and leadership. Work experience opportunities may vary a lot between career ﬁelds and employers. They can be paid or unpaid, part-time or full-time, and they can be completed during any semester.
What do I do Before I Begin?
Consider the following questions to make sure you are ready to start your work experience search:
- What do you want to learn?
- Where do you lack experience?
- What type of experiences would you like to have?
- Are you looking for a paid/unpaid internship?
- Do you have an effective resume?
- Do you have a cover letter based on the type of work experience you are looking for?
- Do you know the number of hours you are available to work?
- Are you willing to relocate for a work experience?
- You can never start searching too early. Work experience opportunities are competitive and have application deadlines. Spend time researching requirements for applying as well as knowing when the deadlines are so you can get your materials submitted in a timely manner. Ideally you should start searching for a work experience about 6 months before you want it to begin, especially if you are looking for an opportunity during the summer months.
- Work experiences can start at any time. However, many begin at the start of summer, fall and spring semesters. Start looking at least one semester ahead of when you hope to start your work experience!
How do I Get Started?
What a Quality Work Experience Should Be
What a Work Experience Is Not
- Professionally supervised on site
- A new learning experience
- Related to career goals and/or field of interest
- Evaluated by a direct supervisor
- Tasks that are repetitive or routine and unrelated to the learning objectives
- Unevaluated, unsupervised, or freelance work.
Finding a Work Experience Site
For additional resources on securing a work experience opportunity, be sure to check out these (Career Readiness Resources) and (What's Trending Now).