Work experience is an essential part of making a decision about a future career. It can provide:
- an opportunity to see a possible career of interest from the inside
- a chance to discover more about styles of working: small and large businesses, jobs with high levels of ‘people skills’, creativity or pressure
- an opportunity to develop workplace skills that will be useful in all aspects of working life and will add value to a CV.
Work experience also strengthens applications for UCAS, Gap Year employment and, later, internship or graduate schemes. It is also essential for some careers such as medicine, veterinary science, journalism and the law.
Work experience can also take many forms, from spending a day per week volunteering, to a week of insight and work shadowing, or a longer paid role over the summer months or longer. Whatever the length of experience, pupils at Shrewsbury School are encouraged to gain as much as possible.
Fourth Formers are expected to engage in work experience during the Easter break, and if required, the school can provide support for locating suitable opportunities. This year group will also have the opportunity to engage in work briefs during the summer term, where employers will set projects for pupils to demonstrate their research and presentation skills. Sixth Form pupils are expected to partake in some type of work experience during their lower sixth to support future applications in the Upper Sixth.
The School is developing a range of contacts to service various popular areas of professional interest, such as medicine, business, finance and so on, but it is important that pupils get into the habit early of taking responsibility for securing a work experience that interests them. Pupils may benefit from the professional and social networks their parents have, but it is essential that they write their own letters of application or enquiry, and make the effort to meet potential employers themselves.
There is further information available in the Shrewsbury School Careers Guide entitled 'Work Experience’.