Many graduates find that being able to demonstrate experience of the world of work, when coupled with an excellent degree from a respected university can help them to secure that important first job.
At Birmingham we will support you in securing work experience, internships and volunteer placements which can help you to develop personal and professional skills that are highly valued by employers. At the same time, you will demonstrate your commitment to your chosen career path.
Work experience and internships
A number of our schools and departments offer students the opportunity to take a year in industry as part of their degree. Alternatively, UK and European Economic Area students can undertake a year-long placement by requesting a ‘leave of absence’ from the University (particularly popular where year placements are not a formal part of a degree course). Careers Network can support you in finding a year placement.
We also support students wishing to undertake summer internships and part-time work experience. We run a new Work Experience Bursary scheme which provides financial support for undergraduate students wishing to take low or unpaid work experience during their summer vacation. These work experience positions should improve a student's employability and workplace skills to increase their chances of finding employment once they graduate. A panel of experts assesses competitive applications from students and selects successful award winners based on their application form and interview performance.
The University's Guild of Students has more than 150 different volunteering opportunities that students can participate in on a regular or one-off basis. You could support a local charity or voluntary organisation, one of 30 student-led volunteering projects or even set up your own project.
All volunteers registered with the Guild receive a volunteer induction plus advice, guidance and support before and during the period of volunteering. The Guild also provides specialised training including Child Protection and First Aid, and free Criminal Records Bureau (a requirement of UK law) checks to those volunteering with a Guild project.
Volunteering undertaken through the Guild of Students is also recognised as part of the Personal Skills Award (PSA).