As the jobs market becomes increasingly competitive, relevant experience is critical. Most employers will expect students to have gained some form of tangible experience throughout their College years.
Experience takes many forms be it involvement in clubs and societies, community work, paid or unpaid work, an internship as part of your degree course, a structured work experience with a large employer or a short period of work shadowing negotiated by you with an employer.
Benefits of getting work experience:
In your JS year we therefore would encourage you to get career related work experience/internships. The Trinity Work Experience & Internships programme aims to provide you with these opportunities.
You can find work experience and internship vacancies advertised at the Careers Advisory Service's vacancy website. You'll need your TCD username and password to access this site. You'll receive an email entitled "Work Experience & Internship Positions received this week" every Friday in your Junior Sophister year.
Structured work experience programmes where students receive supervised, practical experience in a career-related area. Internships usually last between 8 and 12 weeks and are a great way of helping you to clarify your future career path.
More and more students are going abroad during the summer months. There are a number of programmes in place to help you to identify career-related vacancies. BUNAC offers programmes such as Summer Camp USA, KAMP USA and Work Canada.
ALL work can provide learning opportunities. You can gain valuable transferable skills in any type of part-time work, including business awareness, time-management and organisational skills. Use the Careers Advisory Service to help you to articulate your experience effectively in your applications and at interview.
This can also be extremely valuable experience. Either by setting up your own small business (with an innovative idea and a little capital), or by gaining some very hands on responsibility with an existing small business.
Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) UREKA (Undergraduate Research Experience and Knowledge Award) programme supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by Science Foundation Ireland. For a list of research projects currently available please visit the SFI website.
Voluntary work often involves greater variety and responsibility than in a paid job. It is a super way of getting valuable work experience and building up critical skills relevant to any job.
There are specifically designed volunteer projects which often take place during the summer months. Although they are voluntary, you will probably have to pay for your own flights and some additional administration costs. Some companies offering these programmes include: BUNAC, Comhlámh, USIT, i-to-i, Azafady, Volunteer Abroad, EIL Intercultural Learning, NGOabroad and Lattitude.
Ernst & Young sponsor an Essay Competition, which encourages Senior Sophister students to reflect on the skills they gained during their summer work experience and to identify how these skills would assist them in both their final year of studies and in future job-seeking activities. First prize in this competition is €250 and second prize is €150. The 2011/12 winner was Robert Conway-Kenny (Chemistry)
Take a look through our sector-specific Occupational Surveys:
Listen to some employer comments on work experience:
Paul Vance, Head of Resourcing at KPMG and Colm Cunningham, Head of Fund Accounting with Bank of New York Mellon.
|Options Junior Sophister Newsletter|
|Networking (personal contacts) as many jobs are not advertised. It really, really pays to make use of existing contacts you might have. See "Networking" in the Resources section of this website.|
|Use Your Vacations: www.tcd.ie/Careers/resources/use_your_vacations.php|
|AIESEC (www.aiesec.org) International student society organising exchange programmes and traineeships.|
|Careersportal.ie (www.careersportal.ie) Database of generic job descriptions (including many video case studies), the current state of the labour market and how to get into the area.|
|Career Insider: www.tcd.ie/Careers/vaultlibrary/index.php|
|Going Global: www.tcd.ie/Careers/goinglobal|
|Gradcracker: www.gradcracker.com (for Engineering students). Search work placements.|
|Gradireland: www.gradireland.com. Select Work Experience tab|
|IAESTE Programme (www.iaeste.org) for the Engineering / Science / Architecture and IT faculties of the College.|
|Prospects: www.prospects.ac.uk. Select Jobs & Work Experience tab|
Pick up some hard-copy publications from the Careers Advisory Service in 7-9 South Leinster St.
Don't forget your Options Junior Sophister Newsletter!
See also: Useful Publications