Work Experience

What work experience do I need to get my dream graduate job?

This is a question we are often asked. 

Many students have heard that they should get an internship if they want to get a graduate job – and it is true that work experience is essential to get noticed by employers.  It also enables you to develop your skills, prove your interest in the career sector and makes you workplace ready.

There are many forms of work experience that can boost your graduate job prospects. There are many ways to stand out to employers and learn about the careers they offer. 

Please read this whole section carefully.  You will soon get the picture that the longer you are without experience, the narrower your chances are of securing your dream job! 

It’s all about getting valuable experience – bridging the gap from academia to the world of work and proving you are driven, focussed and hungry for success.

Types of work experience to look out for:

School Leavers

Degree Apprenticeships

Not overlook when completing your UCAS applications.  A Degree Apprenticeship combines full-time paid work and part-time university study to offer candidates the opportunity to gain a full Bachelors or Master’s degree while doing a practical, on-the-job training. Degree apprenticeships are created by partnerships between employers and universities or colleges. Employers look to partner with universities to bridge between academia and the real business world.  With a degree apprenticeship, students can have the industrial context to excel from the start.

Degree apprenticeships can be a really exciting option to kick-start your career and are often over-looked by schools. Imagine getting a debt-free degree from a top university whilst being employed by a world leading company?

Finding the best degree internships can be time consuming if you don’t know where to start.  Book a Nail It! session to learn about our favourite Degree Internships programmes on offer.

Spring Week Internships and Insight Programmes

Many investment banking employers and solicitors’ firms offer insight programmes, sometimes called Spring or Summer Weeks, which are typically a short introduction to their work, and are aimed at first year undergraduate students. Some large graduate employers in a range of sectors offer Insight Days that work in a similar way.

Many recruiters regard insight events as the first step towards offering promising candidates graduate jobs, with internships as the next stage.  Importantly many students from these programmes are fast-tracked through the selection process, so securing one is highly valuable as it will make your future applications and job interviews a breeze!

Book your Nail It! session now where we will go through everything you need to know.

Note to maximise your chances of success on these programmes you need to start your preparation and book a session with us before starting university.

Careers and recruitment events

Learn about the best career events to attend, get tips on how to network and get noticed, book a Nail It! session to learn about the roles and employers in advance.

Internships, work placements and insight days

Internships, work placements and insight days play a crucial role in getting a graduate job. They develop your skills, strengthen your applications and give you insights into careers and employers to help you make informed choices. Some employers even fast-track their most impressive interns through their graduate recruitment process.

We offer invaluable advice on when to apply and how to make successful applications that get noticed.

Book here Nail It! 

Meaningful Gap Year

Book a Nail It! session to gather your ideas for gap years and even international internships that promise to boost your career prospects – we offer advice on how to plan your time out in the UK and abroad.


Did you know there is a growing trend in employer-led and sector related competitions with the prize being some kind of work experience? Some are aimed specifically for school leavers and first year university students.

Book a Nail It!  session here to learn more…

Extra-curricular activities

Learn how to get involved at university to strengthen your CV while pursuing an interest you love. Some companies offer employability awards and sponsorships.  The more committed you are, the more you’ll gain.  Don't forget to ask during your Nail It! session how to maximise your time at uni. We can brainstorm your options together.