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Work experience

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Work Experience - Tasters, Placements and Internships

In today’s competitive job environment, having work experience, and if possible relevant work experience, is going to be crucial for when you apply for graduate jobs. Some courses will require you to have relevant experience and even employers recruiting for non-graduate jobs will look for evidence of you having experience of a workplace. Statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that employers prefer to hire someone with 6 months of experience than a newly graduate that may have an amazing academic record.  If you’re not sure what sector you want to work in, rather than applying for a full time vacancy there are a variety of short term positions which may benefit you.  If you know what sector you want to work in, an internship or placement may be a valuable way to “get your foot in through the door” or see what it is like to work for a particular company.  You will benefit from work experience through both developing your skills as well gaining an insight into what a particular career might involve.  Graduate employers will often look at your experience as well as academic achievement and extracurricular activities.  You can document your extracurricular activities through the Bangor Employability Award.

Whatever you do, it’s very important to reflect on your experience. Think about what your job/task/project was, what it involved and what skills you used. This exercise is invaluable, not only to help you assess your skills, but also for when you come to writing your CV, completing application forms and answering interview questions where employers often ask for evidence of a time when you used a particular skill.

Work Experience Opportunities

Work Shadowing

  • Work shadowing are short periods (1 to 10 days) of unpaid work experience with local companies designed to help you gain practical knowledge of working in a particular industry or business sector.

Work Placements

  • Short work placements are a great way to undertake work experience in a chosen subject area.  The placement can last between 6 and 10 weeks, full time or part time and paid above the national minimum wage.
  • International students can seek advice about work placements by contacting or organising a careers appointment.
  • International Citizen Service is a UK Government funded programme providing volunteer placements of 10-12 weeks to 18-25 year olds and Team Leader placements to 23-35 year olds. It is a development programme that brings together young people from the UK and developing countries to volunteer in some of the poorest communities in Africa and Asia.
  • International work placements are also available through IAESTE.  The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) has over 60 years' experience in arranging international paid, course-related work placements for technical students in over 80 countries.  Registration for IAESTE placements abroad in 2016 is now open to students in Wales. 

GO Wales – Achieve through Work Experience supports students who are under 25 years old and who face barriers accessing suitable work experience by providing tailored work shadowing, tasters and placements.


  • An internship is a method of on-the-job training for professional careers.  Internships are similar to apprenticeships for trade or vocational jobs.  The internship can vary in length from a few weeks to several months.  Internships can be paid or unpaid, depending on the employer. Internships consist of an exchange of services for experience between the individual and an organisation.  Employment at the completion of an internship is not guaranteed but is sometimes possible.
  • The Skills and Employability Service offer a wide variety of internships within the department and in other University departments.  These internships are advertised on Bangor TARGETconnect.
  • We also offer periodical Widening Access internships within the University.

Graduate Programmes

  • Many companies offer graduate recruitment programmes.    These are highly competitive but a great way to enter a company and gain a wide range of experiences, often incorporating buddy or mentoring schemes.  Graduate Programmes are usually paid at a competitive rate and contracts can range from a fixed duration to permanent. 
  • A comprehensive list of Graduate Programme deadlines can be found here.
  • Prospects has a large database of graduate schemes in a wide range of employment sectors.
  • TargetJobs offers advice on graduate jobs and schemes, with top tips on how to get hired and organisational profiles.
  • KESS II Masters Research Project - opportunity to complete a fully funded masters research project.

International Placements, Internships and Graduate programmes

  • Entrypark offers a wide range of international internships, graduate programs and jobs. 
  • Gradlink- Specialist careers websites designed for African, Chinese, Indian and Malaysian students and graduates across the UK (although it can be used by any students interested in working in those countries). It includes jobs, links with major graduate employers, in-depth advice sections, and the latest news and events relating to the graduate labour markets across Africa, China, India and Malaysia.

General Advice


There are many places you can obtain careers advice.  You can come see a careers adviser, ask a question via ouronline resource or browse our website.  It may be valuable to look at some other resources as they may offer alternative advice or something more specific.  Here are a selection of reputable websites.

  • Prospects – offers a range of advice on CVs and applications, interview tips, job hunting strategies and more.
  • Target Jobs – offers general advice on all aspects of finding your perfect career.
  • Milkround is a graduate career resource with 100s of internships, placements, graduate jobs and schemes.  They offer useful online career advice for newly employed graduates and Q&A from other users or career advisers.
  • Allaboutcareers – provides careers advice for students and graduates.
  • RateMyPlacement - has a search facility for positions and jobs, as well as reviews of service providers and specific placements. 
  • Adzuna Graduate Jobs - has a graduate job search facility and information and statistics relating to graduate jobs.