By Savannah Hersov, University of Warwick.
Many students are daunted by the idea of securing work placements that are so essential to their career path. There is a myth, passed down from older students to younger ones, that first-year undergraduates simply can’t get internships. But there are other ways to find work experience.
Enter TrainE-TraidE, a Jewish charity helping young people to gain work experience in a variety of sectors (everything from banking, to law, to non-profits, to marketing, to business) in a non-judgemental and friendly manner. TrainE-TraidE engages with students and places successful applicants in work placements that are suited specifically to them and their interests. In 2013, TrainE-TraidE organised 170 work placements for students and recent graduates in 86 organisations across a variety of sectors.
This time last year I had no idea what I was likely to be doing in the summer. I wanted to do something that would allow me to gain an insight into a particular sector. I had heard about TrainE-TraidE from a friend who had secured an accounting placement through them, and who has since been offered a graduate position.
After applying to the programme I attended one of TrainE-TraidE’s assessment days and had a mock interview arranged by them. The interview was conducted by senior level executives and was a great opportunity to discuss my CV and the kinds of sectors I would ideally like to gain experience in (charity and non-profit) with industry professionals.
Following this process, a work placement was arranged for me with Jewish Care; I was also offered another work placement with JAM Events, an events company which organises a lot of fundraisers for charities.
Both work placements gave me an insight into areas that I would not have otherwise have been able to access. With JAM Events I was able to learn about the marketing and fundraising that is so important in the charity sector. I also had the chance to work in a team with other students researching potential ideas for future events both in the UK and abroad.
At Jewish Care I engaged with service users, interviewed them and wrote up an evaluation of a new project aimed at encouraging friendships among isolated elderly people.
My work placements last summer were a lot of fun and allowed me to learn more about possible future career options. I have since added them to my CV and they will help me when it comes to applying for future jobs and internships.
For any students or recent graduates who would like to gain work experience over the summer I couldn’t recommend TrainE-TraidE more highly![divider]
To apply for the summer 2014 scheme visit www.traine-traide.org.uk/careers/placements2014.php before January 31st 2014.[divider]