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What can you learn from work experience?

Hi everyone, hope you’re having a good holiday! As term time gets closer, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on my summer work experience and try to persuade you to try to get involved too. You may have heard people talking about the value of work experience, and, like me, not thought much of it. It was only once I started my work experience that I realised how useful, interesting, and fun it can be!

I did my work experience at SOTI, an international technology company which began in Canada over 20 years ago and has expanded globally since. It helps businesses secure, manage and support their mobile devices. Earlier this year, it opened its brand new EMEA headquarters in Solihull, West Midlands. Fortunately I began my work experience when other employees were starting at the company, so I had the advantage of listening to the introduction presentations. This gave me a real insight into the company in terms of what it does and how widespread its products are. Did you know SOTI provides the software for a lot of big companies and its products are used all around us- for example in McDonalds! I also got an office tour and the opportunity to meet the staff who were willing to answer any questions I had about what their particular job entailed. I saw a demonstration of their main product, Mobicontrol, along with an explanation about how it worked, and had a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the recruitment process, showing the many different stages candidates have to go through before being employed. As well as learning more about different departments, I contributed to the social committee which focused on the wellbeing of the employees. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to experience life at SOTI; they treated me like a proper employee, issuing me with my own laptop and desk space.

I really enjoyed my work experience and found it very beneficial. It has inspired me to do more planning and research to find what career I want to pursue. I also recognised my own strengths, weaknesses and had the opportunity to improve certain skills, like presentation and communication.

I would recommend trying to get some work experience if you haven't already done so. Not only does it look great when you are applying for jobs, but it is an excellent way to sample different career options if you are not sure what you would like to do in the future. It provides the opportunity to speak to employees, ask any questions you like and get a better understanding of how a particular organisation works. Although some companies have set work experience programmes, I would recommend emailing those that don’t just in case they are interested in giving you a chance to get involved. Remember, companies are always looking out for enthusiastic graduates to employ!

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