Posted by: clairebyron | March 28, 2014

Guest post: Work experience – or – Shy bairns get nowt!

In addition to our regular bloggers, occasionally on Careering Ahead we will publish one off ‘guest posts’ – this one is from Cassie Lawrence, Stage 3, BA English Literature…

My number one rule in looking for work experience – don’t wait for an offer to present itself. I have in my time literally pounced on a woman at a public lecture because I overheard her talking about working in publishing. Obviously don’t be cheeky or offended if they say no but don’t think you’ll be the first to have asked either. I got her email and then got distracted by my dissertation amongst other things and put it on the backburner.

Angry child

Shy bairns get nowt! Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

If I was to give a second piece of advice it would be not to do this! Don’t throw away any opportunity. If you do manage to get an email address then at least follow up with an email. I am now too nervous to email and remind her who I am as it was so darn long ago. I also think that just if a company is not your dream company, if you get the opportunity to do some work experience with them, do it anyway. You never know who you’re going to meet and even if it does turn out to be something you don’t enjoy, at least you’ve got something to put on the CV (and if you’re anything like me then you can cross it off the never-ending list of potential ‘dream’ jobs). Even one day volunteering opportunities can be spun into something substantial on a CV if you phrase it right, and what is one day in the grand scheme of things?


  1. It’s very true – to obtain work experience, sometimes you’ve just gotta put yourself out there. Here’s how to make the most out of work experience:

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