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Gaining experience: employers


Gaining experience can an important step in making yourself more attractive to potential employers. In this video employers examine potential opportunities available to students and graduates.

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  • RC = Rhonda Calder, Head of Fast Stream Marketing & Diversity, The Cabinet Office
  • HD = Howard Dawber, Strategic Advisor, Canary Wharf Group

RC: I’m head of Marketing and Diversity for the Civil Service fast stream programme and I’m based in the Cabinet Office but, in terms of what got me there, was really a series of work placements I did whilst I was at university and after. And networking, making contacts. The first contact I made led me to my first role, which I was really excited about. So I emphasise that work experience, volunteering and networking, absolutely critical.

HD: When you see a job and they say, you know, you've got to have some experience, you think, "Well how am I going to get some experience if I haven’t got a job yet?" There is a way around it and that is to offer yourself free. Offer yourself, do some work experience, do a couple of weeks' work experience, do a month's work experience. Quite often, people are happy to take you on for a short time to give you that work experience and that puts you one step ahead of where you were before. So that’s how I would do it.

RC: I’m definitely looking for someone who has got some prior work experience or has done some sort of volunteering or indeed has done something at university which is around extra curricular activities. What’s critical is someone who is flexible, driven and just really open to the possibility of continuous learning.


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