Ways you can engage our students in your workplace
Employers can offer a valuable contribution to the learning and development of our students.
Engaging students in short or long-term workplace experiences will help to build your brand and on-campus reputation with our students and potential future employees.
Some organisations are keen to engage with students in more informal workplace experiences, like job shadowing or workplace visits. These give students many of the same benefits as an internship, but with smaller time commitments.
Types of workplace experiences could include:
- Workplace visits
When hosting a visit, you are inviting students to experience a half-day or full day snapshot of what it would be like to work at your organisation. During a visit, you might take students on a tour, give them a chance to spend time with employees in a range of roles, and answer questions. Visits give students the chance to network in an industry where they hope to work, and are a good opportunity for your staff to engage with bright potential hires in an informal setting.
- Job shadowing
Job shadowing is similar to a group workplace visit, but connects a single student with an employee in your company for a half-day or full day. A student may attend meetings, observe the employee in their daily tasks, ask questions in real time and connect with the wider team. Spending a day observing a professional in their job helps students to gain a better feel for what the role actually involves day-to-day, and whether it is a career option they would like to pursue in the future.
- Work experience
Work experience allows a student to have a high-level introduction to an organisation/industry. Work experience typically last for 3-5 days and provide a student with an overview of your workplace. Students can engage with people in different roles, observe operations, and ask questions. They will not have an allocated job or project. The primary focus will be on learning about what your organisation does day-to-day.
Microinternships are short, full-time or part-time experiences which may last a few days to a few weeks. These are usually undertaken during mid-semester breaks, and involve students taking part in a specific, time-bound work project. This will help to develop their professional skills and make an impact on your organisation.
As work-readiness becomes increasingly important, students are turning to internships to gain experience and a competitive edge. Internships allow students to develop and implement their skills and apply theoretical knowledge in the workplace with supervision and structured support.
Internships come in many different shapes and sizes, but many students look for an internship over summer between their second and third year of University. Some organisations regularly offer structured internships that are crucial for developing work skills for students. Some students require a certain number of industry hours to complete their degree (such as those studying Engineering) or take papers that include a placement component. Others will opt to do an internship purely because they see the value it offers them. There is often a salary or stipend paid to student while participating in internships.
An externship is a formal, short-term, structured programme with CDES in partnership with a host organisation. Students get practical experience on-site at an organisation and usually have a focused programme or range of activities to complete during a 3-5 day timeframe. CDES can help you to develop a tailor-made externship that suits you and your organisation.
Getting involved in a volunteer activity helps students gain and apply the skills needed to build a well-rounded work life. Volunteering will also help bolster a student's application and CV while they contribute positively to society.