Ways you can engage with our students in the workplace

Employers can offer a valuable contribution to the learning and development of our students.

Engaging students in short or long-term work placements 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 organisation visits. These give students many of the same benefits as an internship, but with smaller time commitments. 

Types of workplace experiences 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 also a good chance 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. They can attend meetings, observe the employee in their daily tasks, and ask questions in real time. Spending a day watching 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 future career they would like to pursue.

Work experience: Work experience gives students a high-level introduction to an organisation or industry. Work experiences typically last for 3-5 days and provide students with an overview of your workplace. Students can engage with people in different roles, observe operations, and ask questions. Students won’t have a job or project while on work experience, but will primarily be learning about what your organisation does day-to-day.

Micro internships: Usually undertaken during mid-semester breaks, micro-internships are short, full-time or part-time experiences which may last a few days to a few weeks. Micro internships usually involve students taking part in a specific, time-bound work project such as a research task, which helps to develop their professional skills and make an impact on your organisation.

Internships: 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.

Externships: 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 time frame. CDES can help you to develop a tailor-made externship that suits you and your organisation. Find out more about the differences between internships and externships

Volunteering: 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.

How to engage with our students

For more information about how to get started offering some of these experiences to students, contact us.