Work can be incidental to your studies (and likely supports them in the case of part-time jobs) or integral to them. Such as when your course allows you to complete a placement or a sandwich year in industry, possibly with credit-bearing project work attached.
What is the Concept of Work Experience?
Workplace experience will supplement the academic studies by offering an external learning opportunity outside of the classroom. It will also equip you with the requisite expertise, skills, and personal characteristics that employers seek. Indeed, in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, even the brightest students have trouble finding jobs without previous work experience.
Work Experience and its Benefits:
There are several advantages of working, and we'll go through a couple of them below before looking at how some of them can be used as part of the learning process.
- It offers academic learning a new viewpoint and meaning and the ability to bring theory into effect.
- It assists in producing ideas for final year projects if they are needed as part of your degree.
- It provides an incentive to gain (occasionally – job experience may also be unpaid) and thereby pays off the debt.
Subjects to Analysis:
As you can see from the above, job experience comes with a plethora of learning opportunities. They can be grouped into the following groups in general. Willingness to appear self-assured – students can appear shy in college, which their instructors can misinterpret as modesty or fail to recognize if they perform good work. In the corporate world, however, hesitation may be misinterpreted as a refusal to participate.
Negotiation skills – for example, if you have competing goals or want the organization to help you achieve a learning goal in a specific way. Ability to comprehend and adapt to the workplace community, as well as the unique demands it imposes.
Academic knowledge Put into Practice:
Job experience allows students to apply subject-specific theoretical expertise in a real-world environment. You've learned how to use your critical thinking skills to analyze journal articles, textbooks, case studies, and lectures, among other things. Now you're in the middle of a real-life case study: how does it relate to what you've learned so far?
A good period of work experience will significantly improve your expertise, personal qualities, and skills, which will entice employers to recruit you, such as:
- Teamwork: You may have worked in groups on tasks in the past, but most workplaces are based on teams, and you must learn to work together with others and respect each other's strengths and contributions.
- Communication – you'll need to learn to communicate clearly and succinctly both in writing and verbally, and you'll need to be able to make fast points in meetings.
Organizational Abilities – the ability to communicate with people at all levels. Time management, planning, and organization – you'll have to learn to juggle several goals and work on multiple tasks at the same time, in addition to getting to and leaving work on time. Decision-making and problem-solving skills – you won't always be able to rely on someone to tell you what to do! It's vital to be able to take action on your own. Numeracy and IT literacy, as well as oral and written communication, are critical skills.
Increased Commercial Knowledge:
Increased commercial knowledge through a better understanding of management practices and how businesses operate. How are decisions are taken, and who has control, in particular? What are the most significant external factors influencing the company's products and results, such as clients and competitors? What is the culture of the business, and how do you fit in? Is there something you should be mindful of in terms of cultural differences?
Training and Creation:
A particular work placement helps you to learn more about your chosen area. New methods and business standards will be presented to you. You'll also have the opportunity to learn more about a field of work that has piqued your curiosity – is it anything you've imagined?
Do you want to work for this form of company or in this area of your chosen sector, or do you want to gain more experience elsewhere? Know that you will have access to professional organizations through your employer, and you should strive to attend their meetings.
Methods for Ensuring that Students Understand:
It is up to you, your boss, and your higher education institution to decide whether or not your job placement is a success (HEI). If work experience is required as part of your course, the HEI will have arranged the placement with the employer and will help you prepare your CV and find a suitable placement. It will help you have a better experience and ensure that the employment activities are organized around clear learning objectives that you should be aware of as a student.
Developing a Reflective Learning Style:
In comparison to a class or lecture, where learning goals are generally articulated, you will need to adjust to learning in an environment where learning objectives are not always made clear. Reflective learning is characterized as the deliberate process of evaluating and learning from what one has done or is doing, as evidenced by the ability to:
- Acquire experience from a variety of contexts, not just those in which you are being instructed.
- Explain what you've learned and how you'll put it to use
- Consider how the learning applies to other learning and, if applicable, from a theoretical standpoint
- Apply what you've learned to your personal growth
- Apply previously gained experience (e.g., what you've studied in school) to your job situation