by Marta Lungo

There are numerous stories about students being unemployed after graduating or getting an undesirable job ASAP because they need to pay their bills. My biggest fear after graduating was being unemployed for a long time. I think other graduates know exactly how that feels.

I am currently in a graduate-level job as a Brand Development Intern for Manchester Met for which I was lucky to be recruited into only two weeks after my graduation. I am keen to share how important it is to gain relevant work experience whilst at University and how small responsibilities have led me to gaining greater responsibilities. I hope this article inspires you to be pro-active whilst studying!

I knew that having no work experience meant having no money but looking at the bigger picture it also meant lacking crucial skills.

What to Consider:

Skills                            =  Work Experience
Confidence                 =  Are you confident in what you are capable of
Pro-Activeness         =  Are you getting involved in extra curricular activities?

Being a student taught me that I needed to think ahead and gain all of the relevant experiences I needed to successfully enter into the industry I was interested in.

I worked as a Student Ambassador whilst at university and I feel that this was my first step towards improving my CV. This provided me with the opportunity to add a number of skills to my CV, such as:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Confidence
  • Problem Solving Skills

I started my second year of university and the reality hit me that I needed to start applying for a placement. I sent over 75 applications and unfortunately, all the responses I received were unsuccessful.

After so many rejections, this is when I realised that my CV was not as good as I initially thought. The only way to change my situation was to gain more experience. After having a long chat with Careers and Employability, I started thinking far ahead and considered looking for experience in areas that were more relevant to my degree and the industry I wanted to get into. Steps I completed:

  • Researched local companies
  • Researched national companies
  • E-mailed companies and asked for work experience


As a result, I received positive responses from TK Maxx and a local modelling agency where I worked as a business support assistant. While at TK Maxx, I had the chance to work closely with several departments and on different projects, such as:

  • Buying and Merchandising
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Assisted on the photoshoot of their winter collection
  • Shadowed a business negotiation between TK Maxx and Puma

To finalise, Manchester Met Careers and Employability understand how competitive it can be to obtain a work experience, and our Careers Consultants are here to help and offer as much support as possible to students in every faculty. My final thought of the day is:

  1. Never underestimate your competitor’s CV
  2. Always go the extra mile for work experience
  3. Your experiences will pay off in the future – Guaranteedcapturehiuoh