Get Experience

Nothing beats experience when you are applying for a job. But you might be surprised at the many ways in which you can gain that experience.

Here are a few easy ways to gain it so that you can build your CV, have answers to difficult interview questions and become work-ready.

Secure a placement - Careers

Secure your placement

Your placement year is the single most effective thing you can do to kickstart your career. Approximately one third of our placement students are offered a job within their placement organisation. 

Your placement year experience will get your CV through the first filter by employers. You have proven your reliability, your work ethic and your willingness to learn. 

Secure your placement>>


join a club or society

Join a club or society

Get experience while having fun. Whether it’s the Harry Potter Society or the university football team, employers like to see that you participate. Better still if you have a role in managing the club. 

Have you organised meetings, venues, events? Have you shown evidence of leadership, resilience or teamwork? These are valuable skills and experience that help your job application.

Join a club or society today>>

internships - careers

Apply for internships and insight courses

Internships, insight courses and holiday work, lasting from a few days to 12 weeks are a great way for you to get a taste of the career you are interested in and for employers to see if they might offer you a more permanent graduate position. 

Find out more>>

Road sign Careers + Placements

Summer Schools Overseas 

Taking part in a short study opportunity overseas during the summer break is a great way to experience new cultures, make new friends and add something different to your CV. 

Aston is linked to a number of partner universities offering Summer School Programmes.

Find out more>>

be a mentor - careers

Find a mentor or be a mentor

Join the Aston University Mentoring Programme. Here you can find a mentor and can become a mentor yourself. 

There are many benefits to joining the mentoring programme. It will build your confidence, develop your skills, help you to start building a professional network and even give you inside information on how to secure interviews and jobs.

Find out more>>

If you're looking for advice from industry professionals, Firsthand has got you covered. Connect with professionals who have been in your posititon and are where you want to be in the future. You can chat about your career aspirations, get feedback on your CV and even run a mock interview. 

Firsthand also has some handy resources to support you, including a library of webinars on a range of industry topics. 

Find out more>>

>>User Guide for Firsthand<<

Be a volunteer - careers

Be a volunteer

There are lots of opportunities to volunteer and, as well as the sense of personal satisfaction it brings, it is impresses employers. It demonstrates your willingness to work and shows you have outward-looking values.

The JobShop can help you find volunteering work.

Find out more>>

work shadowing - careers

Try work shadowing

Work shadowing is when you spend time with someone working in the career that interests you, to gain an insight into what’s involved. Formal, advertised work shadowing programmes are rare so it's up to you to make it happen.

This is where networking and speculative job applications come in. Download our speculative application resource for advice.

Find out more>>



Get a part-time job

Build experience and earn money too. It's great if the job is relevant to your chosen career but it doesn't have to be. It demonstrates your work ethic and builds softer skills that are relevant to every employer.

The JobShop on the first floor of the Students' Union, advertisies a range of paid part-time and summer break jobs.

Find a part-time job>>