THE SIGN OF APPROVAL
At Real World we know all about the real value of getting quality work experience, and it is not just graduates who benefit: the companies who offer placements are just as convinced of its worth. But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what some of the best-known brands around say about offering work experience placements, and what it has done for them.
‘At Virgin Engineering we are committed to developing students, allowing them invaluable experience of the excitement and pressures of business, and giving them the chance to apply themselves to real-life projects that will have a positive impact on the company. It is very rewarding, as an employer, to be part of this process.’
Simon Mason, Design & Standards Manager, Virgin Atlantic Airways
‘Our work experience scheme offers students the chance to make a real contribution to Controlled Therapeutics and become fully integrated into our business. Students come away with the confidence to enter the graduate job market in the knowledge that they have valuable practical experience on their CV. It is very rewarding, as an employer, to give students this opportunity, particularly when these students return to us, after completing their studies, to work full time’
Dr Janet A Halliday, Director of Research and Development, Controlled Therapeutics (Scotland) Ltd.
‘Work experience benefits the company by creating and utilising a pool of highly talented, flexible individuals, with the added benefit of improving relationships and profile on campus before our competitors. It also enables the students themselves to apply their academic studies in a commercial environment, thereby increasing not only their overall knowledge and skills but also their employability post-graduation.’
Rebecca Fielding, Talent Manager, H J Heinz Company Ltd.
‘We take work experience seriously at BBC News because we believe we have a responsibility to offer good quality placements to young people. We benefit because they bring us fresh ideas and insights and because it’s a good way of spotting new talent. Students benefit because our placements allow them to sample life in a busy newsroom and decide whether it’s the sort of career they’d enjoy. They can also make lots of useful contacts.’
Paul Deal, Senior Broadcast Journalist, BBC News
‘As all of the students work on real projects, the Extreme Blue Programme provides lasting benefits to both the company and the individual. The placement student brings with them fresh ideas and new perspectives that enable the company to drive forward and start up new projects using work experience projects as a platform. In terms of the student themselves, a placement at IBM allows them to showcase what they can do and to demonstrate their innovative ideas, with the opportunity for attaining future employment on our graduate scheme’
Matthew Whitbourne, Extreme Blue UK Manager, IBM UK
Allen & Overy
‘Each year Allen & Overy recruits 120 vacation placement students across Winter, Spring and Summer, and we look to recruit a high proportion each year to become Trainee Solicitors. The advantage of a vacation placement for the firm is that we get to know the students very well and observe their capabilities through the work they do, and projects we set. However, the most valuable reason for doing a vacation placement is the opportunity to experience first hand what a career in Law entails so that students can make an informed decision about whether it really is for them.
Caroline Lindner, Graduate Recruitment Officer, Allen & Overy LLP
‘The work experience programme benefits both the student and Sky News. Whilst the student benefits from first-hand experience in a top-class broadcasting environment, the company also benefits from the student’s energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas, producing a real win-win situation for all involved.’
Rob Kirk, Editorial Development Manager, Sky News
Blue Rocket Quote
‘Our long-term graduate work experience programme, on which we have at least one student at any one time, provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience around their studies as well as financial support whilst studying for their degree. We know how difficult it can be for a lot of students to gain useful work experience when they are studying because most companies don’t pay, instead we offer a decent wage and flexible working hours around their course timetable and in return our students bring fresh and creative ideas to the company which enables it to maintain a culture of creativity and innovation. We also offer separate week-long programmes to many more students on an ongoing basis. We all feel really proud of our work experience programmes because from the feedback we get from students we know how useful it is to them.’
Kim Stoddart, serial ethical businesswoman and founder of ethical media relations company, Blue Rocket
‘Much of AppSwing’s approach to the work experience programme is driven by my own experience during placements as a student. Therefore, I am aware of what makes a work experience programme beneficial to a student, as well as to the company itself. The work experience programme gives all students who work at AppSwing an opportunity to experience a real working environment. They are treated like a full-time employee and therefore are able to contribute as such. In terms of the company, work experience placements allow AppSwing to carry out projects or small pieces of work that they would not otherwise have had the capacity to undertake.’
Neil Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, AppSwing Ltd.
‘The programme allows both the student and the company’s current employees to learn from each other and share knowledge. This gives both the opportunity to develop their hospitality skills by working along side each other, communicating with each other and observing each other. Students benefit from hands-on experience of the hospitality industry, an experience which allows them to put some of their theoretical knowledge into practice. The company benefits as the students make a real contribution to the areas within which they are working.’
Jacqui Blackwood, Human Resources Manager, Apex Hotels