Many of us want to get straight on the career ladder after we finish university. If it’s not to pay back student loans, it’s to start using what we’ve learned for the last three years. So it’s always a good idea to get ahead and look at some work experience while you’re still studying. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve created a handy guide on how to get work experience as a student.

Students can get work experience in a variety of different sectors, depending on what type of job you want to go into after university. Whilst there’s no guarantee you’ll get paid, any experience is a valuable addition to your CV, and it can put you ahead of the competition when it comes to job hunting.

Reach out

Paid work experience is hard to find at the moment as businesses take a financial hit, but there is no harm in contacting companies who operate in your chosen industry. Do some research into companies in your area and ring them or write an email offering your services. If you don’t ask, you don’t get! You could also speak to your university’s careers service; they might have ties with local businesses, and they could offer you a way in through their connections. They could also have part-time positions available that aren’t advertised online!

Take a look at independent companies offering opportunities for students, such as Studenteer or Unibeez.


Studenteer is a non-profit that was founded during the COVID lockdown. They match up volunteer students with local charities and mentors. Students are matched based upon their skill set and areas of interest; there are opportunities available in a variety of sectors such as business, marketing and finance. This is a great way to gain experience as Studenteer wants its volunteer students to increase their skills whilst supporting worthwhile causes and the opportunities are flexible to the student’s needs.


You could also consider freelancing as a way to develop your skills. Websites such as Fiverr and Upwork are popular sites for freelancing. Users simply create an account and upload a CV and a description of what skills they have. They can then apply for freelancing jobs or businesses can approach users. Freelancing is flexible as you can do as much or as little as you like and set your own prices. However, it can be quite hard to build up your freelancing portfolio and get attention off employers. It might be worth offering your work at a discounted rate or on a voluntary basis if you’re just starting out.

If you have some great ideas for making the most out of student life then why not contact Unifresher? We’re always looking for creative volunteer student writers, which can look great on your CV!

Consider university jobs

If you’re wondering how to find work experience as a student, try your university. Many unis advertise for research assistants, library-based roles, or student reps. These are great ways to build up your CV and sometimes get paid! You could check your student portal or have a chat with your university’s career advisor.

shadowing when thinking about how to get work experience about
Source: Pexels: Photo by Christina Morillo


Not always the most popular choice for work experience but a very effective one! If you know what job you want to do after university, contact someone already in this position. They might let you shadow them, which involves following them around for some time to see what they do. It’s great for getting to know more about the role as well as gaining contacts and networking!

Do your own work

Another way to increase your skills and get noticed by employers is to start your own projects. There’s nothing to stop you writing that blog or starting that Instagram account. Doing it yourself is a great way to hone lots of transferable skills, such as using initiative and time-management, which will look great on your CV! The most important thing to remember when you are hunting for work experience opportunities is to think outside the box. You are more likely to get noticed if you stand out and make yourself known! Even if nothing comes of contacting businesses, it is still a great networking opportunity. And if there aren’t any opportunities out there, get creative and make your own!


Unibeez was launched in 2021. It is an app that uses Artificial Intelligence to match students to jobs in sectors such as graphic design, coding, social media, translation and copywriting. Who knows, if you really impress the employer it could always lead to another opportunity later! The jobs are paid and require a commitment of at least ten hours per week.