Category Archives: Work Experience

Posts on all things work experience, placements and internships related. Including tips and advice from other Leeds students and graduates who have successfully secured opportunities.

Class of 2020: Leeds Exclusive Opportunities

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One recurring theme (or worry) of job applications and interviews is how do I stand out? In the competitive world of job hunting, what is it that sets apart one graduate from another? Luckily, as a University of Leeds student, you are endowed with a range of schemes and opportunities that can make you uniquely employable – or at least grant a singular experience of personal development that you will cherish forever. Here’s a full breakdown of what’s on offer just for Leeds students.

NB During the current COVID-19 period, university programmes are subject to change. All information is correct at the time of publication, but check the websites for each programme you’re interested in for up-to-date information. 

Leeds Internship Programme

The Leeds Internship Programme is an opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience at local Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), charities and multi-national organisations. The experience can be conducted as a placement year, summer internship or even part-time term-time work. All of the opportunities organised by the LIP team in the Careers Centre are paid, located in the West Yorkshire area and (best of all) only offered to students at the University of Leeds! Sign up to their weekly newsletter via MyCareer.

Included in this scheme are Campus Internships. There are several part-time jobs available by the university every year, which intend to give you valuable experience of working for a large organization like UoL while earning some money on the side. There are vacancies in Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, Building Surveying, Student Ambassadorships and more. Check the University of Leeds vacancies page, where the positions will be clearly marked, and read a blog from Natalie who is currently participating in one of them.


Did you know that around a third of students intend to start their own business? The SPARK team can help you grow the seed of a business idea, and nurture your entrepreneurial spirit. They provide; access to grants and funding to help you get started; events and modules to help you learn about setting up and running a business; careers advice to help you make business decisions and mentoring from alumni. The team are also run a Business Plan Competition each year, which gives you the chance to win a £2000 grant towards establishing your innovative enterprise.

For info on how to get involved, visit their page.

Leeds to Cambodia

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to undertake a challenging and rewarding project at a school in rural Cambodia. During July and August 2020 you will have the chance to make a positive and practical difference to the lives of other people as well as experience the extraordinary culture of Cambodia.  They need two Project Leaders and eight volunteers; Project Leaders will each receive a grant of £1000 and volunteers will receive £500 towards the costs of taking part e.g. flights and vaccinations.

Look out for applications opening again in December time.

Leeds to South Korea

Apply now to join our funded Leeds to South Korea Leadership Programme and develop your ability to lead from a truly global perspective. The programme gives you an immersive international experience, challenging you to adapt and thrive in a new context while establishing a genuinely global network. It equips you with the tools you need to lead change, now and in the future.

APPLY or contact

LinkedIn Learning access

All Careers Centre staff would recommend setting up a LinkedIn Account. It allows you to reflect on your experiences and skills, as well as discover job opportunities and connect with people in industry. (We’d recommend using the site’s alumni feature, where you can search for University of Leeds graduates and track their career path post-graduation).

But another great feature recently introduced is LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 15,000 short courses across business, creative and technical specialties. All students and staff have access to LinkedIn Learning through our institutional subscription. You do not need to have a LinkedIn account to access the content, but you can connect it to your own LinkedIn Account.

Go here for more info and to sign up using your Leeds Uni details. If you want to read more about LinkedIn Learning, we’ve got an in-depth blog post about it.

CSER8000 modules

If your department cannot offer you a work placement module in your third year, then this module (delivered by experienced staff at the Careers Centre) is set up for you. A work placement year is a great way to develop your skills and stand out to a graduate recruiter.

More info can be found on CareerWeb.

Mentoring Hub Schemes and The Leeds Network

The Careers Centre staff work tirelessly to establish connections with previous UoL students who have gone into interesting careers in a variety of industries. We then invite these alumni to participate in our eMentoring scheme; open to all undergraduates, the scheme pairs students with industry experts who can impart valuable knowledge and advice about professional post-university life.

Many of these alumni are also listed on the Leeds Network, accessible via Leeds For Life. This is a searchable directory of alumni from across the job market spectrum. You can specify result based on the subject you study, or the industry you would like to break into. Then, you can request to contact the alumnus to ask them questions and receive advice. This is a kind of unofficial eMentoring scheme.

Look out for other Mentoring schemes such as the PwC Female Mentoring Scheme for female students, the PwC Diversity Mentoring Scheme for BAME students (applications for both open in October 2020) and the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme, which features very high profile and senior mentors. Applications for this open in March.

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My summer internship: Marketing and Communication Department at EDF Energy

Carolina Fefer is a second year BA Management with Marketing student at the University of Leeds. Originally from Argentina, she grew up in Paris, finished her last year of school in London and came to study in Leeds.

Here she talks about her first work experience as an intern in Marketing and Communication at EDF Energy.  

One of the main things they tell us in the Business School (and they are right) is how much companies value work experience. You can imagine that having never worked before and listening to my peers talking about how many jobs they’ve had so far, I was thrown into a state of panic.

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Placement year at p53 – the highs and lows of working in Singapore

 Siri Place is in her final year of  a BSc Medical Biochemistry degree following the completion of a placement year at P53 Lab in Singapore.  Her story shows that although it is not easy to find a placement year, persistence, hard work and taking chances can pay off!


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Student volunteering – making a difference in the Leeds community

Second year University of Leeds Music student Rory Heron discovered the charity People in Action through the University Union’s Volunteering Fair in his first year and now works as a support worker.

Rory Heron (left) with Ruben Martini



Read how his interest in music and community work has led him to setting up a music project with People in Action and support from LUUMIC Leeds University Union Music Impact in the Community 


The charity- People in Action

I found out about People in Action and the support they provide for people with learning disabilities and autism at the University of Leeds volunteering fair. I decided to volunteer for this charity because I was eager to make a difference in the Leeds community during my time studying music at university, and I’ve always been interested in improving the quality of life of people with learning disabilities.

Volunteer to paid support worker

After engaging in voluntary work at various community groups, I was offered a paid role as a one-to-one support worker for an individual with a learning disability who was passionate about music and wanted to start a band. I assisted them in the process of communicating with some of his peers about starting a band, and once we found some people who were interested, we began meeting up and creating music together using the facilities at the university’s School of Music. The band were given opportunities to perform live at events that People in Action were organising, such as the Leeds Young Talent Show. The band received such a positive response from these performances, inspiring others to not let their learning disabilities get in the way of them pursuing their dreams.

Setting up a music project

It then occurred to me that I could set up my own community music project with People in Action that would allow young adults with learning disabilities to collaborate and make music together in a fun and relaxed environment. I realised that I could get volunteers from LUUMIC Leeds University Union Music Impact in the Community to help run the sessions, through my position on the committee. I discussed the details of the project with the People in Action office staff, university staff members and the LUUMIC committee about setting up the project. In September 2018, the project was officially up and running every other Sunday using the School of Music’s ensemble rooms. Since then, I have been recording some of the music created during the sessions and uploading them to YouTube as the Sunday Band Project

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How I got my placement: Clinical Psychology, Fieldhead Hospital


Bethany Temple studies BSc Psychology (Industrial), and has been on her placement with Fieldhead Hospital’s Bretton Centre in Wakefield for eight months.

Getting my placement

To be honest, I was completing application after application in the hope of finding some kind of experience within psychology, but at times they can feel like gold dust! I applied for this forensic psychology placement, not really knowing at all what forensic psychology was. I thought I was going to be some sort of criminal profiler; clearly I’ve watched too many crime series! I filled in their application, which I received through the psychology department, and sure enough got my first ever interview. I researched the hospital I would be based at before the interview, and came up with some questions about the types of therapy that are offered to service users. I also went to a mock interview at the careers centre, which I’d highly recommend. In the real interview, my enthusiasm for psychology clearly outshined my lack of knowledge on what clinical/ forensic psychology is, and I got a call the next day saying I’d been accepted!

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Volunteering with… Skelton Grange


Ruth Trainor studies Sustainability and Environmental Management, and has been volunteering with TCV at Skelton Grange during her second year.

I am the proud owner of a badge that says ‘Ruth – Volunteer Leader’. I wear this every Wednesday – when lectures don’t get in the way – and spend that day in the woods and grounds of TCV Skelton Grange.

My Role

It’s a fairly awesome day, to be honest. I arrive at 9am, having cycled for about 40 minutes along the canal. The first order of business at Skelton is always a cup of tea, accompanied by a short catch up with the other volunteers and staff at the centre. Once the mugs are empty, we start setting up for the day.

Wednesdays are education days, so the activities run from around 11 to 2. These education days vary according to the season and the needs of the school, but all of them are essentially about familiarising the children with being outdoors and piquing their curiosity about the natural world.

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How I got my placement: Digital Marketing Assistant at the University of Leeds

dan-how-i-got-my-jobDan Rhodes is studying BA Digital Media at Leeds and is currently undertaking a placement year as a Digital Marketing Assistant within the University’s Facilities Directorate. He found his placement through the Leeds Internship Programme, and if you’re interested in doing his role next year, it’s currently being advertised here. Closing date is 25th March.

My role

I am currently on placement as a Digital Marketing Assistant within the Facilities Directorate at the University. The directorate is responsible for areas of the University that you don’t often think about as a student – Estates, Residences, Sustainability Services and the Commercial and Campus Support Services which include the sports facilities (SPA and The Edge), the catering team Great Food at Leeds (GFaL), conferencing (MEETinLEEDS), print (PCB), cleaning and security.

My role includes a wide range of exciting responsibilities for all of these areas. Continue reading

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