Before we talk about the tips for finding work experience, we just want to say quickly that any work experience you get in TY will be a great addition to your CV. We do CVs all the time and it really is great to be able to add in the work experience to your CV when you start looking for your first job. So yes, it is a part of Transition Year but it also is a great stepping stone to finding your first job!
Click on Careersportal.ie and search their database of opportunities and ideas
Check out TY.ie : a website aimed at Transition Year students giving great ideas on how to get the best out of your Transition Year including different programmes, CV design, work experience opportunities
Where to start finding your Work Experience
- Start early – try and start looking for your work experience as soon as your TY Co-ordinator gives you the dates for your work experience.
- The obvious place to start looking is in the Career that you want to do in the future. Find out the names and contact details of companies or organisations that operate within your chosen field and who can provide you with a worthwhile work placement.
- However, most people aren’t sure what they would like to do, so instead think about the things you are interested in – If you enjoy children or sport, then why not your old primary school. If you are interested in cars, then you might like to work in your local Car Showrooms? If you are stuck for ideas look on the website www.careersportal.ie
- Ask your friends and family if they know of anybody that works in an industry of interest and if they do, ask them could they mention that you are looking for work experience.
- Why not consider working for local voluntary organisations or community groups, such as charity shops, your local youth service, or for other ideas look at www.volunteerdlr.ie
- Think about people in your support network – they could be teachers, parents, uncles/ aunts, grandparents, friends – if you are having a bit of difficulty, don’t be afraid to ask them for help!
- Prepare a cover letter and your Curriculum Vitae, adapted to the requirements of the placement you would like to apply for. See below!
- You can also contact your local Youth Information Officer who would be more than happy to help you with the letter or anything other information you need!
Some organisations have specific TY programmes e.g.
- Garda Siochana: There is huge demand for work placements with An Garda Síochána, with limited placements available. However where they can, they will try to accommodate requests for work experience. To enquire about the possibility of getting a placement, please contact your local Garda Superintendent.
- RTÉ has a number of work experience placements available to Transition Year Students during February/March each year. RTÉ deals directly with the schools, not the students. Therefore, students should contact their Transition Year Co-ordinator for details. RTÉ does not offer work experience or internships. Please note that the Information Office is not in a position to deal with CV or queries in relation to careers in the media. The e-mail for RTÉ Human resources is email@example.com.
- The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland Transition Year MiniMed programme takes place annually in RCSI Dublin and RCSI Waterford and offers transition year students the opportunity to experience what it is like to train and work as a doctor. All sections of the programme are carried out by leading professionals in their respective areas with a wide variety of topics – including general practice, heart surgery, pathology, paediatrics, forensic medicine, transplants and obstetrics being covered during the programme. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- DSPCA offer work experience for transition year work experience or community service students. It is a great way to get hands on experience on the work they do and to see if working with animals in the right career path for those thinking about a future in veterinary or animal care – further details
- TY.ie list many other TY work experience programmes
Contacting an Organisation looking for Work Experience
Stop and have a think about how you are going to approach the company. It is probably best to have a letter/email at the ready (we can help with this!). In it you might say:
- Why you would like to work there
- Mention whether you are covered by your schools insurance
- How many days a week you are looking to work
- For how long, (a week, a month, all day, afternoons, etc.)
- Whether you have any computer skills
- The dates that you are looking for work experience
- Your strengths and why you are suited to working there
- Add your name and contact details to the letter
- Make sure that you have prepared for a possible interview!
Contact them early – don’t leave it until the last minute!
A follow-up email if you haven’t heard from them in a week or so
Don’t forget to ask someone in your network for support/ ideas if you are struggling to find work experience – they will be happy to help!