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Careers Guide

How to run a great work experience day

Research shows that if a student meets 4 or more professionals before they leave school, they are 5 times more employable in the future.

At Uptree, we know that professional experiences help people succeed. That’s why we work with companies across the UK to provide inspiring work experience opportunities to the students in our network.

These work experience days help young people gain confidence, make connections and find out more about the paths they can take in different companies. But they don’t just benefit students - they can be hugely positive for employers, too.

Here’s our top tips about how to best support young people and get the most from your event. 

1. Timing

The date chosen for a work experience day has a significant effect on its impact. There are two main considerations you will need to take when thinking about timings:

  • Exams: Students are much less likely to be able to find time to attend your event during the exam season. Try and avoid these times to make the event more accessible for those who might want to attend. 

  • Applications: Work experience days can work really well if there is a next step that those attending can take. Think about when your applications are open and try and position your events for year 13s when they’ll still have time to apply. 

2. Content

Employers often have so much to offer it’s really hard to strike the balance between giving students the information they need to know whilst still finding time to offer them a great experience. The 3 best ways to strike a great balance are:

  • Online information: There’s often a lot on here so signpost what might be important for students to look up but focus on the unique information you can offer that they can’t find online. They’ll really appreciate your experience! 

  • Networking: Invite some of your team down during a break to informally network with the students. It’s a really great way to offer more information whilst still giving everyone a chance to practise their skills and grow their confidence. 

  • Activity: Students really want to know what work in your industry is like. When you have time for an activity, give them a chance to try their hand at something you work on on a day-to-day basis and get your professional feedback. 

Student activities WEx

Various student activities at Arm, Dentons & KPMG work experience days.

3. Volunteers

Young people are always so excited to engage with employees. It provides them with role models whilst also being incredibly informative. It’s also a really great way to engage teams in your company culture and community. Here’s how to prepare and engage your volunteers:

  • Lunch & learns: Uptree offers Lunch & Learns to inform teams about our partnership and let them know tangible ways to get involved. It’s a great idea to book one of these in to prepare the team for the day as well as increasing your volunteer sign-ups. 

Arm lunch & learn

Lunch & Learn with Arm at their Warwick offices. Read more here...

  • Agendas: Share a clear agenda outlining the day and what your team need to do. 

  • Speakers: Think about who is inspiring in your company and who has had an interesting career journey. These people always have a fascinating story to tell and students love to hear from them but obviously keep it age-appropriate!

  • Impact report: To keep your team interested, share the impact report from the day with them. This helps everyone see the results of their input and makes them feel included in the partnership - they’ll definitely want to volunteer again! 

Work experience days are a fantastic way to inspire the next generation of your company. If you’d like to host one then please get in touch with us to find out more.