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What have you learned from your work experience?

Tutors want you to talk about the paid and unpaid work mentioned in your personal statement.

Successfully completing work experience demonstrates reliability, and that you can see things through to the end. It is a good indicator of your work ethic, and shows dedication and motivation.

Jobs that relate to the course show an already established interest in your subject outside of school/college.

Volunteering roles may have more impact than paid work because they demonstrate a selfless spirit and care for others.

Model answer

Confirm the type of work you did, including more detail about the company you worked for, how you got the job if it wasn’t through school or college, the tasks you completed, and how well you integrated with others.

As far as university interviews are concerned, there are two categories of work experience:

  • Subject relevant
  • Subject not relevant


Subject relevant

Focus on any skills obtained that will be covered on the course. You could use them to reiterate why you want to take the course. For example, you have learned from working in a veterinary practice that you want to do a veterinary science course; or if you want to take a business course, working in retail confirmed your interest in how businesses are run.

Subject not relevant

Think about which 'soft' skills you developed, such as time management, communication and organisational. Then try to relate them to how you will deal with increased responsibility, coursework deadlines and exams.