Are you a young person looking to start a career in the creative industry but are unsure where to start? Work experience is a fantastic way to get your foot in the door and discover which areas you really enjoy, and which areas you’re not so keen on.
How Should you Approach a Creative Company for Work Experience?
Here are some of our top tips for helping you to secure a work experience placement in the creative industry…
Do your Research
Take some time to learn about the company before you approach them. If you want to design video games, for example, there is very little point applying to get work experience at a photography company as it won’t give you exposure to the industry that you are looking to move into in the future.
Spend time looking for companies that will offer you direct exposure to the industry that you would like to eventually work in, or those associated with it. These can provide stepping stones towards your ideal placement.
When you do approach them, make it clear you have researched their company. This can be done by citing specific services or case studies they list on their website.
Always Do it Yourself
Whether you are fresh out of school or are still in education and looking to get some work experience, approaching a company for the first time can be intimidating.
However, no matter how tempting it may be to get your mum, dad, teacher or guardian to apply on your behalf, don’t. It will give the company the impression that you are either too lazy or lack the confidence to do it yourself. Not a good start!
One of the most important things you should learn from a work experience placement is to develop the confidence to support yourself. If you really want something in life then you need to go out there and get it yourself, not ask your parents to do it for you.
Not every company out there is looking to offer work experience so don’t be disheartened if you do not immediately get offered a position. There are many reasons why a company is not in a position to take on people for work experience at that point. For ourselves, our work schedules, staff holiday and confidentiality issues and available resources often mean we are unable to offer experience opportunities – it all comes down to timing.
There is no harm in asking for feedback from any companies that reject your application. Sometimes people will be happy to point you in the direction for improvement, others may even see this as you are taking initiative to learn and better yourself and even re-consider the rejection. This feedback can sometimes be as valuable as the work experience itself and will teach you valuable skills about how to apply to actual job roles in the future.
Keep applying and eventually a company will respond.
Enthusiasm is Key
When you actually get a response from a company that would be willing to offer you some work experience, the chances are that they are going to want to do a phone or face to face interview.
Remember you are not applying for a job. They are not going to expect you to be an expert in the field. The whole point is that you are looking to build experience.
The best thing you can do is show that you are interested and enthusiastic about the industry.
The creative industry thrives on passion and interest in the field. You can’t buy enthusiasm.
So, in conclusion, the most important thing is to make sure is that you keep at it. It may take some time to find a place for work experience, but it when it comes it will certainly be worth it. Don’t judge the whole industry on one company either, try to get experience from multiple placements.
While you are on your placement ask as many questions as possible. Network and learn from the people who are already working in the industry as you’ll get much more value out of the time.