Part-time work experience
Name: Lauren Harman
Course: LLB Law and Criminology
Year of study: Year 3
Part-time work: Team Leader – Lloyds No. 1 Bar, adviser – Citizens Advice Bureau
I work part-time as a team leader at a bar in Portsmouth’s city centre. Working there has definitely increased my employability – my swift promotion to team leader shows my aspiration in whatever job I do. As I have to ensure no breakdown in communication occurs between the bar and the kitchen and effectively resolve any customer complaints without undermining colleagues, it’s also given me the chance to develop my customer service and communication skills. Although I was fortunate to secure this job myself, Purple Door gave me useful feedback on application forms, which I’ve used when applying for training contracts.
The University also helped me secure voluntary work at the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and arranged an industry mentor. As an aspiring lawyer, explaining complex legal information and negotiating successful outcomes to often stressful situations for clients in my other adviser role at CAB has given me relevant experience. I’ve also gained experience shadowing my mentor, a criminal defence lawyer. The advice and insight they’ve provided about the pros and cons of taking certain avenues to my chosen career has been invaluable.
Placement work experience
Name: Joel Thomas
Course: LLB Law with Business
Year of study: Year 3
The University is well connected and visited by external companies, which is how I came to know about the year-long industrial placement at Toyota’s UK headquarters. In my data and business analyst role there, I collated dealership performance stats, interpreted them and fed them back to the relevant management team. As I liaised with people at different levels and worked on projects independently, my communication and self-management skills improved tremendously. I successfully applied the theory I’d learnt in my first two years and this has motivated me even more to achieve my career goals. It’s enhanced my career prospects, as I have a year’s real work experience at one of the top companies in the world. Purple Door was immensely helpful during the placements application process and now as I look for graduate programmes. Whenever I needed any advice, I just popped in to Purple Door and was always greeted by friendly advisers who were able to answer any queries I had. As a result of this, I am now able to take the right steps in securing the career I really want.
Voluntary work experience
Name: George Weeks
Course: BSc (Hons) Business Economics
Year of study: Year 2
Voluntary work: Chief Fundraiser – Shaw Trust, horticulture project
I work for the Shaw Trust, a national charity which supports disabled and disadvantaged people to prepare for work, find jobs and live more independently. Shaw Trust Horticulture Portsmouth, based at St James, Hospital, has created a garden and nursery there and provides grounds maintenance to public spaces and domestic gardens. I approach local businesses, rotary clubs, shops and restaurants, asking them for their support in raising £10,000 to equip and provide power to the project’s latest development – a new greenhouse. Purple Door found me this voluntary work, and helped me find my part-time job and target my CV to secure a placement for my third year. It also helped me identify several things I’d done in the past, which I’d disregarded as unimportant for my CV, but actually demonstrate skills employers look for. I fit my voluntary work round my studies and part-time job, so the experience has helped me focus on time management. I’ve also improved my problem-solving and communication skills through it, as I’m liaising with business personnel and devising strategies to secure donations. So, not only is it rewarding work, but it’s proved majorly beneficial to my employability too.