Due to social distancing and government regulations lots of work experience placements and internships have been cancelled across the UK, with some industries such as travel and creative media being hit hardest by coronavirus, causing funding difficulties.
Whilst companies may be reluctant to invite students to their offices in person due to safety concerns, lots have adapted and are now offering virtual work experience placements and internships where you can get all the benefits of a regular placement form the safety of your own home.
We’ve put together a list of current free virtual placements being offered by companies across the world on a wide variety of areas to help you enhance your CV and land your dream university place.
Architecture Work Experience
Halliday Fraser Munro
Halliday Fraser Munro are an award winning design practice offering architectural services and planning with offices around the UK. They offer two different work experience placements. The first is for Design, students will complete a task and learn how to use SketchUp.
The second placement is Technical work experience, students will complete a task and learn how to use Revit to design and construct a new-build.
Banking Work Experience
Barclays Bank is offering a virtual work experience programme called LifeSkills. LifeSkills simulates a day in a ‘digital transformation agency’ and helps you to explore the range of different jobs available in that industry, and learn what the bank does.
Citi Bank’s virtual internship is designed to help you build the skills needed for a career within a global bank. The internship program covers Investment Banking and Markets, and takes 5-6 hours to complete. On completion you’re awarded a certificate you can share with prospective employers.
Business/Economics Work Experience
PWC’s virtual case experience is aimed at students studying business, economics, maths, IT, and life sciences. The programme lets you tackle an audit case to experience PWC’s work, and gives you an insight into a career in audit, covering auditing, strategic planning, materiality, financial statements, fraudulent activities, and trade receivables .
Consulting Work Experience
BCG (Boston Consulting Group) are a prestigious American management consulting firm, and runs two virtual experience programmes for students.
The BCG Design virtual experience programme gives students the chance to take on practical tasks, similar to what designers at BCG do on a daily basis. The programme gives students an insight into solving challenges and how you can learn from BCG designers. The programme consists of two modules; Strategic Design and Experience Design.
The BCG Strategy Consulting virtual experience program gives students a feel for what it’d be like to work as a strategy consultant at BCG. During the programme you’ll complete a variety of tasks on different topics such as market research, data analysis foundations and modelling, client recommendations and understanding consumer needs.
Digital Technology and Data Work Experience
ANZ (Australian Company)
The Data@ANZ virtual internship program is perfect for students thinking about a career in data. The program covers exploratory data analysis and predictive analysis, and takes 5-6 hours to complete. You will also discover more about what a career in data could entail, build real skills, and gain access to exclusive opportunities such as hackathons.
The Cyber@ANZ virtual experience program is aimed at students thinking of working in cybersecurity. The program covers social engineering investigation and digital investigation and takes 5-6 hours to complete.
Engineering Work Experience
Microsoft’s Engineering: Asia Virtual Experience Programme allows you to discover the skills and knowledge needed to be a successful Engineering professional at Microsoft. The programme covers a number of areas such as business foundation skills, work ready skills (e.g. communication), and technical engineer skills. Successful completion of the programme results in a certificate, and if you decide to apply for a job at Microsoft your application will be prioritised for review.
JP Morgan Chase
JP Morgan Chase are offering virtual internships, there’s no application process, you can just sign up to take part! These self paced internships are available in Software Engineering and allows you to explore what life is like for software engineers working at JP Morgan. If you complete the programme you will be awarded a certificate of completion which will look fantastic on your CV or UCAS application. If you choose to then apply for their summer software engineer internship your application will be prioritized for follow up over other applicants who did not do the internship.
The Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Engineering Virtual Program only takes 2 hours but it equips you with lots of skills. During the program you’ll analyse results and propose policy changes.
Law Work Experience
Lots of law firms, including magic circle ones, are offering virtual placements and activities to get students thinking about how law impacts everyday life and specific circumstances.
Clifford Chance are offering online work experience programmes in Cyber Security Global, Climate Change Business and Human Rights. You can just sign up on their website and will complete tasks which get you to consider how to advise clients on these challenges, and to help you identify and evaluate like a lawyer.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Australian law firm Corrs Chamber Westgarth are offering a self-paced four module programme which covers Corporate, Commercial Litigation, Projects & Arbitration and Working at Corrs.
The Linklaters Virtual Programme allows students to sample the work that lawyers and trainees do every day, and gives you the chance to build legal skills and understand what a career at Linklaters would be like.
Linklaters also offer another virtual programme specifically designed for students aged 16-18 and those who are just starting to think about the world of commercial law. In this programme you’ll get an insight into how Training Contract works and learn about the pro bono work Linklaters does.
LEO Cussen are offering a virtual internship in Human Rights Law. The self-paced training will put you in a similultted environement to experience what it’s like to solve human rights and discrimination issues in a legal practice.
White & Case
The White & Case virtual learning programme gives students the opportunity to gain an insight into life as a White & Case lawyer, and allows students to experience the realities of cross-border law.
Latham & Watkins
International law firm Latham Watkins are consistently recognized as one of the most prestigious law firms in the world. They’re currently running three virtual experience programmes in three different areas to give students an insight into their practice.
The Mergers & Acquisitions virtual experience programme provides a great introduction into Latham & Watkins and the type of work they do. During the programme you’ll complete a variety of tasks such as reviewing an NDA, using AI and analysing contracts, preparing advice, and negotiating transactions.
The Emerging Companies virtual experience programme provides an insight into Latham & Watkins’ work and will help you to develop skills such as client communication, due diligence, and practice skills.
If you’re interested in white collar crime The White Collar Defense & Investigations virtual experience programme is perfect for you. During the programme you’ll complete a variety of tasks such as preparing for a witness interview and calculating potential prison sentences and fines using sentencing guidelines.
Explore life at RPC with theirvirtual experience programme and learn more about what life at a law firm is like. You’ll develop skills in legal research, communication, commercial awareness and attention to detail.
Infrastructure Work Experience
Australian firm John Holland are offering a virtual internship where you can complete real-life work tasks that the infrastructure (concrete and subtract), building (design and programme) and rail (design & installation and testing and commissioning) businesses face every day.
Marketing Work Experience
If the company you’re interested in doesn’t have any work experience opportunities listed on their website it’s worth sending a speculative email asking about any placements they may have. This is very common with smaller companies and marketing, PR, and media agencies. In your email attach your CV and write a short cover letter, this is your opportunity to say why you’re interested in working at that specific company, what you hope to learn, and what you can bring to the table. Mention specific aspects of the company you’re interested in, such as their charity work or any new campaigns. Hiring managers are more interested in applicants with a genuine interest than those with lots of work experience.
You can find the most relevant contact email address on the company’s website, often they’ll have a specific work with us / work experience page where you can find it. If the name of the hiring manager is not listed on that page, try to find out their name on the website or LinkedIn profile.
Medicine Work Experience
As medical work experience is often expected for UCAS applications, a number of organisations have put together virtual work experience to help students understand what a career in medicine would entail.
The Royal College of General Practitioners have launched a free interactive platform called Observe GP. You can gain an insight by observing general practitioners to help you understand the realities of medicine.
BBC IPlayer has put together a collection of short programmes exploring the work of Doctors, Nurses, and health professionals to help you understand what each role does and how different roles work together. Each programme focuses on a specific area such as A&E.
Brighton & Sussex Virtual Work Experience
Brighton & Sussex Medical School have created a Virtual Work Experience Course for students applying to medical school. You can explore the roles and skill sets of different medical specialists and consider some of the issues and challenges faced by doctors. You will learn about the NHS, surgeries, emergency medicine, mental health, palliative care, communication skills and helping elederly patients. The placement is completely free of charge, and you can just sign up and begin.
If you’d like to find out more about how to get medical work experience this year, see the Med School’s handy PDF which highlights the different methods and programmes available to you.
Teaching Work Experience
Due to social distancing in schools, it will be extremely difficult to find an in person teaching work experience placement. Your best bet is to first identify the skills and traits needed to be a successful teacher such as communication, organisation, flexibility, enthusiasm, empathy, and patience. Once you have a list, think about the different volunteering opportunities which would help you develop those skills. For example, volunteering at your local Scouts or Guides group will allow you to work with children and run activities like you would during work experience at a school. You can find vacancies and enquire on their websites.
If you attend a place of worship regularly, why not get involved with the youth group? These activities may need to be digital or outside and socially distanced, but they will still be valuable in helping you develop skills until it is safe to go back into schools.
You could also complete a really helpful and informative free course such as The World of Primary School Course online to give you a greater understanding of what a career in teaching involves.
Technology Work Experience
During Deloitte’s Tech Consulting virtual internship you’ll complete a variety of tasks in Technology Strategy & Innovation, Optimisation & Delivery, and Cloud Engineering. The tasks will enable you to develop your skills in critical thinking, value analysis, cost estimation, and planning.
Veterinary Work Experience
The University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham have put together a virtual work experience and exploring the veterinary profession course designed to help students explore the challenges of the vet profession. The free course course gives students an insight into the reality of life as a vet, and discusses the roles and responsibilities of veterinary team.