Work experience placements are becoming increasingly important for students to develop their own skills and competencies. The summer is a great opportunity to find a placement or a job to help you on your way to becoming a sport and/or exercise scientist. Start researching opportunities now, that way you will have plenty of time to look for possible placements and work experience.
The BASES Student Advisory Group has put together a guide for all students to help them get a really beneficial placement for the summer.
1) What do you want to do? It is important that you start thinking about what you want to do after you graduate. If you are interested in a particular aspect of sport science (psychology, physiology, biomechanics), then ensure that some of your placement will help you develop this interest and the skills and competencies you will need.
2) What groups of people do you want to work with? If you want to work in a specific sport (football, athletics etc.,), then get experience in these sports, even if it is as a coach or volunteer. Having an understanding of the sport and the type of athletes and individuals you might meet is excellent experience, and will help you apply for jobs in the future.
3) Research future career options: If you have some jobs in mind for the future, then try and research the kind of skills and experience that employers are looking for by looking at job descriptions. For instance, a physical activity promotion job might require experience as a fitness instructor. Gaining this kind of experience will be invaluable and will help you achieve that 'dream job'.
4) Be patient, persistent and realistic: It may take a while to find the right placement or job, so don't give up! Write lots of letters and make phone calls as well. Chances are that your effort will impress someone and they may be able to offer you some experience. It will be difficult to get experience with elite athletes - so research junior teams and local clubs that may be more open and interested in helping you.
5) Take your chance: when you do get it, don't relax! Make sure you work as hard as you can. While you are there make contacts, talk to individuals doing the sort of jobs you are interested in, they will be a great source of advice. Another good way to make the most of your time is to record what you do in a diary, this will help you keep a record of what you have done and help you reflect on your experience.
The following resources may be useful in searching for paid and unpaid internships and other opportunities for gaining early career experience in the sport and exercise sector:
Inspiring Interns are the UK’s leading graduate recruitment agency, connecting top graduates to the best employers UK-wide. Check out the sports section of their job listings for graduate jobs and internships across Sports and Fitness, with a focus on sports marketing and operations.
Internships and work placements with graduate-jobs.com are a great way to gain relevant work experience and skills. Sign up for entry level management roles across a wide range of sectors including sports and recreation.