Is Work Experience even worth it?

We’ve all seen the post-graduate job adverts that say ‘experience needed’ and you think; I’m fresh from my course, what experience do you expect me to have?! The answer? Some.

If we could make one thing clear to anyone currently studying or thinking of studying, it is that making sure you carry out some work experience during your course is absolutely VITAL. 

We see so many students that think just having a degree is enough, and sometimes it can be, but the majority of the time it is not. Having a degree can be so important in this day and age as it proves that you can commit yourself, are willing to learn, have the mental capacity to develop and have the skills you need for a certain career. However, with so many people working hard for a degree these days, having work experience on your CV as well as a degree is imperative in order to gain that job you are looking for. 

‘I don’t have time’, ‘I can’t be bothered’, ‘I’m focusing on my course and don’t want to take away from my studies’,  ‘I don’t want to work for free’, ‘I need to work to pay my rent’. Sound like you?

Well make time, get bothered. Work experience can enhance your studies giving you industry knowledge that can benefit your work, so think of it as adding not only to your skillset for after studies, but for during it too. Why would somebody get paid to do something they aren’t experienced in? Work experience gives you the real life industry training you need so don’t expect to get paid - you are still learning. 

According to a Survey in the UK by High Fliers Research and published in the Guardian:

‘A third of graduate vacancies this year will be filled by applicants who have already worked for their new employer as an undergraduate, according to a poll of 100 recruiters which underlines the increasing value of internships. The majority of employers said it was unlikely that an undergraduate without any work experience would get a job.’

At JMC Academy, we help our students gain the best industry work placement during their course to gain the contacts and skills needed for after their course. 

Just incase you aren’t convinced enough, here are some solid reasons why you should be doing work experience during your course. 

Building up your CV

One of the main reasons you would do work experience is to build your CV. It looks so much better having real industry companies when applying for a job rather than irrelevant part time jobs. It may even be only for a day, or a week, but whenever you use your spare time to gain experience in the industry, you are adding invaluable skills to your CV.  

Head of our Entertainment Business Management Course in Sydney Pat Maloney said; 

'In most cases when you go for a job, you will be competing against people who are similarly qualified as yourself. So given that level playing field, it is the extras in your CV that stand out! Extras such as work experience. As a person who sees many resumes come across my desk, the ones who stand out have impressed me by displaying three main things':

  1. Not too long, not too boring to read through and the right balance of a good layout, good balance of information, colour, and graphics, also I must be able to easily find and understand the highlights.
  2. A good track record developed during your studies including a reasonable balance of attendance, marks and attitude
  3. At least a few instances of impressive work experience or internships that are relevant to our industry'.

Finding out what you do and don’t like to work in

How do you know what you like if you haven’t experienced it in a real life setting? Work experience gives you the opportunity to try out various roles within an industry to get a great idea of the type of jobs you want to be applying for after graduation. 

The Austereo industry placement program, opened avenues that I didn’t know existed and it was great to see that there are other options for engineers apart from live sound and recording. It was an amazing opportunity to have available to me as a JMC student and one that I am great full to have been chosen, by our dedicated head of department, to participate. It was an invaluable experience that has helped me gain a greater understanding of my future career.’ - Georgia Colbourne, Audio Engineering & Sound Production student.

Get experience working in the real environment

Being able to talk in detail about working in the actual environment in an interview is indispensible knowledge. Whether it’s working in an office or on a real working set, you will gain behind-the-scenes tip bits that you may not be able to glean from your studies. 


‘80% of jobs in the western world are filled though word of mouth, only 20% of jobs available are publicly advertised’ – Ram Castillo on How to get a job in the creative industry.

It’s not always what you know, but who you know. Getting yourself working in the industry can get you key contacts that may be vital in gaining a role after graduation. Many of our students have gone straight into jobs after their course via the connections they made during work experience and through their tutors contacts. Demonstrate your passion and determination to the people you work with on work experience and they will notice and the majority of the time be happy to give you a reference or pass your details on to other people in the industry for job opportunities. 

Advice from previous students:

Be prepared to work your way up and to do the hard work it takes to be successful.  – Simon Lakeman Executive Assistant to the C.E.O of Sony Music

The best advice I can give to current students is to take any opportunity you can. Call people in the departments you want to get into and get yourself out there. Make a name for yourself and then opportunities will come to you. – Marco Mtchell working as a Grip Assistant on ‘The Divorce’. 

Try and get some work experience while studying. People with experience in the industry have a huge advantage that employers are seeking. Use it to try out different roles within the industry. The other roles weren’t for me but I found this and I really enjoy it. – Nathan Vision Switcher at Channel 9

lozza-(1).jpgDo the free work. Bring the coffees, drive around the slightly more important people, set up and pack down all the tables, because in the end that hard work will pay off and you will feel more rewarded in the end when you do make it.  – Lauren Thorpe National Events Executive JMC Academy.

The more experience the better, and you never know where an opportunity may lead you! - Georgia, Universal Music

So grab EVERY opportunity for work experience you can. Let yourself be known to your tutors and head of department that you are actively looking so that you get first dibs at any great opportunities that may come their way – after all, they’re the ones with the industry contacts!

Check your JMC Academy Course Facebook Pages as tutors often post great opportunities that you don’t want to miss out on!

To find out more about studying here at JMC Academy, Enquire now!

Two JMC Audio Engineering students talk about their work experience recording Lake Macquiarie Philarmonic Orchestra.