Accounting and finance student and a picture of a large corporate building

Gaining experience

Accounting, Finance and Economics


Getting relevant experience is essential since many employers recruit through internships, placement programmes, or work experience programmes, and overall boost your employment prospects by helping to build a network of contacts. Most of your graduate competition will have degree-related work experience.


Types of opportunities


Placements usually last between 6-12 months and can be taken as part of your degree programme. If you are interested in completing a placement year, speak to your Faculty Placement Office. 

You can also find placements opportunities through:


Learn more about completing a placement year


Internships may last anywhere between 2 weeks - 6 months. They are often completed during vacation periods. 

Internships are offered by many financial and economic services firms, including:


Learn more about completing internships


Enhance your prospects with hands-on experience through volunteering. Whether you're uncertain about your career path or aiming for professional success, volunteering offers a chance to explore diverse roles. Discover opportunities through MyCareer's 'Volunteering Bank', listing roles like

  • Assistant money tutor volunteer with Citizens Advice
  • Bookkeeper volunteer with Toucan Diversity Training
  • Funding researcher with Portsmouth Foodbank


Learn more about Volunteering

Diversity schemes

Unlock tailored work experiences with diversity-focused programs from major companies and financial firms. These initiatives cater to diverse backgrounds, empowering individuals who've faced challenges due to their identity. Designed for Black students, women, and those with disabilities, these programs enhance inclusivity, upskilling, and sector-specific exposure, bridging opportunity gaps. Popular schemes include:

Insight days

Larger organisations offer taster or experience weeks providing hands-on alternatives to internships. These include:

Some insight programmes are targeted specifically at first-year students or second-year students for those individuals taking a 4-year course.

There's a high chance that by attending these tasters, you'll increase your chances of securing an internship the following year as you'll have gained an insight into the company and potentially made contacts within the firm itself.

Speculative applications

Speculative applications involve sending a CV and cover letter to an employer to ask if they can offer any work experience, even if the company is not currently advertising placements or internships.

Submitting a speculative application shows your interest in a specific company and your willingness to go above and beyond to develop your skills and understanding of the industry. 

Learn how to send a speculative application



Building work experience

Learn more about how we can support you in securing experience and translating the skills you gain to future applications. 


Visit our work experience page

October 2019





Get in touch

Visit our career centre:

Rosalind Franklin East, 28 Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, PO1 2DD


Get in touch with us