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Gaining experience

Transport and logistics

Undertaking work experience is invaluable in all-important transferable skills, which will help you demonstrate your motivation and commitment to this area of work.

The key skills required in this sector include: commercial awareness, organisational skills, analytical and problem solving skills, good communication, and people and project management experience.

Finding experience will take time and effort; employers receive many CVs every week so you will have to work hard to stand out from the crowd. You can find out more about how to create a targeted CV in our complete CV guide. The key to success is to prepare thoroughly, do your research and organise your experience in good time.


Types of Opportunities

Below are some examples of the different types of opportunities to gain experience while you study.

Placements will give you a long-term look at an organisation, and help you to build contacts and experience.

On some degrees, work placements are part of the programme, whilst on others you can choose to complete a placement as one of your modules. Should you choose to undertake either your first point of contact is your placement office in your Faculty.

Learn more about taking a placement

 Many students choose to take a Self-Employed Placement. This allows you to work for yourself during your placement year and receive support from the University's Student Startup Team. You will have access to funding opportunities, networking events and workshops.

Learn more about Self-Employed Placements 

It is worth considering the voluntary sector for work experience. Voluntary work with community art initiatives can be valuable. Seize any opportunity to get involved in local community projects to help you develop your work experience. Our Volunteering Bank provides local opportunities to undertake alongside your studies. 

Approaching local organisations, charities or community groups who would benefit from your skills is one way of gaining that all-important experience. The competencies developed will be invaluable and enhance any speculative applications you make.


Examples of support roles that the Volunteering Team have previously advertised and recruited for include:

  • Administration Volunteer with The Roberts Centre – assisting with a variety of administrative tasks, including data inputting, statistics collection and inputting and dealing with enquiries over the telephone.
  • Volunteer Coordinator with Citizens Advice Portsmouth – managing volunteers, agreeing work roles, individual duties and working arrangements with each volunteer. Coordinating the induction programme and training.
  • Workshop Quality Assessor Volunteer – monitoring the workshops delivered by the organisation, ensuring that the quality of the courses meet the required standards and preparing written updates to the manager of the programme.

You can also get involved in relevant university projects through the different groups and societies via the Student Union. This is a good way of demonstrating your motivation and interest in this area of work.

Learn more about our Volunteering Team

Internships are usually for a fixed period and give you more hands-on experience. Many employers will treat interns in the same way as full-time employees, so when future job roles ask for 'at least one year's experience' you can include an internship in this type of experience.

Formal internship programmes are limited but there are businesses that offer them. Think about small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who may well not advertise formal work experience placements, it is worth considering a speculative approach to enquire about possible opportunities to gain experience.

You can find internship opportunities through:


Be proactive and try to gather inspiration and ideas from the world around you: join industry clusters and attend networking events. This is a great way to meet people working in the creative industries and will help you with your networking skills. LinkedIn is a useful platform to network with sector employers.

Visit our LinkedIn Guide

You can also speak to your tutors about potential contacts and opportunities for work experience over the Easter period or summer vacation. 

If you wish to instigate voluntary work experience during the vacation periods please refer to the 'External sites' on the voluntary work experience section of our website.

How to approach employers directly

When you approach an employer directly, you send them a speculative application. 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

Placement Students Photos - Alan Johann Mayer

Tips to build experience

  • Do your research to identify large companies and organisations that offer work experience placements.
  • Think broadly and creatively about how you might develop relevant transferable skills, for example, volunteering in the organisation of an event for a University society will give you the opportunity to practice many relevant transferable skills.
  • Consider all roles that might give you some real-life related work experience: a manual job in a warehouse for example will give you an understanding of the process of getting goods from A to B, and give you some exposure to the management challenges this involves.
  • Be proactive and make direct contact with organisations that interest you and apply speculatively; send a targeted CV and a covering letter focused on why you are interested in them and why they should be interested in you.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile to network with sector employers – see our LinkedIn and Social Media section for further guidance.

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