Student Guide - Making the Most of a Work

Student Guide - Making the Most of a Work
A Work Based Project (WBP) is a great opportunity to undertake an employer‐defined project and to place what you have gained from your studies into a ‘real world’ setting. It is also an important step on your career development journey. This leaflet sets out some of the points you should consider to enable you to make the most of the experience and to enhance your employability.
Before you begin your project
Prior to beginning your project it is a good idea to have worked out and agreed:
• Your expectations and those of your host organisation and your academic supervisor.
• Routes of communication between you, the host organisation and your university supervisor.
• Everyone’s roles and who is responsible for what during the project.
• What the final deliverables are and the deadlines.
• Any specific requirements of your academic programme.
Using a Project Agreement is a good way to ensure these points have been addressed and documented should you need to refer back to anything at a later date.
Make meetings useful
Whether you are based within the organisation or only meet them on an occasional basis, you will find yourself attending meetings. To ensure you use them to your best advantage:
• Prepare for the meeting – be prepared to take responsibility for the meeting.
• Consider what you want to achieve.
• Read the agenda circulated to others attending the meeting, or set an agenda yourself and circulate in good time.
• At the end of the meeting, check whether there is anything else anyone would like to discuss.
• Set a date for next meeting.
• Circulate action points following the meeting.
During your project
• Put your plans into action, learn about the industry and those who work there.
• Build good networks and maintain them. • Consider how you can present the experience to potential employers.
• Given what you know about yourself and what you can gain from this opportunity where will you go next?
• What goals will you set yourself and how do you plan to achieve them? Taking
• Keep a record of what you are doing and have achieved – it will be very useful later when you present the experience to potential employers
• What skills and experience do you bring to the project?
• What are the areas you need to develop further?
• Take every opportunity to talk to people and learn about their career path, the industry and organisation
• Get involved while you are there, eg. shadow meetings
• How can you use this time to enhance your employability?
Finishing your project:
• Ensure you have completed everything you said you would and provide the organisation with a copy of your work and final report or dissertation.
• Maintain the networks you have built up – share contact details and connect with colleagues via LinkedIn as these could be useful in the future.
• Reflect, review and evaluate the project – how do you feel the project went, what would you do differently next time? What went well? (you could also ask your supervisors for input to this review as well).
Further Information and Support
Your University Careers Service provides a range of services, including:
• Careers information, advice and guidance
• Career development planning support
• Advice on CV’s, covering letters, application forms
• Advice on attending interviews and practice interview sessions
• Psychometric testing
• CV checking services
Making the Most of Masters is funded by the Scottish Funding Council as part of the Learning to Work 2 initiative. It is a Scotland‐wide project which was piloted in collaboration for 3 years until 2014 by the University of Stirling, University of Aberdeen & University of Edinburgh.
Making the Most of your Work Based Project: things to consider
You can contact your local Careers Service at: University of Stirling Career Development Centre
[email protected]
01786 467070
For further information on the Making the Most of Masters project, and for resources and case studies of previous projects, please visit
A Quick Guide for Students
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