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Cayman Parent | Articles | Expert Advice | The Importance of Work Experience

The Importance of Work Experience

In a highly competitive job market, employers look for candidates who show initiative and a willingness to work. For young adults transitioning into the workforce, it is more important than ever for your resumé to demonstrate a history of work experience that distinguishes you from other candidates.

Why Do You Need Work Experience?

Employers are increasingly treating their internship and work experience programmes as a means for hiring entry-level applicants, so investing your time in such a scheme is an investment in your future. Depending on what stage you are at in your education, an internship can either provide you with your first taste of invaluable ‘real world’ experience, or finetune your interests as you commit to pursuing a career path. For those students pursuing a career where vocational or technical training is required, there are a wide variety of courses available on-Island.

Finding an Internship

Caymanian students are lucky to have such a wide variety of work experience opportunities available to them which cater to various interests and skill sets. Many of the big law and accounting firms on-Island offer internships to students each year. These are usually advertised in the local newspaper in the months leading up to the summer break, but increasingly companies are pushing out their internship and work experience ads via social media. Smaller companies may also advertise their programmes in the paper and on their social media pages so it is worth regularly checking both. Alternatively, students can reach out to companies directly and inquire about their specific offerings. Whether they are advertising for an intern or not, they’ll appreciate the go-getter attitude and a position might just open up!

Application Process

If responding to a company’s advertisement, the application process will usually be specified in the ad’s fine print. In some instances, companies have their own application portals where applicants can upload any necessary paperwork. Usually, however, the process involves emailing a contact at the company with a cover letter and resumé. It is good practise to keep your resume up-to-date so that when it comes time to apply for work experience you have one less thing to prepare.

TOP TIP: Before leaving your internship, speak with your supervisor about obtaining a letter of recommendation. Keep in touch so that you can reach out to him or her down the line when you are in need of a reference. This is also a great way for keeping yourself on your supervisor’s radar, should any future job opportunities crop up.

5 Reasons Why Internships Are Important

(1) Real life experience. Understanding the soft skills needed in the workplace is an important part of developing a sense of professionalism. Work experience encourages skills in communication, problem-solving and teamwork to evolve, which are useful in any capacity.

(2) Networking. An internship is a great opportunity to meet and get to know professionals in your chosen career field. Take advantage of your time working alongside established industry experts and build deeper connections. Doing so can be very beneficial to your future career.

(3) Figuring out what you like. Trying out different things gives you a better idea of the career path you want to pursue post schooling. An internship can either confirm your passions, or, in the event that you didn’t enjoy your experience, confirm what type of job you don’t want.

(4) Build your resumé. Any experience gained is experience you can add to your resumé! Having a resumé that demonstrates professional experience can give you a leg up on any competition when applying for your first job out of school.

(5) Transition into a full-time position. Although not a guaranteed outcome, some employers will headhunt previous interns as they have seen first-hand how you fit within the company and have already invested time and money into your training.


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