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Career Options in Manufacturing & Production: Student

The undergraduate days may seem like they’ll never end and that the time for worrying about getting a job is an age away, but take our word for it, it comes around quickly and you should be treating you job hunt like a manufacturing and production process – long with different stages where you can’t skip important steps.

Opportunities available to me

- Internships and work experience

- Placement years

- Graduate schemes (applications)

- Postgraduate study.

Every undergraduate should be looking for internships and work experience. They provide you with extra skills to the ones acquired in your degree and make your CV look super impressive to future employers. Like the manufacturing and production industry job roles, internships come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re studying engineering you could try to get an internship working in a production plant, but if you’re wanting to be a fashion designer you could get a few weeks work experience at fashion shows across the country. It’s not the end of the world if you get an internship that isn’t with a manufacturing and production arm of a company either. You might want to get into marketing products and land yourself an internship in digital marketing, it’s nothing to turn your nose up at as it will provide you with valuable work experience and a bunch of transferable skills.

Placement years are an option to undergraduates too. It’s likely that engineering and similar degrees offer students this option. They’re a great way to get a year of experience in the industry and build up a network of contacts which could come in useful when you get around to looking for graduate jobs. You also get paid as during your placement year (oh yeah!).

You may want to consider graduate schemes too. These are usually for engineering roles but marketing, management and research graduate schemes are available too and usually pay a slightly higher wage than entry level jobs.

Postgraduate study is another option. Though you will have to fund this yourself or find a scholarship, courses are available in design, manufacturing engineering and even footwear fashion!

Deadlines to consider

Keeping to deadlines shouldn’t be an issue for anyone entering the manufacturing and production industry but we understand that juggling multiple coursework and dissertation deadlines is a tough task alone, not to mention keeping on top of rent and organising your next house party. However, a few more can’t hurt right?

Internships will have deadlines, often earlier than you think, and there’s no standardised deadline, so make sure to keep an eye out. Also, don’t expect to ring a company and ask about work experience a week before you want to start.

If you have the year in industry option as part of your degree, there will be deadlines to consider for this, such as applying for and confirming your choice of placement. Graduate schemes have very early deadlines due to the long recruitment process required because of the popularity of such schemes. These deadlines can be before Christmas and though it may stress you out trying to get coursework done along with a graduate scheme application, you can reward yourself with copious amounts of turkey, stuffing and Christmas pudding.

Postgraduate courses will have deadlines around April or March, though your chosen course or university will have lots of information clear on their website.  

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