Advice on gaining work experience - straight from an employers mouth!

Carman Yates from Media Academy Cardiff emphasises the importance of gaining skills through work experience volunteering and placements to help you gain a job.

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Employability advice for Cardiff Met Students

Greetings to the fellow students at Cardiff Metropolitan University,


Whilst most of you are busy planning for your summer holiday, have you thought about investing some time into your future career? Please let me take this opportunity to introduce myself, my name is Carman Yeung Yates and I am the criminal justice student placement co-ordinator at Media Academy Cardiff. I would also like to use this opportunity to emphasise the importance of gaining skills through work experience, volunteering and placements.

I am sure most of you would be aware of the competitiveness in the current job market, I strongly feel that it is essential to gain practical experience alongside your academic studies. There are many benefits in undertaking a work experience programme, these include gaining practical experience in a professional setting, learning communication skills at a professional level and working in a team environment. The professional skills and knowledge that you will gain from the work experience programme would greatly enhance your employability when you are ready to pursue a career. 

For those of you that are not sure which career path you would choose after you graduate, a work experience programme would give you an opportunity to ‘test’ the different career options. As a psychology and education student, I had planned a career in primary teaching. I had to complete two separate placements during my degree with the first placement at a primary school. To my surprise I did not enjoy the teaching role, therefore as the second placement I chose an alternative option at a pupil referral unit. During that time, I discovered my passion in working with young offenders. After I graduated, I volunteered within the youth offending service which later lead to my first professional role working with young people within criminal justice. My story is just one example showcased the benefits of work experience programme’.

I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce a pilot project funded by the Office of South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner called 'criminal justice student placement scheme'. This new initiative provides a challenging placement opportunities for students studying on appropriate pathways (such as psychology or education) within South Wales Police force area. The aim is to empower higher academic students to become experienced and skilled practitioners, developing a workforce prepared to meet the many challenges in this demanding field. The students will gain an in depth knowledge of an operating and organisational context by undertaking authentic and stimulating work as part of their placements within host organisations. The work placements will greatly enhance the students’ future employment prospects. To ensure students on this pilot scheme have the best possible matched placements, all students and host organisations will undergo skills audits. Pre-placement training will be also available for the required students.


If you are interested in being part of this exciting scheme and would like to discuss further please do not hesitate to contact me via email

Thank you for taking your time to read this article and I wish you all a very happy summer.


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