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Work Experience in London

Work experience in London So, you’ve decided you want to do some work experience , and you’re wondering where to do it. We’re here to explain to you why you should consider doing your work experience in London.

Firstly, the city. We’ve talked about this before , but let’s do it again. London is the capital of the UK for a reason – a thriving, bustling city bursting with culture and opportunity. Whilst the work experience is important, you don’t want to have a miserable time doing it, and working in London will mean you have access to a lot of interesting things and activities beyond your job. It’s also home to a whole host of major players in the world of work – from international corporations, banks and stock traders to publishing houses and offices of charity organisations. This makes it fantastic for networking, which is something you should definitely be intending to do whilst on your work experience.

Of course, there is one downside to living and working in London, and that’s the expense. Particularly if you end up with an unpaid internship, the living fees can be way above what most expect. In cases like this, commuting from outside of the city is a great option. As long as you don’t mind adding travel time on to your day then you can end up with much cheaper living costs. Whilst this is a downside, it’s one that you may be able to avoid, either by saving up, working a Saturday job in advance for example, or maybe you can find a family friend to stay with. If you’re really concerned about it, see what guidance you can get from your university.

Work Experience Jobs in London

So, what sort of work experience jobs can you get in London? Well, let’s look at a few:

Finance: Finance is a pretty broad area, and London is the home of a lot of it – particularly within the Square Mile. Whether it’s investment banking, accounting or something entirely different you want to go into, you’ll find it in London. Home to some of the biggest financial companies in the world, not only will you have chance to build up your reputation at a renowned firm, you may also end up networking with international offices, meaning you won’t just be set for working in the UK afterwards!

Example companies: KPMG, Barclays, Lloyds TSB

Charity: The term ‘charity’ is also pretty broad. If you’re doing work experience in London with a charity, it most likely isn’t in the field; but rather, in one of their offices. There’s usually a variety of roles available, from marketing, to graphic design, to fundraising. If your goal is to work in the charity sector, then London is a great place to start out making connections and building up your experience.

Example charities: Macmillan Cancer Support, Red Cross, British Heart Foundation

Publishing: London has a few major publishing houses, so it’s a great place to start looking if this is your intended career. Publishing has a wide variety of jobs available within in, such as sales, marketing, editorial, and publicity, so if you’re looking for work experience in London in any one of these areas, publishers are the way to go!

Example companies: Bloomsbury, Random House, Harper Collins

Science Research: London is home to some of the top scientific universities in the country, many of which have work experience schemes for those looking to move into scientific research. From pharmaceuticals to physics, there’ll be something here for you. This is especially useful if you’re unsure as to whether you want to go into academic scientific research or working for a business, as you’ll be able to figure it out having had experience of one.

Example companies/universities: Birkbank, London Research Institute, Science Museum

Fashion: If you’re looking to move into the world of fashion, be it designing or another role, London is a great place to start. Home to major fashion houses and London fashion week, you’ll get the chance not only to work for a fashion company, but to live in and make connections in one of the big cities in the scene.

Example companies: Vivienne Westwood, London Fashion Week, River Island

Museums/Art Galleries: Perhaps you want to move into working in a museum or art gallery – be it as curator, a researcher or some other role. London has a whole host of museums, from the well-known to the more curious. Work experience at these museums is often highly contested, but they’re so well known they will certainly work in your favour when applying for a career in this area!

Example sites: Natural History Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery

Of course, these suggested ideas are not the only work experience in London that you’ll be able to get, and if there’s something you particularly have in mind, then do your research and go for it.

For more on postgraduate careers, please see our section here .