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How to successfully gain work experience

18th December 2018

This article is taken from the the first edition of Y ME? (Your Music Education) , January 2019, written by Rebecca Rimmington. This newsletter hopes to provide young musicians and music enthusiasts with guidance on how to continue their music studies and advice for future music careers. Y ME? will be released twice a year and will be written by young people for young people. If you would like to contribute to the next edition then please email 

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After graduating from the University of Nottingham I embarked on an internship with Music Mark. Internships are a great learning experience and can bridge the gap between HE/FE studies and a career. In this article, I am going to describe the process of obtaining work experience and share why this is so important.

Job searching

Think about your skills and what you can bring to the table – this will help you to know what sort of job you would like to search for.

Keep up to date with jobs available, browse these regularly (daily/weekly depending on time constraints) and set up job alerts direct to your email.

A few useful places to start browsing for jobs within the arts: Music Mark jobs, Arts Jobs and Musical Chairs. Don’t forget to search in your local area. Make sure you take note of application deadlines and allow plenty of time to apply.

The application process

Ensure you have read the job description, so you understand the job requirements and tailor your application to this.

Think about the skills required for the job and why you would be the most suitable candidate.

Thoroughly check your application, ensure you include a covering letter and if possible, ask someone to give it a proof read before sending your submission.

Fine tune your interview preparation

Do your research, make sure you know and have understood the entire job description, know who will be on the interviewing panel and details of the company/organisation you are applying for.

Interviews should be a two-way conversation as much as possible. Ensure that you have prepared a few questions you would like to ask the panel. This shows that you are enthusiastic about the company/organisation and it is also your opportunity to find out if it’s the right place for you to work!  is such an important part of the interview as it shows your interest and enthusiasm in the company/organisation and how you will fit into the role.

Plan your route to the interview location and allow plenty of time in case of location difficulties/traffic/public transport delays.

Be confident, enthusiastic and most importantly smile – dress smartly, you want to make a good impression!


Applying for jobs is a learning process and it’s important to follow up your interview with the panel if you are not successful.

Most employers will be more than happy to provide you with feedback in an email or over the phone. Ask for feedback on why you didn’t get the job and how you can improve your technique for future interviews. Being proactive demonstrates enthusiasm. You don’t know when you might meet these people again in the future.

The most important thing to remember is to not give up! Applying for jobs is not easy, you should certainly not be disheartened if you don’t manage to secure a job straight away. You should use your interview experience and build upon previous feedback, just keep going!


Why internships are so worth it

My internship at Music Mark has provided me with knowledge of the music education sector and opportunities to learn new skills including: administrative and IT skills, including Microsoft and WordPress, event planning for the Annual Conference, communication and marketing skills such as launching the Music Mark Instagram account and this newsletter!

My advice to anybody starting an internship is to make full use of opportunities available, listen, learn and be proactive!