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Cold emailing good way get non-paid work experience?

#1 Cold emailing good way get non-paid work experience?
28/03/2013 23:10


Hi guys,

Looking for some advice on how best to approach companies when trying to get work experience.

I am wondering if it would be bad form to search for consultants on LinkedIn and send messages with my details and an offer to work hard/long hours for free in return for work experience?

I will be graduating soon from a Russell Group Uni with a 1st class degree in International Relations and Japanese.

I have 9 months experience in Tokyo in a top-tier Japanese consultancy/think tank.

My A-levels are slightly weaker unfortunately, which will filter me out of many online applications I should imagine... hence my idea to network and get further experience...

Any suggestions/advice would be really appreciated!


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#2 RE: Cold emailing good way get non-paid work experience?
02/04/2013 15:45

marsday to dan7777 (#1)

Dan on the basis of what you tell us here, I think your plan is a good one, although it needs a few minor tweaks.

1st Class, Japanese, and 9 months experience in a top tier Japanese consulting firm shouldn't be traded as 'will work for food' per se. Yes do reach out to potential contacts, but dont offer to work long and hard for nothing more than the glory - this is both demeaning to what you have worked so hard to achieve, and a little unsettling to any self-respecting contact you may make. Belive it or not the people you approach are not going to be impressed with this approach (unless they really do relish the idea of having someone to sweat for free).

Better approach would be to make contact with individuals senior enough to give you an intro into the business, and politely ask them for 15 -20 mins of their time to get a better understanding of consultancy, their work, and why they chose x firm. Dont ask them for working experience, let them ask you - i.e. show them you are bright, proactive, useful to have around, and sure enough you'll get a few who will say you could be useful of my project, let me me make some calls and I'll give you a shout. Follow these up politely. But selling yourself short will impress no one. And they should be paying for the coffee. You are a penniless, but very capable, grad after all. They will be flattered you want their insights if you approach it correctly.

And while you are at it, dont focus solely on consulting firms, even if thats where you are convinced you want to be. A couple of years relevant experience in industry through a solid grad program will make you a desireable hire in due course, and those A Level grades will be forgotten.

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#3 RE: Cold emailing good way get non-paid work experience?
05/04/2013 19:13

dan7777 to marsday (#2)

Marsday, thank you very much for your advice. I can’t stress how helpful it is.

I didn’t think of things from that perspective… Your right, it would be selling myself short and come across as desperate.

I will definitely use your approach and do the best I can to focus on networking, finding out more about the industry, and hoping I make the right impression.

Thanks again for your great advice!


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