5 Work Experience Ideas for Creative Students

Want a career in the creative arts? Structured work experience placements can be hard to come by in this industry, but there are heaps of other opportunities out there to help build your skills and knowledge. Whether your passion lies in visual arts, design, photography and videography, writing, or theatre, there are plenty of work experience ideas out there for creative students. We’ve found some you might like to consider.


Volunteer at an art gallery


If there’s a local gallery in your area, get in contact with them and ask if they offer work experience or need volunteers. Particularly when a new exhibit or show is about to open, they’ll often need a helping hand to get everything ready. You could find yourself helping with setting up exhibitions, promoting events, and interacting with visitors. This can provide exposure to a wide range of art forms and artists, as well as insights into the inner workings of the art world.


Write for a student newspaper


Does your school publish its own newsletter or magazine? Ask your teachers if there’s an opportunity for you to help write any articles, or if there’s a section for student contributions, put some of your own work forward. Lots of university or community magazines and papers also accept submissions from high school students, such as QUT’s ScratchThat magazine. Whether you’re interested in creative writing or journalism, this can be a great way to put your name out there and get some experience.


Volunteer at the theatre


It takes more than just actors to run a play. There are always heaps of people working behind the scenes to make it happen, and many community theatres run off the hard work of volunteers. You can always offer to volunteer and get some experience with lighting, sound, set design, or costume design. If you’re lucky enough to live in or around Sydney, the Sydney Opera House has a work experience program you might like to check out.


Offer your camera skills


If you’re handy with a camera, there are opportunities all around for you to build up your portfolio. Ask if you can take photos or video for your school at events like sports days or graduations. Find magazines, websites, and competitions where you can submit your work to show off (and maybe even win some cool prizes). If you know a professional photographer, you could even ask to spend a day with them in the studio or out in the field and see what a day at work is like for them.


Get design practice


Know someone about to start up their own business, or have a friend with a side-gig? You could offer your design skills to them and create a logo and branding, help them build a website, or create mock-ups of print material and merchandise. If you don’t know anyone, make up a brief or find examples online and see how far you can stretch your skills – or even start by creating your own brand! Either way, it’s great for helping you find your niche and get experience with industry software and tools.


With all of the above examples, don’t forget to add any work you’ve done (paid or unpaid) to your portfolio or résumé that you can show off to future clients or employers. And if you want more work experience ideas and opportunities, you can check out our website here.


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