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Medical student at James Alexander Medical Practice, Hull

Summer jobs: Making the most of the experience

Working this summer?

If you are working over the summer holiday, your experience can really benefit your application and interview to medical school.

Whatever experience you have, you want to make sure you are making the most of your opportunity and reflect on it effectively.

Below, some of our current Medicine students reflect on their summer jobs, and how it helped them apply to medical school.

Charlotte Peacock

Charlotte Peacock - Year 1

Year 1

I worked as a sports cardiology administrator. I was in charge of coordinating and organising the admin for heart screenings for athletes.

It was an amazing experience and helped me learn to communicate with patients, even learning about how to perform and interpret ECGs and see interesting rare illnesses.

It really improved my confidence and furthered my interest and passion for Medicine.

My tip is to find a volunteering experience or a job that interests you, any person facing role can be extremely helpful and rewarding. Having insight into people’s lives, feelings and listening to their experiences will make you a better medical student and future doctor.

Sarah Mahmood - Year 3

I worked as a healthcare assistant.

I gained invaluable experience that solidified my passion and commitment for Medicine and prepared me for medical school.

Interacting with patients emphasised the importance of empathy, compassion, and effective communication, and working with a multidisciplinary team highlighted the significance of teamwork in delivering comprehensive patient care.

In my application and interviews, I highlighted my dedication, understanding, and relevant skills to becoming a doctor.

My advice is to be open-minded and receptive to feedback during work experience, as it will help you grow both personally and professionally.

Sarah Mahmood
Meg Pashley

Meg Pashley - Year 4

I worked as waitress, door host and bartender. I also did work experience in a cystic fibrosis ward and transient ischaemic attack unit.

I was also a UK sports leader, teaching sports and dance to young adults, children and disabled individuals.

These diverse experiences were valuable for my medical school preparation, developing my independence, communication skills, and knowledge of the NHS and multidisciplinary team approaches to care. It increased my interest and passion into working in a medical field.

During my medical school interview, I provided examples of how I used these skills and explained their relevance to my future career as a doctor.

My tip is it isn't about how much work experience you can gain, but rather the lessons you learn from them. Your interview reflections don’t have to be solely based on medical experiences; any experience that you can reflect your skills being a doctor is relevant.

Dr Mu'minah Bint-Sarfraz - 2023 graduate

I worked in a spa, providing small relaxing services to clients who wanted to wind down from a busy work week whilst also helping in the kitchen to serve drinks and confectionary.

I wanted to explore a wider sense of a holistic approach to care. Working at a spa allowed me to care for people in a different capacity to Medicine.

Whilst both professions differ in what they offer, the core values are very similar. I also understood how to change services based on client's medical issues, for example, skin conditions.

All experiences will have an aspect of care to people. My tip is to show commitment and put yourself forward for opportunities to talk to people. Build on your people skills; it is something we all continue learning, even after we graduate.

Mu'minah Bint-Sarfraz

Your next steps

Guide to work experience

Visit our guide to work experience to find out more about:

  • the types of work experience
  • how to make the most of your experience
  • how to effectively reflect on your experience