Work ExperienceLearning Hub
The world of Formula 1 is a very competitive environment, so how can you make yourself stand out among the hundreds and thousands of others wanting to work in the industry too? One of those ways is – work experience!
Work experience really helps to build invaluable practical knowledge about the industry you want to work in. It’s never too early to begin to learn as much as you can about your future career path.
Work experience can be done anytime, it’s no longer reserved for two weeks in year ten of high school! However, not many students realise this. You can take the talents that you have, your love of a particular subject, and match it up to a role in the motorsport industry that will allow you the space to absolutely thrive, and you have the opportunity to make a real difference in the field you want to work in. If you begin right now to learn, research, read books and simply have fun with it, then when the time comes to move on to A Levels or University if relevant, you will already have a deep understanding of your field, and that will set you apart. Half term breaks, summer holidays… they’re all great opportunities to get building up your experience.
Here’s an example:
Say you want to work in Aerodynamics. Here are some things you can do:
- Think about writing to the HR departments of not only the F1 teams but the other Formulas too.
- Offer to volunteer at somewhere like an Air and Space Museum, or write to airline-related companies.
- Think of other companies/industries where you can pick up knowledge of Aerodynamics, and the principles behind it. Maybe you could connect on places like LinkedIn with some influential people in their field.
- Find out if there are any car manufacturers near you and see if they do factory tours or take work experience students.
If you begin to immerse yourself in the principles now, then who knows, one day you might design a part of the car that is instrumental in winning the championship!
Have you discovered an opportunity to spend a day volunteering, or visit your favourite team and it’s a school day? Talk to your head teacher about it, your school may allow ‘enrichment days’ and offer you time out to attend – all educational establishments are different though, and some schools have very different rules to others. However, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know!
There are many different types of work experience to be had, and volunteering opportunities too. Don’t be scared to get creative and think outside the box. Even just asking if you can hang out and observe a weekend at your local track will be beneficial, and is something else that you can add to your CV.
Visit a race day at your local track, and observe not just the racing but how the whole day is set up, plus the teamwork it takes to make sure everything runs smoothly. From the marshals, security, cleaners, racers, mechanics, hospitality staff… the beauty of the motorsport industry is that there are so many different types of roles available so if you don’t want to be a mechanic but you love maths then you could work in the finance department, for example! The trick is to not limit yourself at a young age, but be aware of what types of things you are passionate about, to get an idea of which department would suit you. Don’t forget to keep a file or folder of all you’ve learned!
Relevant work experience is vital. There is only so much you can learn by reading and studying, you need to get practical experience to truly understand. When it comes to applying for University places and jobs within Formula 1 teams, it shows a dedication and commitment to your dream career. It shows that you are willing to go out there and make things happen.
How do you get work experience with a Formula 1 team?
There are few different things you can do to try and secure a work experience placement within a Formula 1 team. In some instances you may need to know someone who already works there. If this is the case, ask everyone around you, because you’d be surprised who knows who!
Find the details for the Human Resources department and write or email to ask if they have anything available, or when their intake is. Human Resources departments will receive many requests for work experience – think about how you are going to set your application apart from the rest!
Make sure you are active on LinkedIn – this is a great way to discover opportunities for invaluable work experience, and is why building up a network of contacts from a young age is so important. Build up a relationship with recent graduates or apprentices. Don’t be afraid to ask people on LinkedIn what they know about work experience placements, sometimes an opportunity for work experience may even come up naturally in conversation.
Visit the careers pages of all the Formula 1 teams, some have information on how or when to apply for work experience. You can find links to those pages here: Teams
Most important of all – just have fun! Remember you are laying the groundwork now for becoming an outstanding member of the Formula 1 family of the future; everything you learn today, whether it be about the industry or just from your general day to day school studies, is important for your future career – whatever that may be.
Work life may still seems like years away, but there are still little steps you can take today that your future self will thank you for:
- Catch up on the latest industry news
- Research the latest developments
- Research new LinkedIn contacts
- Write a diary or create a scrapbook of the information you learn/things you find interesting – keep it fun!
- Read something motivational
- Visit our inspiration page
- Perform a random act of kindness
- Believe in yourself a little more than you did yesterday
- Do something that makes you smile 🙂