Work experience in graphic design, in fact any design discipline, is to my mind, vital. Do as much as you can throughout your entire education and make it as varied as you can.
Before I got into university I did two weeks work experience at Thorson's publishing in Wellingborough. This was a far cry from the swanky London agencies I did work experience at later in my 'career'. But it was still useful. My job was to cut the covers of books with the titles '60 ways to improve your caravan' and 'What star sign is your cat?'. I had to stick these covers onto boards (called show cards) in 'a creative way'. Basically in a fan shape. I did this for two weeks. I was pretty good at it in the end. I didn't learn a lot about graphic design, I was in a studio, where real graphic designers were at work. I got to master a scalpel and Spray Mount.