It’s that time of year again: early August and the sun is ablaze in a clear blue sky. Your coursework deadlines are non-existent and lecture halls and student debt seem like a distant memory. Nothing could tear you away from the sun on your face and the summer vibes in your body. Nothing. But it should, and painful and annoying though it maybe it may just be the thing that sets you on a fast track to a better career for the future. That thing is work experience, and it can often be the x-factor that makes you the most employable after your studies have ended.
Though it may not be the most exciting time to apply, that time between the start of the holiday and the harsh stumble back into study could the most valuable. During the summer work firms are ripe with holiday takers and family providers. Work leave is at an all-time high and companies are often struggling to meet the high demands for work with gaps invaluable positions. Thus the summer placement is often born. Companies both big and small are likely looking for new and fresh faces to support them and assist in a variety of tasks that will transform your transferable skills from good to exceptional.
The first step is to simply – ask.
The phrase ‘you don’t ask, you don’t get’ isn’t parental scorn for nothing. Some companies may be offering internships and placements via student sites such as ‘Prospectus’ and ‘Milkround’, which offer a wide variety of summer internships to take your fancy. However, sending an email or better yet contacting specific companies via their social media pages can often be more effective. This also allows companies to get a little of your personality before hand and shows you to be confident and established in what you want out of the company. Follow those you are interested in and if you see an influx in roles they are recruiting, jump in: they may be willing to turn that permanent role into one more relaxing for a budding student.
Another idea may be to capitalise on a little extra work-related learning. Before you utter the words ‘not more work’, this may not be as taxing as you think. Charities like TesYouth are fantastic to apply with as they offer flexible work experience that is specifically tailored to 18-25 years old specifically looking to gain work experience. TesYouth’s many internships offer various timeframes and where some like ‘Jumpstart’ for instance are more structured, others like volunteering as a content writer or social media coordinator allow you to show your skills and interact with other like minded people who are seeking to gain employment while balancing busy either other jobs or educational avenues. By working with TesYouth over the summer period you can gain support from others and advice on where is next back to take your career after the summer is over.
So while summer is certainly a chance for you to relax don’t let this valuable time slip away. With almost two months at your disposal, you certainly won’t be missing out on all the good weather. Who knows, the great British summer may well be a benefit after all.
Written by Lauren Benali