Planning ahead for your summer


Although it may seem a long way off, the summer will come around quickly and the holidays are a great time to get in some work or volunteering experience while you’re not worried about next week’s reading or assignment deadlines. The key to getting your summer sorted is to plan ahead and organise things early because many opportunities that take place over the summer will be advertised early in the year.

Internships will be a word you hear and see a lot when looking for work experience but many ‘internships’ advertised by employers tend to only be for students in their 2nd year of study. Also formal internships are only a small minority or work experience opportunities out there.

So what kind of things can a first year student do? There are plenty of options outside for formal internship schemes, like working at a summer camp or music festival, or looking for casual retail work. In my first year of University I worked for a local haulage company doing administration in the office. Even if the work isn’t related to your degree you can still learn essentials skills that will be relevant in future. It might also help you decide what you like in a job and what you don’t. (I learnt I didn’t want to sit in an office all day). Casual vacation work is much more the norm for students.

Aside from work experience you could also look at doing some volunteering over the summer, either in the UK or abroad. Volunteering is a great thing for anyone to put on their CV, but in some cases it’s also pretty essential for certain careers. For example, if you’re thinking of going into politics, education, youth work, fashion or music, then volunteering experience is a must have.

But where to find these elusive opportunities? At the moment we currently have over 50 paid casual vacation vacancies on CareersLink – from positions at a holiday complex to being a mentor with The Challenge. There’s even an advert to be a banana in a banana flash mob!! (Although this one is a position offered in February.) To find them, log on to your account and then select ‘Casual vacancies’ in the ‘Type of vacancy’ section.

We’ve also got My Future Fest 2016 next week, which is all about finding something to do in the summer. Venture into the My Future Fest tepees on Tuesday 9 & Wednesday 10 February and explore summer travel, volunteering and work opportunities with over 20 exhibitors. (The National Citizen Service has 4,500 positions alone!) So make sure you come along to discover what’s out there and get your summer sorted early. For more information on who will be there, join the Facebook event.

(Written by Sophie Wing.)

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