Getting some good and relevant work experience at university will help you stand out when applying for graduate jobs. Understanding exactly how to secure something worthwhile can be decidedly more tricky than one might expect. We take a look at what options are available whilst at university.
Spring Weeks, Vacation Schemes, internships – these are all pretty standard vocabulary for those wanting to take their first steps into the working world. They are also usually the first port of call when it comes to giving your CV an emphatic boost. Application dates vary, particularly depending on your industry of choice.
What is perhaps worth considering is that in all cases, it’s best to start early, as the competition is tough.
The summer job
Perhaps one of the best things about university is the way in which you can introduce yourself to the working world at a leisurely pace.
Internships and similar opportunities are not for everyone. However, there is something incredibly rewarding when it comes to picking up a job to help with finances and experience.
Bar work is obviously the go-to industry in many instances but anything goes, even if it’s helping out with a family friends’ business. It all counts as experience and it looks far better on your CV than blank space.
The best thing is you can squeeze these jobs into the holiday periods from university and yet reap the benefits much further down the line.
The society president
Oft overlooked, being the President of a society can work wonders for your career prospects. It offers the opportunity of testing your skill at organisation, delegation, events creation, finance management and more importantly, interpersonal relationship building.
Obviously these responsibilities aren’t limited to the Presidential remit. Simply taking up a role within a society shows willingness to work together with others. It will hone your ability to work towards a common goal and sow the seeds of promising potential.
A combination of both the easiest and hardest thing to do, volunteering can provide many benefits to a future career.
It can be tricky getting a foot in the door initially – however it is worth the time and effort. Volunteering still demonstrates your ability to balance responsibilities in the same way as any other form of employment.
At the same time it can often be a far more exciting option than a paid placement – leading to travel across the globe. Put simply, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience in terms of personal and professional growth.
University is not only a great place to meet new people but it is also the time to try out new opportunities. One area in particular is that of becoming part of a promotional agency.
It’s a fantastic way to gain exposure to a plethora of marketing activity and campaigns, usually accompanied by large opportunities to travel on a frequent basis. It is also a great way of exploring various career paths in bite-sized chunks.
On top of this, it’s a huge boost to your self-confidence and your ability to communicate with people at the drop of a hat. If this seems a little to frenetic for you, why not pick up some work experience at local events too – it will still hone your skill set, but keep things more local.
It's your call
Whatever you decide, the bottom line is this: all forms of employment are beneficial. It doesn’t mean that you’re forever consigned to one particular career path, it merely makes you more prepared to secure your job of choice at a later date.