So, the Examination Head Coordinator has shouted pen’s down. You’ve clicked the lid back on the regulation black ballpoint, and take a deep breath. That’s it. The final exam of the 3rd semester. The summer break is here.
Which means you’ve got time to let your hair down for a week or two and then head home to embark on whatever adventure you’ve got planned for the summer. But what’s are you going to be doing this summer? With exams being (quite rightly) such an important distraction – have you even thought about it? We didn’t think so. So here’s a quick guide to some of your options…
Internship or Training
It’s a horrible word. An American import. But it’s also a darn useful thing to go and do. An internship means work experience, usually for free, but also (hopefully) counting towards your qualification. When it goes well you’ll make contacts and meet people from exactly the line of work you want to get in to. It can be great way of learning the ropes and gaining insight into the essential skills they’re not teaching you in academia.
So how do I get a brilliant internship I hear you ask? Well, first off, check in with your Uni’s Faculty Career Service. If they’re worth their salt they’ll be able to help and advise you. Likewise tutors who are well connected might have contacts. If you draw a blank, Gov.uk have a rather handy Find and Internship search facility over on their website.
If you’re feeling really bold, then make a list of your favoured targets (research the people, rather than just the company’s) and phone up, or even better, go and shove your foot in the door and try to get to speak to them in person. If you’re really lucky, you might find a training opportunity that is paid.
If you can’t wangle yourself an internship, but need some kind of summer income, you’ll be on the lookout for a summer job. That might well be hospitality work in your hometown’s local pub, or some snazzy high street retail (which is also good to leave you free to socialise in the evenings). Or if there’s another skill you can offer – maybe you’re a qualified lifeguard or sports coach – then you might wangle a job teaching at your local leisure centre. It could be worth listing all our skills and thinking laterally, and doing a quick ring-round to see what’s available.
If you’re really burned out after the past academic year, and in the lucky position that someone is bankrolling your journey through University, then you might be in the enviable position of being able to have summer off. I won’t necessarily further your career, and it’s unlikely to give you any additional fodder for your CV, but it will almost certainly be fun.
If you are in the position of not having to see your way through the summer by working, you could something more worthwhile than simply taking the summer off. Volunteer work is a great way to gain new skills, meet new people and contribute to your community – there are all sorts of things you could do. There’s also one brilliant gateway to find them. It’s called Do-it and it is a post-code based search tool proving a gateway to thousands of volunteering opportunities. Click here to give it a whirl.
If you are jetting back to your hometown and leaving London to throw yourself in to the hard-graft done (paid, intern or voluntary), you might be in need of somewhere to keep your student stuff. Check out our student storage offers if you are – we’re here if you need us.