Related Articles

Considering a career change?



Networking (Video)

Work Experience (Video)

Extracurricular Activities (Video)

Making The Most Of Holidays (Video)

See More...

Making the Most of Holidays

15 September 2015 |

If you have not secured an internship, or have an internship that takes up only a proportion of your summer, start thinking about how best to use any free time you may have. Many firms in interviews will ask how you have spent your 3 - 4 month break and 'watching TV' is never a great answer! Use this time to do something interesting - something that sets you apart from other candidates - as this in turn will provide firms with an insight into your character. Are you the kind of person who uses your initiative and drive to actively pursue your passions and interests? Are you committed to personal development? Do you have a desire to experience different cultures?

You could directly ask firms in the industry you are aiming to work in for work experience. Cold calling and emailing can work, although it is best to start by utilising any contacts you may have. Family, friends and friends of family may be able to help out, as may university staff. Universities may even offer grants to assist their students, for instance social mobility schemes for certain student demographics or bursaries for high performing students. Do not be afraid to ask! There are formal internships and programmes that also look great on your CV and can be a lot of fun. Google the Study India and Study China programmes. Consider working at a summer camp (such as Camp America). There are also a broad range of volunteering and charity initiatives (including work at summer camps) both domestically and abroad that could provide unique and interesting experiences, whilst also enhancing your employability.

It is important to remember that once you embark upon your career, you will no longer have the opportunity to travel for extended periods of time. Travelling can help you to develop a wide range of skills, most notably your confidence, ability to adapt to different cultures, your interpersonal skills, and your ability to organise and manage time effectively (especially if you are travelling around a continent with questionable transport links!). If instead of formal or informal work placements you decided to spend your summer travelling, this can also provide a fantastic topic of conversation in interviews and again presents you as a motivated individual with an interest in experiencing different cultures. It also shows you are willing to place yourself outside of your comfort zone. Supplement travel with other activities and work experience in order to present yourself as a well-rounded individual however.

Alternatively, you could take a summer job or start a project (for instance, found a small business or do something creative). This can reflect positively on your personal motivation, work ethic and interests. City Career Series began as an extra-curricular project whilst I was at university.