Most students feel that their primary objective is to get
through their degree courses in one piece. But what graduates don’t realise is
that the hard work really begins the moment you leave university. Getting ahead
of others in the competitive job market can be a considerable task, and
graduates will need an array of competencies and experiences that will really
help to set them apart from other candidates.
The six-week summer that comes after graduation is the
perfect time to hone these skills and to get a taste of the world of work.
The key to a successful experience in the summer after you
gain your degree is remaining optimistic and not being deterred by any
obstacles that may come your way. This idea is supported by Dr Charles
Woodruffe, a business psychologist at the consultancy Human Assets:
"It can be a worrying time. Belief in oneself is
important, as is focusing on the positive. Don’t be alone, team up with others,
share experiences and get mutual support. Most importantly, be realistic as to
what you are going for and open to adjusting this. Have a plan A and a plan
Below are just a few constructive ways you can spend summer
has now launched new Graduate Talent
Pool service that matches graduates with internship opportunities. There are
also a number of job websites specifically targeted to graduates that list work
experience opportunities in a number of sectors. University Careers Services
are also an invaluable source of advice on graduate internships. Universities
such as the University of East Anglia and the University
of Loughborough also co-ordinate job placements for graduates.
Internships can be an invaluable addition to your CV and may
even lead to a permanent post.
Mini gap year
Although taking a full year off to volunteer abroad may not
be feasible, a number of organisations such as IVS and Concordia run shorter
placements that range from one week to a few months in a number of countries
across the globe. These organisations may also help to match the skills gained
in your degree to a suitable placement.
BUNAC, CCUSA and a number of other companies offer you the
chance to spend your summer working in America in a number of roles. As an
example, if you have an interest in working with children or sports you could
spend the summer as a camp counsellor or coach. You can then transfer the
knowledge and experience you have gained to your first graduate job.