Making the most of your summer

So the sun is (finally) here and while you may be busy thinking of your forthcoming exams, summer holidays will soon be upon us. So why not take some time to contemplate how to make the most of your summer?

Volunteering – not only can you develop essential skills like team work, communication and leadership, but you can get a warm feeling inside knowing you are helping others! Volunteering also demonstrates to future employers that you are the kind of person who likes to get stuck in and help when there is a problem.

Interning – being an intern is a great way of getting your foot in the door of a company/industry. Doing an internship increases your likelihood of getting hired by that employer when you apply for a permanent job, because you already know the way the organisation works and have proven your abilities.

Working – don’t despair if you have to spend your holidays working to support yourself. The skills you gain from your summer job are not to be underestimated. The summer is also a perfect opportunity to see if you can take on more responsibility or learn about other areas of the business, perhaps by work shadowing a manager for example.

Learning – although you may not feel like doing anymore studying after your exams, these few weeks away from university are a great chance to learn the things you don’t get to do on your course. So you could do a language course, take art classes, improve your IT skills or take up a sport. There are hundreds of online courses (Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCS) which are free and allow you to learn all sorts of weird and wonderful things. And since employers always like candidates who are interesting you will be developing your employability too.

Home or Away? – whether you want to work, play, learn or help, you can find lots of opportunities both in the UK and abroad. If you are thinking or working or volunteering abroad, you will need to think about issues such as money, insurance, healthcare and personal safety.

Useful websites:

Careers Tagged: Use your QM log in details to access a database of thousands of resources. Type in key words like ‘volunteering abroad’ and you can narrow your search by typing in the name of a country or industry.

Go Abroad: Database of lots of different opportunities to work or volunteer abroad. Go Abroad even do some checks on the organisations they advertise.

JobOnline: Hundreds of jobs and internships are advertised here.

Coursera: A website with details of hundreds of MOOCS. Simply search by key word or catergory.

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