Posted in Intern advice, Written by Maddie

How to have a rewarding summer without an internship or a job?

The pressure of gaining experience in any possible field is increasing year after year. And every summer students from all degrees run around trying to be accepted for a  great internship scheme, get a job or a do any other activity that might increase your employability prospects after they graduate. This is all understandable, considering the competitive job market we all have to face after we have obtained our degrees.

But what do you do when you end up in a situation where you were unable to secure any internship or job over the summer period. How do you ensure you still make the most of your 3 months and develop not only professionally, but personally too?

Well, I got you covered. Below you will find a list of different activities that can be undertaken both when in Sheffield or while travelling, that will help you have a productive summer.

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  • Attend a summer school

 

This one requires a bit of preparation in advance but it can add up so much to your CV. If you have an area of study that you are interested in, but which you have not had the chance to engage that much with, then have a look at the summer schools that are running at the moment and choose that one that could be most helpful to you. You can start by looking at summer schools organised by different universities across UK and Europe (especially if you want to pursue a Master in another European country) or have a look at some think tanks and see if they organise any summer programmes. The options are endless, all that’s required from you is a quick Google search and you are ready to go!

  1. Learn a new language

This one might require a bit more self management, but everyone can agree that knowing more than one language is an incredibly useful skills to have. Maybe you studied one for A levels but haven’t practiced it in ages, or you are going on an Erasmus programme and would like to lay out the basics, or you know that in order to get your dream job you should speak more than one language. No matter what your motivations are, learning a new language is a very rewarding process. You can start with one hour per day and also mix in some more fun ways to understand the language such as watching movies, listening to songs or getting immersed in their culture. You can also build on your efforts once the summer ends and sign up for a Languages for All programme at the beginning of the year. (more details here:https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/languages/lfa )

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  1. Volunteer with one of the local charity shops

This is a great one if you like to get out of the house, meet new people, while also being passionate about social impact. Sheffield has some great charity shops that are constantly looking for volunteers such as Oxfam, Save the Children or Age UK. This experience would allow you to engage with some of the biggest charities out there and gain amazing volunteering experience, while also meeting great individuals and giving back to the community. Their opportunities are not always advertised on the usual university pages but you can easily go in and ask if they need a helping hand. I am sure they will be more than happy to take you on board.

  1. Volunteer with one of your preferred organisations

If you have a group of organisations you are interested in working with, but haven’t managed to get an internship with them, or they do not have an internship scheme at all, then this is a great way to get involved. Most of these organisations would love to have brand ambassadors in different campuses around the UK and you can facilitate that for them. Most of them are able to offer you training and provide you with more knowledge about how the organisation operates and what kind of people they are likely to recruit. If you are social sciences student looking to work with a charity, this is a great way to get involved in the sector. All you need to do is pick up the phone and offer your help!

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Overall, all these suggestions rely on your sense of initiative. There are so many other ways through which you can gain valuable experience in the field you are interested to have a career in. All you need to do is spend some time thinking of what the best course of action is for you and then start looking for opportunities. Google is always there to help you!

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Author:

We are 301 Student Skills and Development Centre and we give academic skills advice to our students at the University of Sheffield. We offer workshops and 1:1 appointments.

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