Being proactive makes a great first impression to anyone and emphasizes your enthusiasm. When in employment, try to stretch your abilities and step out of your comfort zone to gain new, valuable skills. When leaving employment, ask for feedback from your employer, and this should be relatively easy to do if it is a fixed term placement or part-time student job. This could make you aware of your strengths and weaknesses (which are often asked in job interviews) and may give you skills to add to your CV that you were unaware you obtained. It could also highlight how much you have learnt in a short space of time also, starting from day one as a total beginner to training others by the end of the summer! Use it as fuel to work harder on those more difficult modules, you may not understand it in September but by December that subject could be a whole lot easier!
For my 2nd year of studying, we were given the option of choosing a unit topic, choosing between Green Chemistry and Chemistry in Society 2. I chose Green Chemistry as it is a new topic that will broaden my chemistry knowledge and, as much as we may not always think ahead, I chose it due to it being so relevant in the world today, with recycling being one of the most important actions an individual can do currently.
For 3rd year final projects, it is important to explore topics in advance, and start thinking of one that may relate to the career field you want to go in, as it can be something to talk about in interviews. Mind map and research different areas until one stands out and you feel confident you could write pages of relevant content about it.
From the few months I have spent working for VRS, any opportunity to gain industry experience will be invaluable, so go for it! Even if it is a few weeks to a full summer placement, hands-on real-world experience will give you an advantage when you finish university. So, apply for these opportunities and do not be dishearten if you are not successful, as you would have gained genuine interview experience, again preparing yourself for that post university job hunt.
Showing employers that you are going out of your way to include university even in your free time, is a brilliant quality. Choosing a sport, joining a society, or doing a project that is award credited are all outstanding components to add to your CV. It shows you like to be proactive and try new things, which employers then transfer these skills into a work environment to see if you would suit their available jobs.
My university has a volunteering/work experience page, and it might be worth checking to see if yours does too. From contributing to the community to being a friendly voice on the phone for someone, there are lots of different ways to gain unique experience that a job in retail perhaps cannot offer you. It can show a caring side about yourself, a quality employers look for, as it suggests you will treat customers and colleagues in this same manner.
I hope I have given you ideas from both parts of this blog that have stemmed the thought of new opportunities in your mind.
Again, I am emphasizing the importance of not having an empty summer, to keep yourself busy and do things you enjoy in this break, and if you are struggling to find employment, explore your new city and try out that quirky café you saw on Instagram instead.
Contact VRS to see if we have employment opportunities in your area today!