University is a great opportunity to make new friends, have great social experiences, explore new things and locations. But University is also that last hurdle into full on “adulthood” and the seemingly small things such as part-time jobs can have a positive impact.
With exams pretty much done for this academic year, it is important for your mental and physical health to keep busy this summer.
Being proactive and looking for paid work in advance gives you something to look forward to for summertime. The 3rd and final instalment of your student loan is slightly larger, but it is a longer period before the Autumn instalment comes in. This means money must stretch further, so summer employment is a good way to bring in some extra money and help you make the most of your summer!
When moving out of halls, some may forget that most private renting accommodations require deposits to be put down before moving in. This can be hundreds of pounds that you may not want/be able to sacrifice. With a job under your belt, you should have money to put towards this and hopefully still have some left over to enjoy.
The great thing about a student part-time job is that, after summer, there is always the potential to carry this employment on into your semesters. A few hours a week alongside studying allows your mind to take a break from university pressure, and gain essential workplace skills, whilst still getting paid!
Future employers look for key skills and experience on CVs from non-science related employment too, such as customer service, teamwork, leadership qualities and good communication skills. You will have evidence to demonstrate that you work well alongside colleagues and can carry responsibility at work, all important aspects when establishing your career down the line.
There are many ways to look for part-time roles in your university life. “Jobs4Students” is brilliant website that allows you to find work through your university, such as short placements completing laboratory work and research in your university facilities, with “living wage” payment given.
All universities have a Careers page on their websites to assist with both undergraduate and postgraduate jobs. They could introduce you to a company who may offer you a summer placement and perhaps postgrad employment in the future.
Do not be afraid to ask your teachers and tutors what they did at university. They may give you advice and further help with this too, such as where to look. Contacting staff shows your proactive approach and remember these are the people who are going to tell employers what a great person you are in your references, so for them to have observed your career-focused mindset through university, will make writing a brilliant reference much easier.
I use LinkedIn as a career-based platform, where I follow my university’s accounts and have added all my work and volunteering experience. I got my current summer internship through this media and am building my connections by the week. Your profile is like a virtual CV, you can add as much about yourself as you like. A brilliant feature of your LinkedIn profile is their “accomplishment” sections, where I have added each unit topic and grade, to start showing followers that hard work does payoff!
Once an employment mindset kicks in, it is always worth going through your own social media accounts. Employers will look you up, and as much as it was funny at the time, being drunk and falling into a bin does not exactly give off mature and responsible vibes future employers want to see. It may sound dramatic, but something like that could genuinely be the difference between you getting a job/interview or not! So lock your social profiles down to the ‘only friends’ view.
I hope that I have given you some ideas, and this has inspired you to think about both how you can make the most of your time between terms.
I am trying to emphasize 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, go and try out that quirky café or climb that hill with the amazing view you saw on Instagram instead. Most importantly, have fun ????