May 15, 2015, by Jackie Thompson
Looking for a Summer Internship? Don’t Panic, There’s Still Time!
By Sarah Allen, Employability Education Projects Officer
Have all of your friends secured summer internships but you’re still looking for a way to spend the summer? Don’t panic, there is still time! Even though you may not have secured an internship yet there are still plenty of ways to use the holidays to enhance your skills or even grab that elusive internship.
Don’t forget to keep checking job boards
Although we are getting close to the end of term, there are still internship opportunities available so keep an eye on the job boards. My Career, our online vacancies service, offers internships and placements from employers who specifically want to advertise to students at The University of Nottingham. Prospects, TARGETJobs and Rate My Placement also still have vacancies. Follow us @UoNCareers as well as any organisations you are particularly interested in – if someone drops out at the last minute from an internship a company will often have to recruit very quickly!
Placements not advertised
Don’t be afraid to approach people and ask, particularly if you have a contact within the organisation. Even if they can’t offer a four or eight week placement, it may be possible for you to shadow someone for a couple of days. Small and medium-sized businesses are often willing to take on students over the summer and value the support they can provide, but don’t have the time or the budget to advertise their opportunities.
Still can’t find an internship? There are many other opportunities and ways you can develop your skills over the summer. Here are some examples:
1. Use temporary work to gain skills
Many recruitment agencies will have vacancies over the summer. You may find something within a sector you are interested in but even general office-based work will enhance your skills. You might have an opportunity to develop technical skills, for example using Excel, but also transferable skills such as communication or teamwork. If you’re staying local, Unitemps on campus offers temporary positions. You can also ask friends or family for recommendations of good recruitment companies in your local area.
You could help out at a charity shop or offer specialist skills that a charity requires but can’t afford to hire in. For example, if you have proficient IT skills there might be an opportunity to develop a website. Again, if you’re staying local, there is The Student Volunteer Centre on campus and Nottingham Skillsbank or Do-It is a good place to start looking for opportunities in Nottingham and beyond.
3. Holiday work
Graduate employers are interested to hear about any sort of employment, even if it is completely unrelated. You may think that working in a restaurant has no link to your long-term career aim but a recruiter will be interested in how you worked within a team, communicated with your customers and worked under pressure.
4. Use the time to perfect graduate applications
Many of the large graduate schemes will be open for applications from July, for the following September start. If you already have some work experience, volunteering or other experience on your CV it may be worth using this summer to perfect your applications. Graduate employers are keen for students to apply early so you could use the summer to spend time on your applications, really think about why you are applying and how you could make a difference.
If you need any help, we are open all summer for careers advice, support with applications or a CV review, be sure to contact us. If you are not in Nottingham, we offer appointments over telephone or Skype. If you have any questions about how to spend your summer come and talk to us.