May 3, 2016, by Mike Walker

Four Ways to Have Fun This Summer While Boosting Your CV

By Mike Walker, student blogger

It’s scary how quickly my first year at Nottingham has passed me by. It seems like no time at all since I was a first-week fresher, flung 200 miles from my native home in Devon. Since then, time since has flown by crazily fast.

With a long summer ahead of me, and without the pressure of planning my dissertation or applying for graduate jobs, I’ve started to think about how I could spend my time. I might not be about to step onto the career ladder just yet, but maybe there’s things I can do to get me ready for it.

Here are five things I’m considering.

1. Getting involved with a charity

Joining a charity is a great way to make positive change in the world – and most charities will be eager to take on summer volunteers.

Over the past year I’ve been involved with a charity called Open Doors who help persecuted Christians worldwide. I’m part of their Advocacy Program, which I hope to continue working with this summer. So far, I’ve received training for public speaking and mentoring on how to make a practical difference. Not only has this been an amazing opportunity to do something I’m passionate about, but it has also given me a portfolio of new skills that will be useful when I come around to applying for a graduate job.

I’d suggest you pick a cause that’s close to your heart, find out which charities meet that need, and how you can get involved. You might want to start the search at Charity Choice, who have a comprehensive list of charities to look through.

2. Volunteering at a festival

Fancy an incredible experience at Glastonbury, Leeds or Bestival while getting work experience and building skills? For a discounted deposit, Oxfam recruit volunteer stewards for top festivals, and supply training for your chosen stewarding role.

Not only will you have an epic time seeing the best bands, you’ll also get quality experience in a range of roles. Apply here.

3. Travelling. Anywhere.

University summers are a time of unprecedented freedom; a freedom that we probably won’t have at any other time in our lives. It doesn’t have to be far. Hop on a train, plane or horse, and get out of your locality to experience different cultures.

Travelling is also immensely valuable for your career prospects. We live in a multi-national, global job market, and the ability to respect and empathise with people from across the world is really important. I used STA and International Volunteer HQ for inspiration and will be setting off for South America at the start of the summer.

4. Learning a language

With the internet at your fingertips and time at your disposal, what better time to pick up a new language? I’ve started learning German on the free app Duolingo and I’m also about to start learning Spanish for my South America trip.

So, while I’ll still be using my summer to recover after the madness of first year, I have no excuse to spend two months watching box sets. There’s too many valuable – and, honestly, more interesting – things to be getting on with.

Looking for more ways to make the most of your free time this summer? Take a look at our website for further inspiration. If you prefer to talk in person, you can book an appointment with a careers adviser through My Career.

Image Credit: Unsplash

Posted in Student Bloggers