Here comes the sun

The summer is still in full swing! Second year student Nozomi takes us through her top tips on making the most of the rest of the summer…

Summer Ball has come and gone and you’ve said your ‘see you laters’ to your flatmates and coursemates. You may have even already gone on holiday. Now you’re sat at home having a well-deserved break after another busy academic year. But now you’re thinking, well, what’s next?

In all honesty, I believe it can be anything. All of us at university now have an entire world ahead of us. We’re at a point in our lives where we can choose to do whatever we want – travel, learn a new skill, get a job in anything we want to do – we have it all ahead of us.

But we all have to start somewhere, and for me, I’ve decided to focus on me and gain more work experience to help me decide what exactly it is that I want to do next.
So here are some things you might want to do this summer before the stress of lectures, seminars, tutorials and coursework all kicks in.

Give that CV a boost

The University Careers Centre offers us advice on their website or you could pop into Carrington to speak to careers consultants one-to-one about it too.The internet can give you lots of CV help as well! There are lots of website like this that could help you get going.

 

Take a minute

But remember not to stress out and get overwhelmed thinking about CVs and the future. Go see a film, go to the beach with some friends, watch some Netflix.

 

Try something new

While you have the time and the sun is shining, try something new – join the gym, cook new recipes, pick up a book.

 

Work Experience

Depending on what you are interested in, you could browse these websites for some work experience. UoR Job Shop is the place to go for part-time work, graduate jobs & even available to us one year after graduation!

Some other resources that might be helpful…
Studentgems – freelance and part-time work
EventStaffing.co.uk – event and festival work
InRetail – retail work
Internwise – internships
RateMyPlacement – internships and placements
Milkround – graduate jobs
Save The Graduate – graduate jobs
TARGETjobs – graduate jobs
So why not? Summer can be relaxing and productive at the same time! Keep busy having fun and improving yourself.

What I’m doing this Summer to achieve my career goals

Our next blog comes from second year student Rikki, who tells us all about what she’s up to this summer to help her get a head start on her career!

Finding a career after University isn’t always easy, so I’ve really learnt the importance of work experience and paid jobs to help complement your final degree. During term time, it can be extremely difficult to balance lectures, coursework, social life and day to day duties along with outside work. This is why I particularly focus on building my CV and portfolio during the Summer holidays.

At uni

I study English Language here at the University of Reading, but hope to eventually pursue a career in either marketing or PR, which are both extremely competitive fields… I took an Introduction to Marketing module as part of my degree to provide me with a solid foundation, but the reality of working in a marketing firm is very different to learning the theory in a lecture. So, after achieving 82% in my final exam, I decided to get some practical experience by joining a local marketing company in my home town.

Getting work experience

The agency I worked for focused on a direct, face-to-face approach which involved both residential and events marketing. Although this was just a Summer job, the training was invaluable and enabled me to gain further confidence and enhance my verbal communication skills. I also learnt the importance of networking and building rapport.

Using my resources

Even though I sourced this opportunity myself, I have also used the University’s careers service to enable me to secure both paid and volunteering work. This all also contributes to the University’s employability award (the RED award), which I am hoping to have completed over the Summer- it looks great on your CV! I would highly recommend emailing the careers service at the University of Reading (careers@reading.ac.uk), giving them a call (0118 378 8359) or simply visiting their job shop in the Carrington building on campus- their friendly team are always more than happy to help.

My blog

Finally, during the Summer months, I have had more time to concentrate on my own beauty blog (www.lusciouslane.blogspot.com) which I created over 4 years ago. This has already given me a huge insight into digital marketing and PR, enabling me to further stand out against the majority whilst pursuing my hobbies of creative writing and photography.

In the future…

Going forward, it is my aim to secure a Summer internship with L’Oreal next year, which has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. The global cosmetics company own a huge range of makeup and skincare brands from luxury brands like YSL and Diesel to drugstore companies like Vichy and La Roche Posay. After initially discovering their Summer internships, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to gain some first-hand insight into what work would be like in one of the world’s leading beauty brands.

Ultimately, using your contacts and time efficiently during the Summer can mean making money, keeping busy and enhancing your future prospects. It really is a win-win situation!