5 ways to get ahead and remain productive this summer

Guest BloggerAdvice, Final Year, First Year, On Placement, Second Year

Breaking up from University for your summer break is usually a time to get outside to soak up the sunshine, spend time with family and friends or take flights to somewhere warm and relaxing abroad – however, this summer may look slightly different than usual.

Though it may be tempting to watch as many series on Netflix as possible before it’s back to University in September, there are a lot of things you can do to ensure that your summer break is productive while still enjoying your time off.

Keep reading to discover 5 great ways that you can get ahead of the game and better help you prepare for your future, all from the comfort of your home!

1. A virtual internship

It may seem too late to get a job or internship this summer, but you couldn’t be more wrong! Many organisations realise that one consequence of the pandemic is that students are now struggling to gain hands-on experience in the workplace – so they have moved it online!

A virtual internship is a way to develop your skills and meet potential future employers whilst gaining an introduction to a new sector. Bright Network is running a series of three-day virtual experiences for current students and recent graduates to discover career paths, meet employers and boost their employability. A virtual internship could be a brilliant way to use your time this summer to add to your CV!

2. Volunteer

Volunteering is a brilliant thing to do at any point throughout University and your career, but having time off throughout the summer provides the perfect opportunity to invest your time in volunteering – and there are plenty of volunteering opportunities that can be done online too!

Do IT is a UK-wide volunteering database with over a million opportunities available – and it has a ‘Do-it from home’ filter to search flexible opportunities that can be completed from home in your own time. Volunteering brings about many benefits and looks great on your CV. It is definitely worth checking out over this summer break!

3. Update your CV and LinkedIn profile

You could use your summer break to give your CV and LinkedIn profile a new coat of paint! Everybody knows that this is usually a time-consuming task that you end up completing in term time at the start of your placement or graduate job search, but why not get your CV in order now and see which areas of the your LinkedIn profile could be improved so you’re ready for your job hunt later down the line?!

4. Online courses

The days where you needed to enrol on a degree-level course to learn new skills are most definitely over. There are thousands of courses which allow you to learn pretty much anything you are interested in online, whether that be a new language, Photoshop or Microsoft Excel for example.

This summer is as good a time as any to start putting some serious effort into developing skills that you can use later down the line!

5. Start your placement or graduate job search

It is most definitely never too early to start your placement or graduate job search. Although some job opportunities may not be open for applications just yet, this does not mean you cannot get a head start on the search.

You could use this summer break to pull together a list of organisations or schemes that you’d like to apply for when opportunities do open up later this year. Or you could even write some speculative applications to potential employers. You can use this time productively to research organisations in industries of interest and reach out with your (new and improved, if you follow tip 3) CV and cover letter to see if they have any opportunities available or if they plan to recruit later on.

Having said all this, it is important to take a break too! Take this unprecedented time to not only get ahead and be productive, but relax and make time for yourself!

Use your summer break to unwind and take your mind off studies, but, it goes without saying that by following some or all of these tips, you will feel better prepared to tackle University with confidence and ease when you return in a couple of months’ time.

Enjoy your summer break! 🙂

Written by Rachael Woodroffe

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash