9 ways you can prepare for your future over the festive break

JodieAdvice, Applications, Final Year, First Year, Second Year

You’ve made it through the whirlwind that is autumn term and you’ve now got a few weeks off to take a well-deserved breather. While it’s important you take some time to recharge and look after your mental and physical health (we’re big fans of self-care), the break is also a really good opportunity to focus on some things that future you will thank you for.

Find a part-time job

These guys are great. Not only do you get some real-life work experience which you can pop on your CV (more about that later), but you will also get paid. Brilliant if you need to get last-minute presents for your family or are having a festive get-together with friends. There are a lot of seasonal jobs up for grabs at this time of year too, so it’s the perfect time to get looking.

Volunteer for a good cause

This time of year is all about giving, so why not give some of your time by volunteering? There are all sorts of amazing things you could get involved with including tutoring, campaigning, marketing, administration and much more. It can be a fun way to do something flexible that’s not degree-related and what’s more, you can add it to your CV! We can’t recommend it enough.

Get spring and summer ready with internships

Lots of employers recruit for short-term internships that take place in the spring and summer breaks. Whatever year you’re in, these are brilliant ways to get some experience as well as a sneak-peek of a particular company to see if it’s one you would like to work for in the future. With the dark, drizzly days we’re having at the moment it can be hard to think this far ahead into the future, but it’ll be that time of year before you know it.

Apply for placements/graduate roles

Depending on what year you’re in, you may be looking for a placement or graduate job. We just wanted to give you a friendly reminder that a whole lot of big-name roles and schemes close at this time of year, so make sure you don’t miss your chance to work at the company of your dreams. Start with these websites to look for opportunities and keep a record of what you’re interested in/have applied for so you can stay on top of your applications – because who doesn’t love a fancy, colour-coded spreadsheet?

Create a cracking CV

Is your CV in need of some TLC? Now’s the time to polish it until it sparkles, especially if you’ve got your eye on any of the opportunities we mentioned above. To get you started, we’ve got a number of super useful tips and CV examples on our website. Take a look to find out how to make employers say ‘I want to hire this candidate immediately’ rather than ‘It’s a no from me’. You can thank us later when you land that dreamy part-time job/placement/graduate job.

Prepare for interviews and assessment centres

Unfortunately, few roles require just a CV – there are other things you need to think about too such as interviews and assessment centres. Love them or hate them, they have to be done – as always though, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got heaps of resources and advice right here to help you prepare for whatever employers throw at you. (Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog post which will walk you through some online resources you can practise with over the break. Oh, how we spoil you).

Make use of Aston Futures

Whether you logged into it once to see what all the fuss is about or are on it every day, spend some time on Aston Futures over the break. It will come in handy when you’re searching for all the different types of opportunities we’ve mentioned, plus you can also use it to register for events and to book an appointment with a member of the team. We know, we think it’s awesome too.

Top tip – double-check your profile is up-to-date. The information you have on your profile will impact what types of roles you are emailed about. We’d just hate for you to receive emails about roles you don’t give two hoots about, so make sure you keep updating it as you progress through your degree.

Talk to us

The Careers and Placements Centre and JobShop are still open for some of the break so don’t forget about us – you can still pop in and have a chat about your plans for the future/get help on various stages of the application process. Can’t get onto campus? No problem – you can have a video chat with us from the comfort of your own home.


You will have earned a nice, long rest after doing all this preparation for your future. Whatever floats your boat, whether that’s tucking into festive treats, going on wintery walks, playing card games with your family or just hibernating for a couple of weeks, make sure you do it.

Written by Jodie Carpenter, Careers and Placements