So, you’ve almost completed a term and I bet it only feels like yesterday since you moved back to Uni and crawled into your first lecture of the year. Whether you are in the first year, second year or so on, it’s worth spending some time gaining new skills and experience in order to prepare for life after University.
When job hunting, you will notice that lots of job descriptions ask for previous experience in that role or similar. This is why it’s important to complete work experience. As we have mentioned before, not only does it look really good on your CV, it gives you an insight to what that role entails. This way, you can decide whether or not this is something you’d like to pursue further. Not only will this look good on paper, but the dedication that you have to work during your spare time will also stand out to employers. Although gaining a degree is very impressive, sometimes it is better to step into the real world and try out some work experience. This way, you aren’t sat listening to your lecturer, you are trying it out yourself.
Quick tip: Don’t wait for internship positions to become available, start contacting your favourite brands with impressive cover letters and explain what you love about their company and why you’d like to volunteer there.
Although Uni can sometimes be pretty hectic, you usually have a fair bit of spare time. The time that you may spend seeing friends, lounging around on the sofa or out partying. Contribute some of this spare time to work on your skills. For example, if you study Creative writing, take some time to practice some writing, read some books and complete some research. Not only is this going to help you improve your grades, you won’t have much time to do these things when you finish, especially if you are looking for work straight away. The work you complete can then be added to a portfolio or published online, which will be very useful to show to employers.
Quick tip: It’s important to love what you do, by spending your spare time developing skills and learning new things about that field it shows your passion and drive for your chosen career path. Never stop learning!
If you have a passion for something or want to network with people who share the same interests as you. It is useful to join a Meetup group or a Society. You may think that they are just rowdy bar crawls but some of them can be really useful. For example, if you are intoblogging or photography, you can collaborate with other people and work together to develop skills, perhaps even build a brand. Even if you want to stay solo, they can be useful for discussions and sharing tricks with one an other. You have obviously heard the saying ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know these Meetups are great opportunities to meet important people and network.
Quick tip: You may need to develop interpersonal skills such as communicational skills, this is a great opportunity to develop them and practice meeting new people before you finish!
Not having any luck applying for internships? Or simply want to kickstart your freelancing career. Do it! We’re lucky to live in a time when Social Media is on the rise and you can literally set up websites for free. Start your brand today, get your name out their and keep your online presence clean and professional. By attending meetups and other events you can pass your name onto relevant people, preparing yourself for your career after University.
Quick tip: Some Universities even introduce modules that allow you to develop your own brand and pioneer your own solo project, take this opportunity to get professional guidance and start working on your own career.
READ ALSO: Top 5 Best Freelance Websites for Beginners
Building A Portfolio
It’s important to store away all of your good work ready to show to potential employers. You may have a degree under your sleeve, but – lots of employers like to see what you are capable of. By storing away the work now, you are saving time when you graduate and avoiding the disappointment of lost work. If you use online portfolio sites you may even get noticed for your work before you even start applying.
Quick tip: Online portfolio sites usually link to your Social Media sites, it’s important to clean up your digital footprint and make sure you are active on LinkedIn.