Spend time building your future
The long summer days are an opportunity to relax and catch up with friends and family with exams and revision soon becoming a distant memory.
But the well-deserved break is an ideal time for students to think about their futures and how they can make the most of the opportunities that could be coming their way.
Employers, colleges and Universities are looking for so much more than exam grades – the individual who stands out from the crowd is the one who has made their most of their time.
“It is understandable that students will be needing time to relax after finishing their exams and coursework but in such a competitive world it is worth thinking about how they can use some of this time to improve their opportunities,” said Jaz Abeysekera, Marketing Manager at Grantham College, which is open throughout the summer.
“Exams grades will always play a part, but employers are looking for individuals who stand out from the crowd.”
Hundreds of community groups survive thanks to the support of volunteers. Helping others is rewarding and for a student will mean they can broaden their CV which can make the difference between winning a coveted job or place at University.
What better way to confirm you are a ‘team player’ than to work with people from different walks of life and ages? Some groups will appreciate a regular commitment while others will want volunteers for a one-off project. Consider contacting groups that will tie in with a potential career path.
Organisations like Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service, which has an office in Grantham, are often a useful starting point. They can provide training and low-cost DBS checks and put individuals in touch with groups.
You may be surprised to discover how your skills can make a difference. So many groups are looking for young leaders to share their knowledge including those who once gave you a passion for a sport or hobby.
Take the chance to work with people in what might be your potential career. This might be regular paid work or unpaid, but both will show an individual’s commitment.
“Students start a course with lots of enthusiasm but can quickly realise this is not right for them,” said Jaz Abeysekera. “It is so much better that they have had the chance to get a taste of work which gives them practical experience and added confidence that they are making the right decisions.”
If time is limited, then organisers of large-scale events will often need a team with some even paying for individuals to undertake a wide range of jobs from bar work to car parking and litter picking. In return the individual will get access to events, meet like-minded people and enhance their CV.
Fill your skills gap
Long summer days should not be an excuse to stop learning new skills. There may be something that would help make all the difference to your future. It could be something as simple as taking a first aid course, brushing up on language skills or reading a book that will help with future coursework.
Others might want to extend their skills in a particular subject and make some early preparations for an interview or audition or review their CV.
Stepping up or starting an exercise regime is another option that will enhance well-being when the going gets tough.
Grantham College is aiming to be one of the first places to offer T Levels, a Government initiative to put technical courses on a par with A Levels.
These new courses, initially in subjects like childcare and engineering & manufacturing, should be launched in 2020. Work experience of up to 350 hours will be an important part of these courses so there are benefits for students who will already have relationships with local businesses.
Broaden your horizons
Travel broadens the mind, but the temptation is to simply chill out on the beach. Consider combining a trip with at least one ‘culture’ boost. Visit an ancient monument or must-see landmark or simply escape the all-inclusive hotel to meet the locals.
Many students will already be aware of ‘gap’ year opportunities but why not see this summer as a chance to do something different? It could be picking fruit, becoming a tour guide, joining an archaeological dig or volunteering at a theatre or play scheme.
The college’s popular Erasmus+ scheme, which runs during term times, gives students a chance to undertake work experience relevant across Europe.
This year the all-expenses paid programme has enabled students on selected courses to visit places like Sweden, Malta, Germany and Poland. An opportunity to experience different cultures, move out of the comfort zone and get a taste of work which is relevant to their course.
Grantham College (http://www.grantham.ac.uk/) has a range of courses and its dedicated careers team is on hand to provide advice and support while you study.
Applications for this September are still being accepted. Those students looking for advice are encouraged to contact the college which is open throughout the summer.
For more information on courses, enrolment, open events and summer opening times visit www.grantham.ac.uk or call 01476 400 200.