A new year brings about a sense of a fresh start, an opportunity to improve upon the accomplishments of the year gone by. And through university especially opportunities to make use of free time during summer and winter breaks are abundant and should be taken advantage off by students looking to stand out from the crowd.
“Don’t be afraid to set targets and goals both in your chosen degree and general university life. “
In the world of employment today competition is high and to make an impact to prospective employers volunteering opportunities and work placements are essential. And through the university, a wide variety of both are available. In the summer of 2016 I plan to volunteer in South America through the government program ‘International Citizen Service’, which I learned about during freshers week. I have opted to work in local workshops tackling social issues however environmental related placements and teaching placements are also available. This is only one of many volunteering opportunities promoted by the university, so whether you want to climb Kilimanjaro or teach English in Fiji, chances are there is something to interest you.
But don’t leave it too late!
This is the time to start organising for the summer, raising funds and spreading the word about your charity project to make a bigger impact.
When it comes to work experience many courses now offer a year in industry or a year abroad. Not only will this allow you to earn a salary and gain valuable experience in your chosen field, but it also develop links to companies which can lead to a job once your degree is finished. Make it easy for yourself and get involved! I for one would love to have a guaranteed job after finishing university (it gives me a chance to start working off that student debt).
So all I am trying to say is THINK AHEAD! Don’t be afraid to set targets and goals both in your chosen degree and general university life. Think big! This is the perfect time to travel around the world and to try new things. I was lucky enough to travel to Zambia last March to teach in Libuyu Community School and Lubasi Orphanage, both located in Livingstone. And although I was only there for a short period of time, I would recommend the experience to everyone to broaden your views and learn more about different cultures, as well as to be a part of an organisation doing good work for good people.
Be creative, set a target and go for it!