Written by Alannah Woodley
BA (Hons) English
The Christmas break is the perfect time for you to relax a little…. But not too much!
I am sure that I am not just speaking for myself when I say a break is needed, it’s the end of semester one, the loans are running low, deadlines are drawing in and exams are looming over the year ahead. But, that is why it is important to kickstart 2017 with a refreshed and positive mindset. And here are just some tips that will hopefully put you in good stead for your placement applications!
Christmas is a time all the family get together and celebrate! So why not use this time to get to know your extended relations better, you never know, they may turn out to be a valuable contact to you. It always looks good to be able to drop the ‘name-bomb’ in an application. For instance, they may be able to offer you some valuable first hand insight into the company you are interested in, as well as knowing the specific skills they are looking for in potential employees! This will not only impress the employer but will make you more memorable within the process. So definitely get speaking to that long distance cousin that always sits on the far table from you around Christmas lunch!
Realising you need experience to gain experience is rather frustrating right! You find yourself filling out the online recruitment processes to see a column saying ‘relevant experience’…well that’s kind of why I am writing to you… However, the best way to get around this is using the time off of lectures to make your self as employable as possible. This doesn’t necessarily meaning working within a company, there are lots of stuff you can do for yourself. Why not do some extra reading around your degree, take a trip to London and visit the national galleries, or even start up your own blog! Its little touches like this that can be done independently that show that you are a well rounded character dedicated to your chosen study.
It is also a good time to reflect on the applications you have completed so far! What kind of responses you are getting, if any at all? The main thing is no to get disheartened, thousands of students are in the same predicament as you so stay calm and keep trying. Use this time to stay organised and keep track of when you applied and when their closing deadlines are, so you can monitor where you are within their process. At the start of the semester make a meeting with the placement coordinator for your faculty, they can review what you have done so far and suggest the best way to move forward!
So stay positive! Keep working hard! And use Christmas to your advantage!