With exams coming to an end, summer is upon us. Typically, it entails holidays to tropical destinations, relaxing by the pool and forgetting everything you crammed into your head during the previous two months of education, whether this be general term time or with the addition of a private tutor outside of your regular school day.

Nowadays, however, the summer is a time to invest in your future. “How do I do that?”  you may ask. 

The answer is simple - internship.

It turns out that a first class degree accompanied by a faculty prize is simply not enough these days. No, this is not another sob story - it’s reality (as harsh as it may seem).

Most young people believe that getting work experience is something that you do at, or even after, university. This misconception leads to many students being left largely unemployed post graduation. Although a strong academic background is key to a thriving career, lack of experience can put you at the bottom of the pile. Experts say that “candidates with no previous work experience are unlikely to be successful and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer.” (The Graduate Market, High Fliers Report 2013). 

Scary, right?

So why is experience so valuable?

Well, there are a number of reasons. The most obvious of all - you’ve already proven yourself. Most people write ‘I am a reliable, responsible and hard-working individual, who works well as part of a professional team’. A list of work experience opportunities that you have taken advantage of shows that you’ve already demonstrated these skills - you are not simply listing desirable qualities. Moreover, you will have picked up essential IT, self and time management, leadership and problem solving skills. 

In addition, an array of work experience suggests that you have tried yourself in different roles, which demonstrates adaptability, as well as showing that your career choice is a conscious one - you’ve not just built up an idea of what a job entails based on The Hills or CSI (trust me, it’s not the same!)

You’re also at an advantage because you have first hand experience of getting down to the nitty-gritty - the good, the bad and the boring - and yet, here you are, still in the field. This once again shows you in a positive light and puts your CV ahead of the majority.

Any and all work experience is valuable - paid or unpaid - so invest in your future this summer and stand out from the crowd! - Want more advice on career pathways - students can contact INICIO to find out more.

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