Maximising Your Summer Break

27 June, 2017Ryan Cieko

pexels-photo-274025Summer may seem like an ideal time to kick back and relax for a few months, but unfortunately no successful person got where they are today by spending their days sitting on a beach. They got there through hard work and perseverance. Summer is a great time for you to jump-start your career progression. The Careers & Employability team is always available to support you at every step of the process – Feel free to book an appointment anytime over the summer!

While it is okay to enjoy a break from classes and take a bit of time to rejuvenate, it’s also important for you to maximise your time and be intentional about how you spend it. Many students participate in internships over the summer, helping to solidify career interests and build experience. We encourage you to explore opportunities in the weekly Jobs Alerts, available to all students, which is an ideal resource for job and internship openings. Volunteering and job shadowing can be equally valuable. Employers tell us that university graduates should possess skills including communication, teamwork, and analytical thinking. They also expect to see career-related experience on CVs. The Summer break is a great time for you to build on your strengths, develop these necessary skills, and gain relevant experience while making professional connections.

Take full advantage of your summer by learning as much as you can about the industry in which you plan to pursue. Commercial awareness will be a key attribute to demonstrate when completing online applications and going to interviews and assessment centres. Employers will want to see that you have an understanding of their organisation and an awareness of the sector in which they operate. Consider the following questions when conducting your research:

  • What are the firm’s main products or services?
  • What are the problems facing their industry or sector at this time?
  • Who are the firm’s competitors?
  • Who are their clients/customers?
  • Are there any market trends within the sector?
  • What are their competitive advantages?

The Careers & Employability team can play a pivotal role in the career development process; being supportive of our student’s exploration and experiential learning is essential to your success! Don’t be afraid to initiate conversations over the summer about your academic and career plans. If you’re unsure of your career direction, we encourage you to have informational conversations with professionals to learn more about various career paths -- this will provide you with the opportunity to confirm interests and build your professional network at the same time. The Head of Careers & Employability is able to help you develop contacts for information, advice, and assistance in career planning and job searching. Finally, please do take advantage of the ‘Professional Mentor Scheme’ to gain an ally from the banking and finance industry. Some of the ways the Careers & Employability team can assist you include:

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  • Individualised career coaching   
  • Skills development                       
  • Job search strategies                                     
  • CV, cover letters & interview preparation                                 
  • Job & internship listings                                                                       
  • Postgraduate study preparation
  • LinkedIn & social media strategies        
  • Connections with alumni & employers through on-campus events

No matter what you decide to do, enhancing your employability skills over the summer months will pay dividends in the long run. We look forward to working with you!

- Ryan Ciecko, Student Engagement Manager with The London Institute of Banking & Finance

To find out more about the careers support for our Higher Education students, click here.