All of a sudden, the Easter vacation is within touching distance. Time to breathe a sigh of relief perhaps. A chance to relax and take it easy after a challenging semester. If only those dreaded end of year exams weren’t looming! Somewhat annoyingly you find yourself torn between taking a well- earned rest and committing enough time as you need to study and revision. Depending on your year of study, getting the balance right may mean the difference between achieving the mark or degree class you want or dropping down to a level which you would rather avoid. And that in turn could have a significant effect on your future career. It’s at times such as these that it really helps to put your time management skills to good use. It also requires considerable self-discipline to negotiate so many conflicting demands.
Assess your priorities
To make matters worse, you may still be concerned that you haven’t got that elusive internship arranged or that highly desirable placement or the definite offer of a graduate job. However, the one thing you could do to save yourself some time is to decide just how important job-hunting is for you right now. If it’s top of your list then you have to carry on regardless. But if rest and study are higher priorities you could either scale down your job-hunting or put it on hold until you finish your exams.
If you decide to scale down you would be wise to concentrate on making a few high quality applications. Take time to spell and grammar check everything, carry out thorough research on the employer and delay pressing the send button until you are really happy with everything. Whatever you do, try to avoid any hastily completed applications just for the sake of keeping your job-hunting active.
Can your job search wait?
If, on the other hand, you decide to put your job-hunting on hold, the good news is that even after exams are over there are still opportunities out there. Internships can be created by employers whenever they receive an application from a student who has something attractive to offer. Is this true? Placements are available right up to the end of August. In fact we know from previous years that only half of the placements which Surrey students finally enter have been sorted by this time of year.
The alternatives to graduate schemes
If you are in your final year, most graduate schemes will be drawing towards a close but there may still be some outstanding unfilled places during the summer. Sometimes employers get their recruitment figures wrong or attract new business which requires extra graduates. You could also consider applying for graduate schemes for entry the following year. In practice only 14% of graduates join company graduate schemes and many students get their first graduate job in small and medium sized enterprises. The good news is that if you would like to work for a smaller employer, they tend to try to fill vacancies whenever they arise and these can be at any time of the year. There are always lots of advertisements placed by smaller employers over the summer months.
Looking for opportunities after the exam period
If you do decide to focus on your exams now, there will still be opportunities when they finish. In fact we already have over 50 companies, looking to recruit for graduate and placement roles, booked for our Summer Recruitment Fair on 8th May, so please do come along! You can book a place here.