UMASS Blog

Making the most of term breaks

Take a look at Adam’s post below about his experiences over the summer holiday – with your school/college half term coming up its important to start thinking about using that time to get some experience or research the universities you want to apply to!

I hope you’re okay and are settled back into the flow of school or college.

The summer holidays are a perfect opportunity to learn new skills and gain work experience in the field that you wish to become part of in the future. Part-time work is one way of putting the dexterity that you have into practice whilst gaining payment for your efforts. No matter what the job is, there are always opportunities available that will let you to expand your skill-set and increase your overall employability.

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In my break, I frequently worked as a Student Ambassador for the University of Manchester, helping to facilitate a number of events ranging from campus tours and school visits to guest lectures and workshop activities within the local community.

Through my work as a Student Ambassador, I’ve been able to improve on many of the skills that employers look for that aren’t explicitly taught on my degree programme. Through leading workshops and assisting on school intake days, for instance, my confidence and presentation skills have improved significantly; both of which are incredibly important in my desired career choice of teaching. Because working as a Student Ambassador requires you to give talks and speak to potential students for prolonged periods of time, I found that my communication skills also enhanced. I never used to be very confident when it came to talking to people that I didn’t know, but it now feels like second nature.

I also traveled when I finished my first year at university. Travel is a fantastic way of finding out about both other cultures and yourself, offering new perspectives on the way in which you view the world. Quite a lot of students do it when they’re not in university, and it is becoming ever more common for people to record and talk about their travels at job interviews, as it shows that the applicant is independent, self-reliant, and has the initiative to embrace the codes of different societies.International-web-v2

So far, I have visited many countries in Europe, as well as a few in Asia, such as Greece, Turkey, and India. Whilst there, I have always been able to meet loads of different people on my trips, and learn about their lives, ethnic traditions, and (best of all!) their amazing cuisines!

I’m also hoping to travel to China next summer break to visit some of the international friends that I made when I lived in university-owned accommodation during my first year, or become part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET) where I’ll be able to teach students from other cultures about what Britain is like, and how it differs from Japan.

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Whether you love visiting archaeological sites, places of outstanding natural beauty, or just spending your time in the hectic market streets of your chosen destination, taking a few weeks away from the stress of work and home life can be a great way of clearing your head whilst providing you with valuable skills that can be added to your CVs.

Whatever you decide to do with your break, try to make it count by getting some experience that can help your CV and UCAS application!