Published: June 12, 2018
With another academic year coming to an end, what better way to spend the summer than trying to enhance your CV to put yourself in a better position after completing your degree?
Take up an Internship
An internship is an unpaid placement given to students in order to provide them with an opportunity to gain relevant work experience related to their degree subject. The University of Sunderland offers some wonderful, engaging and varied internships for social scientists that will put you a step ahead of many other students upon graduating. The internships available offer the chance to gain real-life experience of a particular field that might interest you and some internships have been offered where you can take part in research projects or get involved with third and voluntary sector organisations to help support vulnerable individuals. It’s a fab chance to boost your CV and you can take up a different internship every year if you want to! It really is a great opportunity to enhance your skills, knowledge and improve your CV overall.
Similar to taking up an internship, you could also look into volunteering throughout your time at university or just for a few months if you have some spare time. Volunteering is a great way to get a taster of a field or area of work that you might be interested in, volunteering outside of uni hours also means that any work completed for the organisation can also be used on your application if you want to apply for the SuPA award! This is an award recognising your achievement outside of teaching and learning hours, something else which would set you apart from other graduates.
Make the most of your placement
This one is really important. As a social scientist, you’re likely to undertake a module in your second year wherein you secure a placement with an organisation or area you are keen to work in, you’ll then be asked to carry out a research topic on a subject of your choice. This really helps prepare you for life as a social scientist where social research is paramount; make the most of this time by choosing your area and topic very carefully. If you choose something completely irrelevant to you or something you might not like it will make the placement difficult and you aren’t likely to excel when you carry out your piece of research. If you are comfortable with it you can include this piece of research in your CV to help you stand out.
Ask lecturers for extra-curricular opportunities
Lecturers are basically your go-to fountains of knowledge throughout your degree for information on the modules and topics at hand, but remember they have been in our position too! Those same lecturers will have needed to boost their CVs to get where they are today so why not ask them if they have any knowledge of extra-curricular activities going on? They might know of some research projects you could get involved with and they might be able to point you in the direction of organisations that need help with current projects. If you're lucky they may even have a contact you could talk to. It would be worth asking your lecturers for extra tips as it never hurts to try.
Networking is a really important part of building your career, as the badly paraphrased saying goes, 'it’s not what you know, it's who you know'.
Even if you’re not a social scientist your faculty or school is likely to offer particular events, such as public lectures, open days, career taster days and so on, where you can meet and discuss some important topics with key individuals in your desired field of work. Making these connections early can be extremely helpful when you graduate, particularly if you can keep in contact as they may be able to help or signpost you in the right direction after graduation.
Become a student rep
Becoming a student rep is a great way to not only show your leadership skills but show your ability to manage the concerns of your peers with the confidence and professionalism that many different employers are looking for. You never know, playing a part as student representative you may even get the opportunity to change the University for the better!
Make use of Sunderland Futures
Sunderland Futures is a fab service provided by the University of Sunderland where you can book 1-2-1 appointments with specialist professionals who can help work on your CV, help you look for opportunities to get involved with extra-curricular activities, choose your next steps after university and boost your employability skills. This is an opportunity that may not be offered at later stages in your career path so taking advantage of it while it is available is a rest idea!
Topic: Advice and tips