Work experience: What to do if you've nothing planned for Summer

student careers music festival

By theunipod community,

As Summer finally approaches, work experience and internships are on university student's minds, but what can you do if you weren't organised earlier in the year or if you were unlucky and were not accepted for a Summer work experience placement? So, I've come up with a few original (I hope!) suggestions that you could consider this Summer, or at least use them to guide you in the right direction.

  1. - is a brilliant volunteer site that I frequently use. You can narrow your searches to location, how much time you are willing to commit and what areas of volunteering interest you. From legal services to environmental conservation there is definitely something for everyone.
  2. National Citizen Service (NCS) - Aged 16-17? Why not apply for this great summer camp in the UK. With team building skills, exciting opportunities and a graduation certificate signed by the Prime Minister, this scheme will definitely enhance your CV and make the most of your Summer. Visit for further details.
  3. Competitions - I used to enter writing competitions throughout the year, but predominantly during the Summer, when I had free time. The results were brilliant! I was invited to various awards ceremonies, received prizes and even read one of my poems at Westminster Abbey! This was brilliant in boosting my CV and has proved to be a useful conversation starter in interviews.
  4. Become an au pair - Fancy travelling this Summer and earning some money? Why not apply to become an au pair. An au pair is similar to a nanny, with duties often involving childcare and babysitting. There are many websites that have more advice on being an au pair; just make sure they are credible before you apply.
  5. Festivals - Can't afford to go to a festival? Want to gain some work experience and see your favourite bands? Why not volunteer at a festival this Summer? Organisations such as Oxfam recruit around 5,000 volunteers including stewards, campaigners and shop volunteers. Check out for further information.
  6. Planning your career - If you were not sure about what work experience you wanted to apply for during the year, this is the perfect time to properly start planning your career, so that in September you can start applying for work experience or internships. Why not visit or for ideas.
  7. Summer Camps - A few of my friends have spent their Summer working at Summer Camps in America and had an amazing time. Although you won't earn millions, it looks impressive on your CV as it shows you have team skills, are responsible and have a sense of adventure. Why not start looking at to see if you fit the criteria?

So, as you can see there are still plenty of things you can do this Summer to help develop your CV and gain some valuable work experience. Don't feel too despondent. By making sure your Summer is as productive as possible, you can start re-applying in September with an even better CV.