How to help your child make the most of their university holidays

The time spent at university is valuable, but the long months between studying can be highly rewarding. Amy Gray and Claire Brooke from the University of Sheffield’s Career Service have some top tips as to how your child can make the most out of their university holidays, and give their CV a real boost!


If your child is in their Fresher year:

  • Don’t let them waste this time – although the temptation will be there to spend 3 months on ‘vacation’, encourage them to use it to develop, enhance and improve the content of their CV


  • Help  to set up some work shadowing for them – this will give your child greater awareness of potential careers that interest them. Options are to go down the formal route, such as an “insight scheme” or by asking around to see if they can shadow one of your friends if it’s of interest


  • Encourage them to research internships and placements – the majority of placements take place in the second year of study but it’s a good idea to get ahead of the game as they are increasingly competitive


  • Volunteering is always a highly effective use of their time – it doesn’t have to relate to their degree or future career but it helps to develop transferable skills such as time management skills, communication and team work


  • Encourage them to go along to an insight day or week – large companies (especially in the finance and law sectors) offer these typically during the Easter and summer vacation periods. As you would expect, they will offer your child insight into working life for a particular sector or company and will help them to meet with key individuals


If your child is into their second year, applying for a summer internship is highly recommended:

  • They are usually structured, project based work experience placements within larger firms, however increasingly smaller businesses are realising their potential
  • Often open to students from any degree discipline although they are highly competitive, and the application process, although challenging, is fantastic experience for later life
  • They tend to be offered to students between their penultimate and final year, and are used by employers to get to know students who they will consider for graduate jobs
  • They are seen as a vital stepping stone for many within this crowded market!


Amy Gray is the Jobshop Coordinator for the Careers Service at the University of Sheffield and Claire Brooke is the Student Placement Coordinator at the University of Sheffield.

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