Sunday, 30 November 2008

S-Cool 'Gap Year Issue'

Working During your Gap Year
The thought of working during what is potentially a year of lazing around and burning your A-Level notes might seem crazy but it could possibly be the best experience of your life. It might seem like a year would be the optimum time to defrost your revision brain freeze (a state of mind filled with an abnormally large quantity of facts) but without interaction and mental stimulation, it’ll drag by like a duck in custard. So how do you fill your day with work, but not feel like you’ve morphed into the 9 to 5 nightmare?
Well, there’s all manner of activities you can get up to and most of them are extremely flexible to your time and skills.

For those who want a taster in working in the technical sector we recommend YINI[1] who are experts are finding both pre-university students and undergraduates work placements. They have regional offices which offer support to students who wish to apply via the YINI scheme. There are many well known corporations which you can go to, within the fields of engineering, science, IT, e-commerce, business, marketing, finance and logistics. You get paid, usually over £10,000 and a third of interns get sponsored through University, making this a very worthwhile starting point to develop a relationship with an established company. The range of projects that students work on during their placement ranges from testing toothpaste flow to evaluating calorimetry techniques.

If working in an office or lab isn’t your thing, or you want a totally different experience, travelling the world could be perfect for you. Many students structure their travelling with projects, whether it be teaching or working with a charity or working with animals. Teaching English allows many UK students to travel to exotic locations and rural villages. We recommend i-to-i [2] which offers life changing travel and Global Experience [3]for varied packages such as working in a Zoo in Argentina. Project planning is essential for this as it is usually unpaid and will require you to apply for funding, which is actually easier than it sounds!

Why not look close to home and consider volunteer work? This is cheaper and much more flexible and you might find some hidden opportunities. Some Universities take in students to help with their research and media jobs are always happy to welcome a volunteer, you never know, you could end up writing for your local newspaper or being on radio!