I have a secret for you. If you're thinking of doing a placement or internship next year, now is the time to start looking. We may have only just got Halloween out of the way, and Christmas is around the corner, but top employers are already recruiting for their internship schemes in summer 2014. Many of them recruit on a rolling basis, meaning that as soon as they've got enough applications they can close early, and you'll have missed out!
Even if you aren't looking to work with huge employers who have massive recruitment drives, it's important to stay on top of available internships to see what kind of thing appeals to you and what skills and qualifications you'll need to apply. You'll be able to identify where your CV needs to be bulked up and schedule in some time before the summer to make yourself the most appealing candidate out there.
If you're thinking of going travelling instead this summer, it's even more important to plan ahead. You can start saving and organising your time to ensure that when it comes to the end of May you're not broke, jobless and without any work experience worth a passing mention. Instead you can dive right into the summer of a lifetime while your peers are still writing out their to-do lists.
Time to get organised
For those looking for a procrastination task (and what student isn't?) here's one that's well worth your time: make a study/revision/jobhunting/gap year planning calendar, and stick to it. Introducing regular breaks into study sessions dedicated to jobhunting or planning your travels will help you stay motivated and focused on what you need to achieve, and you'll feel like you've been particularly productive at the end of it, especially if you land yourself the perfect placement.
There are so many candidates with similar skills looking for jobs right now that you need to dedicate the extra time and effort to making yourself stand out. If I could give only one piece of advice to second-year-at-uni me it would be this...GET YOURSELF ORGANISED. There are plenty of career opportunities out there, but you have to keep your eyes peeled and be prepared to jump on any that arise, whether the deadline for applications is in January or June.