“Due to the outstanding quantity and quality of applicants we’re afraid your application was not successful this time.”
The value of extracurricular
Do you remember the stress of writing your personal statement? It was almost like a betrayal. You were told that you needed eleven GCSEs and three A levels, they were valuable, essential, they’d get you a degree. It turns out your whole life was meant to be building up to a personal statement, and it was time to think over your life. What had you actually achieved? It’s a simulated mid life crisis for 17 year olds.
Now you have to rewrite your CV constantly, and, apparently ‘Head Girl’ and ‘Captain of the hockey team’ doesn’t cut it either. More is required of you.
Relevant niche expertise
Find some relevant experience. For example, if you want to work in sales, research entry level roles and choose a focus within sales.
There’s not exactly a huge amount of FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) activities around, and Fruit Ninja doesn’t count. But Technical Sales jobs are a good bet as technical skills are all extremely useful in life and work, additionally it’s something the internet is very good at teaching. YouTube can teach you to fix anything, along with Photoshop and HTML.
How does it put you ahead of others with your degree?
It’s a matter of CV writing. If you actually know what you’re talking about, you can do ok without that much experience, but you need some. For everyone else, the more experience you can draw on, the more boxes you can tick. Remember, it’s all worthless if you can’t express it. You need to be able to articulate, and your skills has to be something employers have heard of.
Essential general expertise
Societies show you can maintain multiple commitments, build relationships, lead and manage projects and solve problems. All you need is a few commitments, such as a sport, academic, lifestyle, or an entertainment society.
Performance and Debating show public speaking/confidence, commitment, collaboration. They require confidence in your work and the ability communicate, your rehearsing and practice shows commitment, and they show that you have worked with others to help them succeed in their goals too.
How much can you do during your degree?
This is a calculation of time on your part, but the answer is quite a bit.
For a three year course, starting from A levels, you have nine terms and ten holidays. Overall it’s a year of time away from scheduled obligations for internships. You’re not going to get an internship for Christmas, but in those three years you can get six to nine months of internships. Don’t sabotage your degree, but if you plan carefully it is possible to have close to a years experience to showcase. For your nine terms you can build up a nice collection of skills and commitments. You won’t have to list them all, just have experiences to draw upon when needed.
Above all, be active! Here is a great resource for understanding and finding a technical sales job read through it, and read what is wanted. Can you deliver that? Why? How? If not, what could you say?