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© Imperial College LondonPage 1 Taking a Year Out Irena Jennings Careers Adviser
© Imperial College LondonPage 2 The session aims to help you … Understand the benefits / possible disadvantages of taking a year out Consider what you want to gain from the experience and begin to develop an action plan to help you achieve it Identify sources of information to help you plan your time out after graduation
© Imperial College LondonPage 3 Why take a year out? To earn some money / pay off your debts? To travel the world, see different places? To gain some relevant work experience? Take a break from studying? Enjoy yourself before embarking on a career? To help you decide making a career choice? A bit of all the above?
© Imperial College LondonPage 4 Advantages – disadvantages?
© Imperial College LondonPage 5 Benefits of taking a gap year Developing new skills Experiencing a different way of life / insight into other cultures Learning to be adaptable/flexible Having another set of experiences to talk about at job interviews
© Imperial College LondonPage 6 Disadvantages of taking a gap year One year behind peers (established in the workplace, having started a career) Potential health risks / dangers Living on a budget Loneliness Ignoring the graduate recruitment timetable could mean a second year out! (more later)
© Imperial College LondonPage 7 What do employers think? "Most recruiters look favourably upon people who have taken gap years, if they are able to draw on their experiences and show an employer how they might make them more effective in the role they are applying for." Carl Gilleard, AGR
© Imperial College LondonPage 8 What’s available? Volunteering/working for a charity Gap year projects Travel independently / organised trekking Working abroad Teaching English as a Foreign Language A supervised/organised project A mixture of some or all of these Job / placement / Year in Industry
© Imperial College LondonPage 9 Before you go (1/2) www.gogapyear.com Money (daily budgets, power of attorney for your bank account ) Health (visit GP 4 months before you go, jabs, food/water dos & don’ts, medical kit with re-hydration salts, antiseptic wipes) Insurance (research / buy what you need) Flights / travel expenses (return flight ticket, get a travel discount card – ISIC, VIP, Gap Year, Nomads) Security (check the political situation, embassy contact details)
© Imperial College LondonPage 10 Before you go (2/2) Passport / visa (know what’s required, scan your documents into the computer & email details to yourself backup if stolen) Research cultural differences (local customs, food, public holidays, etc.) Ethical dilemma (where does your fee go?) Overall: plan for a “what if…“ scenario Have a re-entry strategy
© Imperial College LondonPage 11 Planning for re-entry Many employers start advertising from 1 September (for following September start); some recruit all year round Research your job sector, know the deadlines Internet access? Sharpen your tools (updated CV, draft covering letter / application questions)
© Imperial College LondonPage 12 Learning from the experience Keep a journal Reflect on positive and negative experiences What was your greatest achievement? If you encountered a challenging situation, how did you deal with it? What would you do differently, if you had a second opportunity?
© Imperial College LondonPage 13 If things don’t work out Embassy’s contact details Know local emergency number Seek help from others Keep your family informed Keep emergency contact details on your person Learn from the experience!
© Imperial College LondonPage 14 Resources Websites Books Careers Service – reference materials Previous participants from your chosen scheme Meetings / preparation sessions run by the organisers
© Imperial College LondonPage 15 Have a great time!
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