What is a Vacation Scheme or Summer Placement?

This month I have decided to take a closer look at Summer Schemes and placements in the run up to summer. This series is aimed at university students or recent graduates who are looking for or are completing a summer vacation scheme or placement this summer.

This series will include

  • what is a summer placement?
  • Where to find a summer placement?
  • how to make the most of your placement.
  • vacation schemes, summer placements and career development

What is a Vacation Scheme/Placement?

A vacation scheme, summer internship or placement is a work placement that takes place during the summer months (June – August). They are aimed at students or recent graduates (although usually, anyone can apply). Some companies use them as an extended interview for potential future employees or to offer someone work experience (not just because they need an extra pair of hands).

Most formal Work Experience Schemes will be a week or two weeks in the summer. Placements can be anything from a few days to the full 12 weeks of summer. They can be part-time or full-time hours, they can be paid or voluntary. The reality is the employers structure placements to suit their needs. However, you should consider the options avaliable and check if they suit your needs.

A Vacation Scheme, summer internship or placement is different from a summer job. A summer job is usually about earning some extra money but a vacation scheme, summer internship or placement is about gaining experience and learning on the job and getting the job,

Why do a Vacation Scheme/PLacement?

If you are looking for a job doing a formal scheme can be a great way to get your foot in the door (and in some industries the only way). If your target company or firms offer any sort of insight day or scheme you should definitely be applying – it shows commitment and helps you decide if they are is right for you.  It might even lead to a permanent job.

It is important to have a good mix of experiences on your C.V. and a scheme or summer placement can give your C.V. that something extra. Whether a  scheme or placement is right and/or necessary for you to do will depend on:

  • the type of career you wish to pursue;
  • the relevant experience you have had to date;
  • the gaps on your C.V. that need filling;
  • the stage you are at in your life; and
  • the opportunities available to you this summer.

If you know the career you wish to pursue and need the opportunity to flesh out your C.V. with some relevant work experience then signing up for a summer internship should be a no brainer.

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