Vacation Schemes: How to find a Vacation Scheme or Summer Placement

prompt journal - summer placement

Most formal vacation schemes have already been filled in advance. Most large companies have a formal application process and you can usually find the details of this on their website.

But how do you get started and what do you do if you don’t have missed out or don’t have a scheme or placement already signed up. The first steps in the process are as always working out what you want to do and finding the jobs to apply for the first place.

1. Make a “WishList” of firms and companies you want to work for (and don’t forget to include a few backups). List in order of preference.

Lists are a great way of organising your thoughts and getting things down on paper. For this task I use the “Wishlist” Worksheet. At the top is space for a mind dump. Then at the bottom of the page you should list your priorities and then list the jobs in order of preference.

2. Research your WishList Firms and Companies

Research the companies and choices you noted during step one. Be thorough. Check what opportunities are available and where there may be a vacancy. Once you have completed the research reassess your list of options. Do you still want to apply? Is the order of priority the same? Do any of them have vacancies listed on their website that you can apply for?

3. Search for job vacancies in places you never thought of…

Once you have complete your list (or crossed off places on your list) you should also consider available schemes and placements that you might not have discovered (or considered) yet.


  • Contacting your university careers service
  • Searching for vacancies online – Prospects, Target Jobs and Milkround (to name a few) all offer specific searches for summer placements
  • Networking and using your contacts to find out about vacancies
  • social media

4. Make speculative applications and create your own internship.

Still not found what you want – then the next step is to create your own internship. Dust off and update your C.V and get ready to hit the pavement – literally (or alternatively you could just send a quick speculative application to the relevant HR team or contact within the company).

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