Work while you Wait: Getting a Meaningful Job in between Your Diploma and Degree

You’re fresh out of polytechnic and waiting for university to start. Here are some tips on how you can take up a meaningful part-time job or internship to build your portfolio.
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The gradsingapore Team
Anne Grace Savitha
Writer, gradsingapore
Work while you Wait

Congratulations! You are done with your diploma and are thinking of earning some income while waiting for university to begin. Instead of waiting tables or working in other service jobs, you should consider taking up job roles related to what you wish to work as in future.

Not only will you gain work experience that is useful for building your career path, you get to connect with professionals in the field. You may not earn at lot as an intern, but the exposure will be invaluable and give you a strong headstart compared to your peers when your degree finally commences!

1. Consider roles and companies which will help you to grow

Look for companies that will enable you to grow your skills sets best – so that you’ll learn as much as possible during the internship or contract role which could be as short as three months. Think of the skills you wish to gain before looking out for possible companies to intern at. Try to achieve half or more of the skills by the end of your short stint.

If you wish to do another stint at the same company where you have completed your diploma coursework internship at, go ahead and apply. Most importantly, you’re seeking a platform for learning on the job, to pick up transferable skills such as adaptability, time management, critical thinking and useful application skills such as crunching data with Microsoft Excel, or making stellar presentation decks, for instance.

2. Send your resume to companies which you are interested in

It is important to write in to the companies’ HR managers about your interests and why you want to pursue an internship with them. When sending speculative applications, do not feel dejected if the companies do not respond positively as they may not have any vacancy at the moment.

You can also make use of your personal network and the careers service office at your polytechnic to apply for an internship or temporary role after your diploma. Do not let any opportunity slip so that you can spend your time wisely before university begins! In this way, you will develop a competitive edge over your peers who have not gained any real-world experience in a professional field related to the degree which you are about to embark on.

3. Get reviews on how these companies perform

There is nothing like speaking to people who have completed internships or roles in a particular company that you wish to join. The ones who could offer you valuable insights could be your friends, seniors from schools, and mutual friends.

Get their insights on the company and most importantly, the job role. Understand the company’s overview, operations, objectives and values, so that you can determine your fit and tailor your answers accordingly when called up for an interview.

Time is of the essence, especially if you are nearing the completion of your diploma and thinking of how to spend your long break before university starts. Start applying for part-time jobs or internships using your current results.