The decision to undertake a postgraduate course should not be taken lightly and involves a significant amount of preparation. This can range from completing a number of applications, filling out appropriate references as well as committing to new experiences, all designed to fill in that white gap on the CV, refining it, allowing you, the applicant, to stand out from the others. So, don't just jump in, take some time out and consider a few of the following exercises before taking the final leap: Live in a new city
This may not be applicable to everyone but living in a different city with a different culture and atmosphere, possibly with friends or other family members, can be a useful experience. It will shape you as a person, broaden your horizons, alter your perceptions and it will look interesting on the CV. You'll meet new people, forge a way of life within a new community, preparing you for the academic journey ahead and the changes that are still to come during the postgrad course.
Seasonal work is ideal as it's, essentially, a no-strings-attached affair, a chance to earn some decent money accompanied by hard, honest work. It's not necessarily relevant to a degree but it highlights a few integral attributes associated with the applicant. Plus it builds up funds, paving the way for new experiences and new additions to the CV.
It works on simple skills
such as interacting with clients and customers, organisational abilities and the chance to work as part of a team, no matter how small.
Gap-year students, no matter if it's undergrad or postgrad, will usually like to take part in some form of volunteer work
. It doesn't have to be degree appropriate but it looks fantastic on a CV and provides the opportunity for the candidate to meet new people, learn new skills and gain a different side of character. The excellent thing about this is that it can be done abroad as well as at home, meaning that a difficult decision will have to be made.
Independent travel is exactly what it means; travelling alone is not an easy accomplishment but it will involve the applicant having to face adversity and situations unlike any they've experienced before. This significant culture shock, again, forces you to change ideologies and beliefs about the world and those who inhabit it. Aside from that, it provides an opportunity to broaden the senses, read new books, experience new countries, meet different people, all the while adding to the CV, providing new points of reference and an altered framework to work with.
Finally, there is always going to be an added benefit to narrowing down the preferred career-choice and garnering the desired experience. This will primarily involve working as an intern for little pay, an admirable trait in today's workplace and something that'll pay off in later life. This will involve taking the initiative and searching out new companies, finding ways in and building up the desired skills that relate to the chosen degree and relevant career path.