Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Diversity Round Up!

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Graduate Jobs, Internships

I wanted to share some upcoming deadlines that may be of interest to some of our students:

Women in Investment Banking: offers 50 career motivated first year female students a unique opportunity to hear first-hand what it is like to work in an investment bank and how you can follow in their footsteps!

The Met Diversity Internship: This summer, the Met are recruiting up to 19 talented interns for a paid internship, to work on projects that could change the future of policing.

IT: its not just for boys: Event designed exclusively for female students who are looking to find out more about technology careers.

National Audit Office Scholarship Programme for BAME students: Summer Internship Programme for undergraduates
from a Black or Asian minority ethnic background who are interested in a career in accounting and auditing.

The Mike Devenney Scholarship for Disabled Students: The Mike Devenney Scholarship helps talented and independent minded disabled students, both undergraduate and postgraduate with some of the costs of studying at higher education institutions.


Research Funding and your career

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📥  Academic Career, Careers Resources, For PhDs, Tips & Hints

If you're planning a longer term academic career, be aware that academic employers will look for evidence of your ability to attract research funding. Depending on your research field it may not be easy for you to be a Principal Investigator on a grant, but it's still important to demonstrate that you have an understanding of the grant writing process and can get invloved in bids, as well as plans for future research and knowledge about possible funding sources. In the AGCAS report on Getting the First Lecturing Job that I've referenced in a previous post, responses on the extent and types of experience in obtaining research funding that recruiters would look for varied across disciplines. Respondents in Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering were more likely to look for evidence of larger independent grants and fellowships, whereas respondents from Social Sciences gave a broader range of answers, highlighting the value of travel grants, small project grants and joint grant applications.* Before tackling a larger grant or Fellowship application yourself, it could be a good idea to bid for some smaller funding or try to be involved in a grant application another academic is writing.

Even if you're not planning a longer-term academic career, or want to stay flexible, involvement in funding applications is highly transferable to other settings and will build your skills in budgeting, planning and logical and persuasive writing, as well as your collaborative skills if you're involved in joint funding bids with other researchers.

Depending on your specialism, funding may be available from research councils, trusts, charities, or industrial partners or sponsors. It's really important to speak to academics in your field, as they are best placed to know the most appropriate funding sources for your research area, and can give advice and feedback on any research proposals.
I'd never attempt to put together a 'list' of funding sources, but here are some suggestions for starting places to look:

- Research Professional is a searchable database of both large and small funding sources from a wide range of sources

- Research and Innovation Services  list funding opportunities and send out newsletters with upcoming funding sources

- The Research Councils provide small and large-scale funding for research projects, including grants and Fellowships. Some research councils only allow permament acaemic staff to be Principal or Co-Investigators on a grant, so check the eligibility criteria carefully. Even if you are not able to be a named PI or Co-I on a grant proposal, it can be possible for you to have an input into the grant writing process. Some Research Councils offer 'Researcher Co-Investigator' status to PhDs or postdocs who have made a significant contribtion to writing the funding application, so look out for this.

- Independent Fellowships (career development opportunities which give you the chance to develop, and secure funding for, your own independent research projects), are provided by the Research Councils, and other organisations including the European Commission, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy and The Royal Society. See this University of Manchester Guide for more sources and advice on Fellowships. Some Fellowship schemes ask for a specific amount of postdoctoral research experience first. If you're applying to a Fellowship with Bath as your host institution, our colleagues in Research and Innovation Services can provide guidance and feedback on your application.

- The vacancies section of our web pages for researchers include other places to look for funding.

- small grants, including travel grants, may be available from a range of sources including the relevant learned society/professional body relating to your discipline.

- look out for internal funding sources, such as funding for public engagment activiites, or the Researcher Development Fund.

The Researcher Development Unit runs courses on grant writiing, so do check these out too.

*Do look at the relevant sections of the report for a fuller picture and interesting qualitiative comments. Views on this will vary so do talk to academics in your Department and research area.





How can you stay employable in 2020?

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Graduate Jobs, Labour Market Intelligence, Tips & Hints

Following on from our blog post 'What will the job market look like in 20 years time', I wanted to share this infographic which highlights how employers are starting to think. Career management is a lifelong process and the most successful individuals are those who are constantly adapting, developing new skills  and evolving with the changes in the market place. So what can you do now to remain employable in 5-years time?

important work-skills



How to sell Your Volunteering to Employers

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📥  Applications, Interviews

Spend any amount of time looking at CVs and you discover how amazingly generous university students are with their time. I'm constantly surprised by the  volunteering our students manage to be involved in which is often over and above their academic work, activities or paid jobs. I remember talking to a graduate recently who said his volunteering was his equivalent of watching East Enders! He saw it as a much better way to spend his time. As a Careers Adviser I am often out and about in the summer visiting graduate employers and it is common to come across noticeboards or staff newsletters championing their employees volunteering and community activities. Employers think volunteering is important so you should think carefully about promoting your volunteering to employers when you apply for a job.

A simple thing to consider is how you include it on your CV. Is it out there and proud or languishing somewhere on page two? Is it in a separate section or is it part of your work experience section? I see many CVs where volunteering has given someone much more significant skills than their work experience yet the placing of it on their CV is done without thought. The same is true in interviews. You don't want to use your placement, for example, in every answer you give. Add a bit of variety by using your volunteering experience too. The fact that you didn't have to volunteer may impress an employer more than a compulsary or paid activity. Or you may be able to show leadership in a voluntary activity while a paid job may not afford you that opportunity.

If you want to find out more we are running a session on the Students' Union Skills Programme on March 11th called "Selling your Volunteering to Employers" where I will be sharing my thoughts on the best way to do this. You'll need to sign up on the SU website.

SVW 2015

If you haven't done any volunteering yet then you should think about it. It's Student Volunteering Week now so keep an eye out for events on campus or go to The Volunteering Office as they can support you with finding a volunteer placement or with putting your own unique ideas into practice.

If you fancy working in the Charity Sector as a career then check out our Charity Careers Networking Event on Thursday March 12th from 16:00 to 18:00 at the Careers Service. You can sign up and find out who is coming by checking the Events listing in MyFuture. Meanwhile check out our information sheet "Working in the Charity Sector". Come in and talk to a Careers Adviser if you want to discuss this careers option. We don't just know about business, science and engineering jobs.

Our most comprehensive resource to help you find an internship!

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Internships, Work Experience

For a number of our students thoughts have turned to finding a summer internship and we thought we would pull together helpful websites to kick start your internship applications.


General sites

CareerPlayer - Search graduate internships by industry and location. Most of the opportunities listed on the website are in banking, finance, management, and consultancy. CareerPlayer also claims to have the largest independent career video library, and the most comprehensive career event listings to help graduates explore their career options.

Employ Ability  - Employ Ability are a dedicated service assisting students and graduates with disabilities, including dyslexia or long term health conditions, into employment. They have worked with many leading blue-chip as well as public sector organisations and there are a wide variety of internships with large multinationals and SME's.

Enternships - lists internships and opportunities for graduates with ambitious start-ups and small businesses in over 20 countries. You can refine your search by start date, industry, location or compensation.  Companies such as Groupon, PayPal and celebrities like James Caan and Peter Jones of Dragons Den have used Enternships to find graduate talent in the past.

Give A Grad A Go - Search for paid work placements in Design, IT, Media & Arts, Sales, Banking & Finance. According to the website most work placements last between 1-3 months, with many paid internships.

Graduate talent pool - Graduate Talent Pool is a partnership between government and employers, designed to help UK graduates looking for work placements. The internships are based primarily in England, and you can search for opportunities by career sector and region.

Inspiring Interns - Inspiring Interns aims to match graduates with businesses, and recruits interns all year round. Most opportunities are in London and the UK, and you can search by industry sector. You can upload your existing CV, or make a video CV for employers to browse on the website.

STEP - Step Graduate offers paid work placements in the UK, and the programme is supported by the government through the Department for Business and Skills. Typically placements last between 2-3 months, and the website boasts lots of success stories of candidates being offered permanent positions at the end of their placements.

Student Ladder - fantastic website where you can search for opportunities by year of study and industry sector.

Wexo - Wexo lists internships and job opportunities for students and graduates with companies in the UK. You can create a profile and browse job listings for free, however to access all other content such as CV guidance, and to apply for roles there is a one off membership fee of £10.

 Sector Specific Opportunities


Charityworks - is a unique partnership initiative between 20 charitable organisations. The graduate development programme offers graduates the opportunity to work in charities for one year, and to develop the skills they need to work in the sector.


Gradcracker -  Gradcracker only lists paid work placements for Engineering and Technology students. Browse hundreds of placements with over 48 companies, and refine your search by discipline or work sector.

Finance & Banking

 eFinancial Careers - Worldwide opportunities for graduates interested in Investment Banking and Financial Services. Search internships and graduate trainee roles, and filter results by location, sector or keywords.

 Media and Broadcasting

Broadcast Graduate - The website is aimed at recent graduates and students to help them discover internships, job opportunities and graduate schemes in the broadcast and media industries. Employers on the site include BBC, 4 Talent, Bloomberg etc.


New Scientist -  Quite a comprehensive list of internship opportunities in science, charities, and abroad. The deadlines for many of the internships will have passed already but the list gives you an idea of the kinds of places that take on interns in science-related posts, and when they tend to advertise for them.


TDA School Experience Programme – You can apply for the SEP if you are considering teaching maths, physics, chemistry or a modern foreign language at secondary level and hold a 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 degree. The placements can last up to 10 days, but are flexible. You will observe lessons, talk to teachers about day-to-day school life and you might have the opportunity to plan and deliver part of a lesson.


Target Jobs -  section lists work experience and vacation schemes in the field of law. Filter results by upcoming deadlines, employer name or region.

Enjoy and have a fun weekend browsing internship opportunities! If you need help with any aspect of the application process please book a quick query with a careers adviser.

Job hunting tips for students and graduates with Aspergers

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📥  Diversity, Tips & Hints

Finding employment after graduating can be difficult for many students. However, for graduates with Aspergers Syndrome, this process can be particularly challenging. Aspergers is hidden disability affecting around 700,000 people in the UK. The condition manifests itself in different ways but more commonly it can affect communication and social skills. This can prove to be a significant barrier at interviews and assessment centres which often form part of the recruitment process.

If you are a student or graduate with Aspergers and find interviews and assessment centres particularly challenging, you may want to consider the following advice:

  • Disclose your disability: whether you disclose is a significant concern for many students and graduates. You can choose to disclose at any stage of the application process. However disclosing and discussing any adjustments prior to interview may enable you to showcase your true potential.
  • Discuss your disability positively: Once you have disclosed be open and talk about your disability positively. Think about the skills and positive attributes you have developed as a result of having a disability and draw on this evidence in the interview to showcase your suitability for the role.
  • Articulate your needs: by knowing what adjustments you need you can be proactive in requesting the right support. The Great with Disability website has examples of the types of adjustments you can request.
  • Get interview practice: interviews and assessment centres take practice and it can help to understand what employers are looking for. Do contact us in the careers service for 1:1 practice, we are able to help you even if you have graduated.
  • Is this right for you: if you find you are locked in a cycle of not getting interviews or being unsuccessful in assessment centres, then do step back and consider whether this role or industry is the best fit for you? You may want to think about your strengths and explore where you could make a strong contribution. I thought the advice shared by Chris Carson is excellent and really worth considering.

The  National Autistic Society have a wealth of information on their website. You may also want to explore opportunities advertised via Remploy, Even Break and EmployAbility. Finally, if you are a Bath student or graduate please contact Saiyada Fazal, our careers adviser who takes lead in supporting disabled students.



Disclosing your disability to employers


📥  Diversity

This afternoon we delivered our first Webinar as part of the Enable Careers Programme. We talked about whether you should disclose your disability, long term health issue or mental condition to an employer.

We understand whether you want to disclose a disability to a potential or current employer can be a difficult decision and is a very real worry for a lot of students looking to enter the workplace .  Whilst concerns exist about how disclosing an illness or disability may affect chances of a job offer, the landscape is slowly changing. The Equality Act 2010 seeks to protect candidates as it prevents employers from discriminating on the basis of a disability.

In regards to disclosure, we shared the following advice this afternoon:

  • Its your choice: you are under no obligation to disclose! It is your choice and you can chose to disclose when you want (at application stage, before or during an interview, when an offer is made or before starting work). Worth remembering, once you've told an employer about your disability, you’re protected by the Equality Act 2010. This means your employer must take all reasonable steps to provide the necessary adjustments and mustn't discriminate against you because of your disability.
  • Be prepared to discuss your disability: once you have disclosed you must be prepared to give the details of your disability and discuss the adjustments you require. Our advice is to be positive and offer employers guidance around the support you need.
  • Talk through the pros and cons: if you are unsure, please talk to Saiyada Fazal, our careers adviser who supports disabled students at Bath.
  • Be positive: when discussing your disability, emphasise the skills you have gained and ways you manage your disability.

You may want to explore the very comprehensive advice on the Target Jobs website.

What will the job market look like in 20 years time?

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📥  Sector Insight, Tips & Hints


Really fascinating read from the Guardian Professional published yesterday. Key points from the article include:

  • The graduate jobs market is growing and having a degree will be increasingly valuable in the future.
  •  Rather than fears over unemployment the concern for the future jobs market is about pay, with an economy where we will see large scale, low income employment.
  • Increased polarization between skilled and unskilled labour.
  • The technology sector will grow but it will also displace some traditional jobs.
  • The unpaid internship trend may fade away completely.

International Careers Week: the world is your oyster

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📥  Careers Resources, International Students, Networking, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints

Today we are launching our second International Careers Week, which will run from 2-6 March. Whether you are an international student looking for opportunities to work here or at home, or a British student looking to expand your horizons and work globally, there is something for you.

There will be live links with international employers such as Unilever and our very first virtual presentation from the Hong Kong conglomerate Jardines, as well as advice on how to get hired in China and Malaysia.

On-campus presentations are coming from the British Council, Dyson, GKN China and DISCO International.  But it's not all about work opportunities - we are fortunate to have the UK-US Fulbright commission coming to tal about study opportunities in the US, and Erasmus opportunities and TEFL are also covered.

For those who feel they would like to brush up on some skills useful for working or studying abroad, we have a full programme of workshops from Careers Advisers including a one-stop-CV clinic run jointly with the Academic Skills Centre.

There will also be a session on building international networks using LinkedIn and the Bath Connection - so if your perfect job is in another country and you're not sure how to find it, do give that one a try.

The full programme is available for you to look at, and events are bookable, through MyFuture from this week.

Job hunting advice for dyslexic students and graduates

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Tips & Hints


According to the NHS, approximately 10% of the British population has dyslexia to some extent, making it one of the most common learning difficulties. Yet students and graduates with dyslexia often worry about informing potential employers of their condition. According to TargetJobs,  you are not obliged to disclose dyslexia, especially if you feel it won’t affect your ability to do the job. ‘Disclosure is a personal choice and you have to decide what feels right for you.’ The equal opportunities section of application forms usually asks about ‘a long-term condition that affects you on a day-to-day basis’. If you’re applying for a job where your dyslexia won’t affect your ability to do the tasks every day, you might not feel that it is relevant.

I came across a really good blog post on Graduate Fog: Dyslexic Graduates: 6 job hunting tips you need to know about.  The writer acknowledges that “Being a dyslexic graduate can make a tough job market feel even tougher. Graduate applications, CVs, covering letters, assessment days and interviews are all more stressful if words swim on the page in front of you and reading, writing and spelling aren’t your strong suit.” But adds that “in some cases, having dyslexia can actually be an asset when job hunting – if you handle the situation correctly.”

The author then gives lots of useful advice on playing to your strengths in the job hunting process:

  • Be proud: Use experiences of managing dyslexia to demonstrate persistence
  • Help yourself: Keep exploring tools that can help you, talk to the Disability Advice Team at Bath for more information.
  • Present your disability as a positive: Don’t apologise, talk about your dyslexia with confidence
  • Know your rights: check out this super guide which has been produced by the Equality & Human Rights Commission. 
  • Play to your strengths: For example lots of dyslexics are creative, visual thinkers which are invaluable skills in the workplace.

Scott Bryan shares his personal experience of job hunting with dyslexia and offers some helpful solutions. You may also want to explore the advice and support available through the following organisations:

Adult Dyslexia Association
British Dyslexia Association
Dyslexia Action