Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Topic: Advice

The Employers Are Coming – Get Prepared for The Careers Fair!

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Fairs, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Tips & Hints

The Employers Are Coming – Get Prepared for The Careers Fair!


On Thursday and Friday 19th and 20th October the employers are coming to campus! We will have around 200 employers over the two days from a range of different sectors. This is a unique opportunity for Bath graduates, undergraduates and postgraduates of any year to meet a range of employers in one venue, and will give you the chance to ask questions and assess the types of jobs on offer in an informal setting. Remember this is not just for graduate roles, there are also employers offering summer internships and placements.

The 2017 fair will be held from 11am to 4pm both days, and will be at the Sports Training Village (Netball Courts).

So how do you prepare for the careers fair? Well here are few tips for you:

 

  • Research the employers coming to the fair. The leaflet is out and you can download it from our website.  There are employers from a range of sectors within business and engineering, but we also have charities and public sector represented by organisations such as Cancer Research UK, Department of Education, Welsh Government, Frontline and Teach First. A lot of commercial companies also recruit students from all disciplines so there is something here for anyone, whatever your degree.
  • Plan your visit! Which employers do you want to see and where are they? Make sure to target the employers and find out where they are by checking the Careers Fair map.
  • Prepare questions for the employers you are interested in. The answers may make you decide on what career pathways are best for you or may inspire you to apply for a summer internship or a graduate role. Questions may cover a range of subjects. Maybe you are curious about the day to day work activities, the culture of the workplace? Or maybe you would like to know what type of skills or experiences they are looking for so that you can tailor your job application or prepare for a future interview? Maybe you want to learn more about the industry or the sector, the current issues or developments?  Have a think about what you would like to know and prepare your questions beforehand. Avoid asking the companies what they do, researching the companies or organisations beforehand should help you with that! More ideas for questions to ask can be found here.
  • Wear something nice. No need to wear a suit or business attire, but avoid looking scruffy or avoid looking like you have just just come from the gym. First impressions counts, even at a careers fair.
  • Prepare your CV. You never know when an opportunity arises to give an employer your CV. If you would like some feedback on your CV, have a look at our excellent CV guide and come to one of our quick query appointments to have it looked over. You can book these appointments through MyFuture.

Finally, just be yourself and enjoy the day. We hope that you will come out of the fair with ideas, inspiration and knowledge that you can use further in  your career.

For more information, see our website for more details or on how to prepare for the Careers Fair, have a look at our Careers Fair Guide.

 

 

 

 

Careers in the Civil Service

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Resources, Commercial Awareness, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Internships, Sector Insight

Careers in the Civil Service


This blog post was originally posted by Sue Briault, but has been updated to include current information and links. For up to date news and information about Civil Service Fast Stream and for the chance of interacting with current fast streamers, make sure to like Civil Service Fast Stream Careers on Facebook


About the Civil Service

The Civil Service does the practical and administrative work of government. More than half of all civil servants provide services direct to the public. If you want to know more about the Civil Service and it's purpose then go here. If you are interested in the work of the more than 60 government departments and over 100 agencies then these can easily be found on the GOV UK website where every department and agency has a space.

Jobs within the Civil Service can range from administrative positions within departments to embassy posts with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).  There are also a number of professions employed within the Civil Service including economists, statisticians and scientists . Staff may work anywhere in the United Kingdom and possibly overseas, although the majority involved in policy work are located in London. There are increasing numbers of opportunities within the devolved regions and some departments are based in locations such as Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

When applying to jobs in the civil service it is important to research the Civil Service competencies, which sets out how the Civil Service want people to work. Research the competencies and write down examples from your academic background, work experiences and/or extra-curricular activities to see how they compare and fit with each competency.

Civil Service Fast Stream

This is the accelerated development programme for graduates. Applications opened in September and will close in October 2017, so if you are interested, apply now! This includes entry into the Diplomatic Service. It is also possible to apply to the Civil Service Fast Stream even though you are working within the Civil Service.  There are several different Fast Streams and you can find more information about the schemes on the Fast Stream website.

  • Analytical Options (AFS):

Government Economic Service (GES)
Government Operational Research Service (GORS)
Government Statistical Service (GSS)
Government Social Research Service (GSR)

  • Other Options:

Generalist
Human Resources
Diplomatic Service
Diplomatic Economic Scheme
Houses of Parliament
Science and Engineering (only open to postgraduates)
Commercial
Finance
Government Communication Service
Project Delivery
Digital, Data and Technology
Other Civil Service Graduate Schemes

Other Graduate Schemes

Graduate schemes run by individual departments can be hard to find out about so keeping an eye on the Civil Service Jobs website is important as not all have dedicated webpages available to see year round (see  section below).

It is also worth noting that many Civil Service graduate schemes make offers of jobs at the grade below to ‘near misses’. This happens in the Fast Stream too. Those that scored only a few points below the overall benchmark may be made an offer or an interview for a role at Executive Officer grade (the grade below the one Fast Streamers start on). This isn’t always well publicised because employers don’t want to raise candidate expectations but it is worth being aware that applications to the Fast Stream or other Graduate Scheme can be a good entry point into the Civil Service.

Other services who recruit graduates include MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

Other Civil Service Jobs

The place to look for all Civil Service vacancies is https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk. Create an account and you can then set up some preferences and then receive regular job updates by email. You will need to click "Show more" to be able to select Job Grade as a preference. Why should you look here? Because there are many jobs that would be suitable for graduates within the Civil Service that are not part of the Fast Stream or other Graduate Schemes.

Frequently spotted on Civil Service Jobs :

HMRC Social Researchers
Temporary Statistical Officers
Temporary Assistant Economists
Various individual Scientist Posts suitable for both undergraduates and postgraduates
Graduate Internships at Executive Officer level

Work Experience

There are two schemes available:

You will find that placements are available through your placement office in some government departments and others may be advertised through the Civil Service Jobs website mentioned previously. There is not a strong expectation that you will have gained experience within the Civil Service before applying for a graduate job there. Think about the competencies that they recruit against and develop your experience to demonstrate these.

Nationality Requirements

There is strict criteria regarding nationality for entry to the Civil Service and comprehensive guidelines are available here. Any job in the Civil Service is open to applicants who are UK nationals or have dual nationality (with one being British). About 75% of Civil Service posts are also open to Commonwealth citizens and nationals of any of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA), although at some point this latter group will have their status changed once the UK's exit from the EU is settled. I am advised that the Civil Service is not a Tier 2 sponsor.

 

International students and working in the UK

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📥  Advice, Careers Service Update, Finding a Job, International Students, Tips & Hints, Work Experience

It's that time of year when lots of newly-arrived international students are coming into the Careers Service and asking what sorts of jobs they can be doing while also studying, in order to maximise their employability.

Now, this is not as simple a question to answer as I might like. And the consequences for international students if they get things wrong as regards what work and when are severe.

Fortunately, the experts in international student affairs, UKCISA, recently published an excellent blog on the subject which I am reposting in full, as it is comprehensive and accurate. I encourage any international student readers to have a look.

The source blog, with links, can be found here:

https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/blog/6257/A-working-definition

This is, of course, different from the work you can do after your studies - for individualised advice on this please contact our Student Immigration Advisers

There are many potential work opportunities for students, but does the Tier 4 work restriction allow you to do them? Andrew Humphrey looks at the ever-evolving world of work and business opportunities -- and the almost-never-evolving Tier 4 work conditions.

The world of work is changing. Many of us who work in the education sector can choose to work remotely from home, and we have opportunities for self-employment and for voluntary work. Plus, the tools of entrepreneurship and e-commerce are at everyone's fingertips these days. For me personally, as well as my job as an adviser and trainer with UKCISA I do some voluntary English teaching for a refugee charity, I am an independent Manager for a direct sales company, and I help my friends' 12-year-old son with his food blog and related social media.

So that’s all great for me, but what about you?  

Most Tier 4 students can work up to 20 hours a week during term time, although some are restricted to 10 hours, and some have a work prohibition. Check your visa vignette or biometric residence permit for your work conditions, and see UKCISA's guide to working during your studies.

If you can work, I'm sure you are keen to maximise your opportunities for paid work, for gaining work experience, and for the other social and cultural benefits of working. But have the changes in technology, communications, business practice and work culture in the UK that benefit me also expanded the work you can do within the Tier 4 work restriction? 

Yes. And no.

If you need to check whether a specific activity is allowed under your Tier 4 work conditions, it all starts with paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules which defines "employment" for all types of visa. It says that  “employment includes”:

paid and unpaid employment,
paid and unpaid work placements undertaken as part of a course or period of study
self employment
engaging in business or any professional activity
That word “includes” allows for other activities to be considered employment.  The specific types of employment that a Tier 4 migrant can take are listed in Paragraph 245ZW(c)(iii) of the Immigration Rules.  This says that you can take “No employment, except…”, followed by a list numbered (1) to (8) of what you can do. The list confirms that:

“Paid and unpaid employment” is fine, within your 20 (or 10) hours per week restriction during term-time, and with no time limit in vacations.
There is a prohibition on working as a Doctor or Dentist in training, in professional sports including coaching, and on working as an entertainer. 
“Paid and unpaid work placements undertaken as part of a course or period of study” are separate from "paid or unpaid employment", so you can do both at the same time.
Being “self-employed” or being “engaged in business activity” is not allowed. Being self-employed normally means you are not on the employer's payroll but rather you manage your own workload, pay and tax. There is guidance on the gov.uk website to help ascertain if you are self-employed. For "business activity" the Tier 4 policy guidance for applicants gives three examples, including setting up as a sole trader. The three examples are “not an exhaustive list” but rather “examples of the types of circumstance in which you will be considered to be engaged in business activity.” 
You can work as a student union sabbatical officer.
If you apply to switch to Tier 2, Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme or Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, you can start the specific work that is allowed under those schemes.
Neither the Immigration Rules nor any related immigration guidance go into any further detail. This means that if your proposed employment does not fit securely into this definition, or if it is a "grey area", doing the work would be risky.  And what are the risks exactly?  Well, the Home Office treats work conditions very seriously.  They can remove you from the UK if you work too many hours or if you do work that you are not allowed to do. If you are removed, you may face a ban on re-entry for a certain period of time. The employer also faces penalties. Strictly speaking, your university or college is also obliged to report to the Home Office any students who are working illegally.

As an international student adviser, I am obliged to warn you about these dangers of illegal working, but please do not panic. 

First, stay focused on your current main purpose in the UK: full-time study.  

Second, remember that a Tier 4 visa specifically and explicitly does provide opportunities for work, but in effect just the sort of part-time and vacation work that international students have done for many generations. While this can be frustrating, it is very important to not take risks. It may seem preposterous for me to warn you against trading on eBay or babysitting, as I do below, but that is because the Immigration Rules and guidance lack any nuance about work that does not fall fair and square into standard part-time and vacation work for an employer.

Third, beware of taking advice about working from other students or from people on internet message boards. For a professional student immigration adviser like me it is worrying and discouraging to see students asking anonymous strangers online for immigration advice when they have access to trained, professional and FREE immigration advice at their university.  Your international student adviser is always the best source of information about any aspect of student immigration and visas. See also UKCISA's detailed guide to working during your studies here on this website.

What follows are some types of work that students ask about, and my replies about whether it is safe to do them within the Tier 4 work conditions. In every case I am referring back to the definitions above. 

A quick note about income tax in the UK:  income tax is normally deducted by your employer from your wages or salary under the Pay As You Earn scheme. If you receive income from other sources, for example tips, rent from a property you own, or other one-off payments this income may be liable for income tax.  For more details see the UK government's guide to who needs to file a tax return.

 

Professional sport
You cannot work as a professional sportsperson. This is defined in paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules, and it normally means someone who is working in professional or semi-professional sport (paid or unpaid). It does also include someone who “in the past derived … a living from playing or coaching, [and who] is providing services as a sportsperson or coach at any level of sport”. However there is an exception if the current activity is “solely for personal enjoyment and [you are] not seeking to derive a living from the activity”.  So a student with a background in professional sports can coach a sports team as long as it is unpaid. This unpaid work counts towards the weekly 10 or 20 hours limit.

Any other sporting activities you do would normally be amateur, not professional. This includes being on a local or university sports team, and taking part in more formal organised events like the London Marathon or the Great North Run where you can participate alongside professionals.  

Large international sporting events often recruit temporary staff but this would come under the normal rules for part-time work.

 

Entertainer
You cannot work (paid or unpaid) as an entertainer. “Entertainer” is not defined in the Immigration Rules, but the Home Office's Business Help desk has stated (in an email dated 3 September 2015) that "We take it to mean … taking part in entertainment in any way other than as an amateur".  "Amateur" is defined in the Immigration Rules at paragraph 6 and it means “solely for personal enjoyment and not seeking to derive a living from the activity”. Therefore acting or performing as an amateur or just as a hobby is not working as an entertainer, and you can do it.  

There is also an exception for any performance that is an assessed part of your course. This is a concession contained in the Tier 4 sponsor guidance only (paragraph 6.8), not in the Immigration Rules.

See the separate information below on performing in television talent shows.

 

Resident Warden “on call”
If your total number of hours on duty, including overnight, are within your weekly maximum 10 or 20 hours anyway (including any other paid or unpaid work you are doing), that is fine.

However if counting all the hours on call, including any when you are not actively working or even asleep, would take you over your weekly 10 or 20 hour maximum, we advise that you get individual advice from both the Housing Services and the Human Resources departments at the university before accepting the job. The university may consider the whole on-call period as your working hours and pay you accordingly, or they may not.

In 2016 the Human Resources magazine Personnel Today published an interesting article about this issue, including links to relevant Employment Appeal Tribunal cases.

 

Selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.
You can do this as long as you are not “trading”. The UK government's guidance on working for yourself says that “you’re probably not trading if you sell some unwanted items occasionally or you don’t plan to make a profit.” 

However one of the specific examples of “trading” is if you sell or make items for profit or if you “sell online, at car boot sales or through classified adverts on a regular basis”.  The information says “If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trader. This means you’re self-employed - even if you haven’t yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).”

 

Volunteering
Volunteering does not count towards your maximum 10 or 20 hours if it meets the definition of volunteering in the Tier 4 policy guidance (paragraph 315):

Students who are volunteering do not have a contract, they must not be a substitute for an employee and they must not be doing unpaid work – i.e. receiving payment in kind (although they are sometimes reimbursed for reasonable travel and subsistence expenses). Volunteers usually help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation.

Any other kind of unpaid or voluntary work that does not meet this definition will count towards your weekly 10 or 20 hours maximum.
 

Online business, e-commerce
You cannot run a business at all while you are in the UK. The Immigration Rules give no exceptions for online businesses or for businesses where all the clients are outside the UK.
 

Passive income from affiliate marketing, clicks on your YouTube videos, etc.
While this is not one of the three named examples of “business activity” in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (paragraph 308), it would reasonably be defined as a business activity, so best not do it while you are in the UK.

Someone who has become a YouTube celebrity after studying in the UK is Seong-jae Kong, known as Korean Billy. As part of our 2017 conference, Billy spoke to UKCISA about his time as an international student in the UK and how it has inspired his new career.
 

Working for an employer outside the UK
If you are physically outside the UK, your Tier 4 work conditions are irrelevant.  You need to check what are your work rights in the specific country where you are working.  However any work you do when you are physically in the UK, for example working for a non-UK employer remotely or doing a "virtual internship" with them counts towards your weekly 10 or 20 hour maximum. This is because the work restriction has no specific exception to not count work undertaken remotely for an employer who is outside the UK.

 

Digital nomad
A digital nomad is someone who harnesses technology, cyberspace and portals like Fiverr to create a freelance online working life that disregards international borders. They may spend time living in different countries, either making a living from freelance work conducted and sourced online, or through sources of "passive income".

This a very attractive idea in theory, and technology makes it perfectly feasible, but in reality it is only possible if your immigration status in the country where you are staying allows you to do freelance work. Your Tier 4 work conditions do not allow it, so you cannot be a digital nomad while you are living in the UK.

 

Owning or dealing in shares
You can buy and own shares, but if you own more than 10% of the shares in the company (including if they are held in trust for you) you cannot work for the company.  This is one of the specific examples of “business activity” in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

If you regularly buy and sell shares in order to make money, this is likely to be seen as “business activity”. If you make a dividend income from shares you own, you must pay income tax on this income.

 

Bitcoin mining
Neither the Immigration Rules nor any related guidance makes any specific provision for Bitcoin mining. It would be safest to assume that it is a “business activity”.

Separately, HMRC clarified in 2014 that any profits from Bitcoin mining are liable for income tax.

 

"Gig economy" jobs:  Uber, Deliveroo, DPD, MyHermes, etc.
This sort of work is self-employment so someone with Tier 4 leave cannot do it.

Some recent employment law tribunal cases have encouraged some of these companies to give their contractors some of the benefits of being employees. Uber is currently challenging this but whatever the outcome of the challenge, it seems likely that such work will still be seen as self-employment.

For more information about how gig economy jobs fit in the working regulations, see the May 2017 Department of Work and Pensions report on self-employment and the gig economy. 

 

Direct sales: Amway, Avon, Tupperware, Thermomix, etc.
You cannot do this because independent consultants for direct sales companies are self-employed.  The company will not check your right to work because they are not your employer:  it is up to the individual consultant to monitor their own self-employment and any attached responsibilities, including whether their immigration status allows them to do the work.

 

Incoming from owning a property
Owning a property and deriving an income from rent is not self-employment, but you must pay income tax on the income you receive from rent.

 

Television talent shows, media appearances and contests of skill
In this tabloid newspaper article about a Chinese couple who entered the "Britain's Got Talent" contest in 2017 the producers of that specific programme say that participating is not considered employment and that winning the cash prize is not payment for employment.

If you decide to enter a contest that involves skills or performing, whether it is televised or not, check at an early stage whether the organisers have the same view that it is not employment. Of course, you will also need to check whether your academic schedule allows you the time to participate. 

It is possible that a paid or compensated appearance on television or in other media may be seen as a business opportunity.  However students with Tier 4 visas do sometimes participate in the popular academic television quiz show University Challenge. A very popular contestant in the programme's recent season was Eric Monkman, a postgraduate student from Canada. Monkman later returned to the UK to do a journalism internship and during this time (presumably now with a work visa) he was able to work on the BBC Radio 4 programme Monkman and Seagull's Polymathic Adventure.

 

Writing and publishing
When you formally publish your writing, even self-publishing on Amazon, you are usually hoping that that people will buy it and that you will earn some money. Therefore it is highly likely to be seen as a business activity and you may not do it under a Tier 4 visa.

To avoid this, if you want to publish your writing or other work purely as an artistic expression or leisure activity, do it through a (non-monetised) blog or personal website. 

 

Focus groups, clinical trials
If you take part in a focus group, clinical trial or other similar experiment you are normally given some cash and usually some food and drink. The organisers will need to check your identity, usually your passport, but this is for their own statistical purposes not to check of your right to work because they do not consider it employment but "paid volunteering".

However, it would not meet the narrow definition of "volunteering" in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (see above), so it does count towards your weekly maximum permitted working hours.

And while it is not self-employment, HMRC advises that payments for taking part in very well-paid clinical trials could be seen as income that is liable for tax:

There will be no tax or NIC liability arising on the individual if the sums received do no more than reimburse the individual’s reasonable costs of participating in the trial or research, including costs of travel and subsistence.

However should the sums paid exceed those reasonable expenses then the excess may fall to be chargeable to tax as Miscellaneous Income, potentially giving rise to personal tax liabilities of the individuals which should be notified to the Inland Revenue under Self Assessment.

 

Babysitting or dog-walking
Missing your young relatives? Wish you could have a pet in your student housing?

You can do dog-walking or babysitting while you are in the UK, but under the Tier 4 work restriction you can only do it unpaid.  This might seem overly strict, but remember that providing any service for payment, including babysitting, dog-walking or anything paid “cash in hand” is likely to be seen as self-employment or, at the very least, a "business activity".

My advice is treat these activities not as paid work but as a social opportunity and as a chance to experience aspects of the local culture different from your student life.

If you miss your young relatives, why not offer to babysit for free.  Think of the non-financial benefits: it's a fun and interesting opportunity to meet some local families and children and see how they live. Plus free WiFi and snacks usually come as standard.

Student housing normally does not normally allow pets, but the website BorrowMyDoggy.com connects you with local dogs who need walking and company, or where the owner just wants to give non-pet owners the chance to spend time with their dog. Walking a dog may give you an insight into the British public that you do not normally see, especially in cities: people will smile, stop to pet the dog, and ask you its name, breed, age, etc. Try it!   

 

Andrew Humphrey is an Advice and Training Officer at UKCISA. References to and quotes from the Immigration Rules and related guidance were correct at the time of publication, but they may change.

Graduate skills in the world of the future

📥  Advice, Career Choice, Career Development, Careers Resources, inspire, Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight

Hardly a day goes by without a news report on robots either taking over our jobs or revolutionising our lives. I recently attended The World of Work Conference at Henley Business School where the message was loud and clear: THE ROBOTS ARE COMING and we all need to adapt and ready ourselves for this new world of work.

It is inevitable, technology gives birth new career paths and along the way some jobs disappear as machines can do them faster. According to the BBC, approximately 35% of current jobs in the UK are at risk. Nesta have put together a handy quiz which assesses the probability of a robot taking over your job. While Transport for London is embroiled in a row with Uber, driverless cars pose a threat to the whole industry (ok..I'm saying this for dramatic effect).

Truth is technological innovation has given birth to new industries. In May this year, the Tech Trends Report, now in its 10th year, provided a fascinating insight into emerging technologies that are on a growth trajectory. They identified 150 trends across a wide range of sectors from Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Bitcoin to Genomics. The one that caught my attention was the development of Invisibility Cloaks. Researchers at Queen Mary - University of London are experimenting with electromagnetic and audio waves, tiny lenses that bend light and reflective materials to hide objects in plain sight.

In a report by Microsoft 65% of school students in university today will take up jobs that don’t exist yet. So what does all this mean in practical terms? If you are embarking on your graduate career, I think it is important to stay focused on sectors and trends with potential for future growth. This awareness will make your career progression easier and potentially offer greater job security. In his book 'What to do when machines do everything' the message is clear - work on developing personal skills such as empathy and creativity (essentially the stuff robots aren't good at - yet). Below are the top 10 skills needed in 2020 (that's round the corner).

Over the next few weeks we are going to blog about careers in emerging industries such as Big Data, Synthetic Biology, Robotics and Regenerative Medicine. So stay tuned....!

 

Welcome Freshers and Returners!

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Tips & Hints

Welcome Freshers and Returners

Ah, you found (or re-found) our careers blog, well done! Now, quickly,  subscribe to our blog (link on the right hand side) and welcome to a wealth of careers resources, inspiring articles and careers news, employer and graduate interviews and much more. Come back regularly and you will find something  that will help you every step in  your career journey.

Are you a fresher?

Freshers17

Enjoy your first few weeks at Bath. If you’re going to the Freshers’ Fair this week, you’ll probably find yourself signing up for clubs and societies, or other activities like volunteering. All of the above are great for your CV, as potential employers look for students who can demonstrate their initiative, have strong communication and organisation skills (e.g. the ability to juggle coursework with extracurricular activities and jobs!), and have held some positions of responsibility during their time at University. It is never too early to think about your career!

Make sure you visit us in our wonderful new University hub in the city centre, the Virgil Building, check out or Careers website and be sure to like our Facebook page! In addition, register for MyFuture to be kept up to date on careers events, jobs and to set up an appointment with one of the careers advisers.

Returning to second or final year?

So, you’re back after the long summer break, welcome back! Now’s a really great time to be thinking about your career. Do you know what you want to do when you graduate? If not, you could consider booking an appointment with one of our careers advisers to discuss your options, please do so through MyFuture. In addition, we have over 150 employers coming to campus for our Careers Fair later on 19th and 20th of October, and in the meantime we have lots of employer events and skills development workshops for you to attend, all bookable through MyFuture.

For those returning from placement, please be aware that we have moved to our wonderful new University hub in the city centre, the Virgil Building, we hope to see you there soon!

Over the coming months, we’ll be blogging on topics such as:

Making the most of the careers fair
Aceing interviews and assessment centres
How to start your internship and job hunt
Equality and Diversity
Alternatives to Grad Schemes

.......and much more! So make sure you check in regularly! Subscribe, if you haven't already, you know you want to!

 

 

Opportunities in Government for scientists and engineers

📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Resources, Event, For PhDs, For Taught Postgraduates, inspire, Sector Insight, Subject Related Careers

I went to a fascinating talk a couple of weeks ago, organised by the Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation,  by the Government Office for Science about career opportunities for scientists and engineers in the Civil Service. Go-Science provides policy advice and support to the Government Chief Scientific Adviser in carrying out his role in advising the Prime Minister and Cabinet on a wide variety of areas including Risk and Resilience, Infrastructure, Trade and Finance, Energy and Climate Change, Cities, and Data and Analytics. The Government Chief Scientific Adviser is also the Head of the Science and Engineering profession for around 10,000 scientist and engineers who work in government in a variety of roles from specialist to policy as part of the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) profession.
This YouTube video provides a useful overview of the Government Science and Engineering Profession.

We heard from three recent science graduates working for Government; as you read their stories you’ll see that they moved around a bit after they graduated, a timely reminder for those uncertain about their next step is that where you start isn’t necessarily where you’ll end up, and our interests and career plans often change and develop over time:

Jenni completed a Masters degree in Meteorology at the University of Reading and worked as a weather forecaster in Singapore for a number of years for oil and gas clients., She then returned to the UK and worked providing forecasts for media and film production companies. During this time she realised that she wanted to work at the science-policy interface within government. Jenni took an intern policy research role (which was fully paid) in the Government Office for Science before achieving a permanent position on promotion to her current role at Cabinet Office.

Alex is part of the Horizon Scanning Team, Government Office for Science. Her role involves advising government on the evidence and scientific basis for new technologies. Alex did a Biology degree and then a Masters in Marine Science. While working in a wildlife conservation start-up she became interested in technology, and saw an advert for an internship with the Government Office for Science; her paid internship was initially for six months, and following a successful review her contract has been extended for a further six months. Alex enjoys using her scientific knowledge to in way that has real world impact.

Jerome is currently doing the Science and Engineering Fast Stream. He did an undergraduate degree which included a year in industry and then a PhD in theoretical structural Biology. He realised during his PhD that he wanted to do science that was more applied and had more impact. His first role was working for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, where he was part of the research funding team, managing funding calls, visiting universities and working on Equality and Diversity policy. He realised that he wanted a career that made use of his intellectual capacities, and considered working for think tanks and consultancies before settling on the Civil Service. His current role involves writing briefings and speeches for ministers, and he has liaised with a wide range of groups including academic, the NHS and patients, and frequently gets to meet with very senior people in external organisations.

Some general insights and tips from the three graduates on working as scientists in the Civil Service:
- Roles can involve researching areas of science and technology that the government wants more information on – not necessarily from your own specialism.
- The analytical skills gained as part of your science degree can be put to good use outside of the lab in a range of jobs from understanding research reports, to commissioning new work.
- They were not expected to have particular areas of technical expertise, but rather to be have a broad knowledge, scientific training and interest in science and engineering which enables them to get to grips with new areas quickly.
- There are roles that do require particular technical skills and enable the development of specialist science and engineering careers in many organisations of the public sector such as Safety, Security, Defence (both military and civilian), Public Health, the Met Office and many, many, more- the role of Government scientist and engineers, as with all civil servants, is to support the priorities set by the Government of the day.
- Roles are varied and include real responsibility from the outset supported by induction, training, and development opportunities.
- To stay in touch with opportunities follow the GSE Blog: https://governmentscienceandengineering.blog.gov.uk/

Getting in to science policy
If you have a particular interest on working on science to inform policy or indeed the policy of science there are opportunities in the Civil Service, and scientific learned societies (e.g. Royal Society, Institute of Physics). Some entry level roles may requires a Masters or PhD. (https://wellcome.ac.uk/jobs/graduate-development-programme) has a graduate scheme. This article by Queen Mary, University of London Careers Service has a useful summary of organisations work in science policy and relevant events and training courses. If you’re wanting to get into science policy, think about getting some short-term experience (internships are sometimes advertised on the Campaign for Science and Engineering website, and there are internships for Research-Council funded PhD students to work in a range of policy organisations), keep up to date with scientific issues that affect public policy, and build your networks through sites like LinkedIn and our own Bath Connection.

For other ideas for non lab-based career options for scientists, take a look at our guide to Alternative Careers in Science.

 

Getting a graduate job or placement when you have a non-visible disability

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Labour Market Intelligence, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

 

Applying for graduate jobs can be daunting, but when you have a disability, this can sometimes add to the stress of applying for graduate jobs. This blog aims to allay some fears and also encourage you with tips, advice and information on where you can find help and support to succeed in the graduate labour market.

Defining a non-visible disability

It’s probably a good idea at this point to define what we mean by a non-visible disability. These are basically disabilities which are not immediately apparent. They are also sometimes referred to as “invisible” or “hidden” disabilities. An interesting fact is that one in every two people has some kind of health condition -this may not necessarily equate to a disability under the Equality Act definition but it does mean that there are a lot of people living with things that are not immediately obvious to the eye.

Some of the non-visible disabilities that many of us have so to name a few:

ADHD, Dyspraxia, Deafness, Anxiety, Dyslexia, Chronic Fatigue/ME, Coeliac Disease, Narcolepsy, Repetitive Strain Injury, Tinnitus..

Its worth knowing at this point that there are therefore huge numbers of people working successfully in the workplace with non-visible disabilities.  For example, how many of you know which non-visible disability these well know people from the entertainment and political arena have?

George Clooney     George_Clooney-4_The_Men_Who_Stare_at_Goats_TIFF09_(cropped)

Lady Gaga

Lady-gaga-icon-thatgrapejuiceKylie   Kylie Minogue

381px-Theresa_May_MPTheresa May

Donald Trump                    Donald_Trump_September_3_2015

Daniel Radcliffe Daniel Radcliffe

(answers will be put up on our Careers Facebook Page in a few days time!)

So many people have a non-visible disability but they have successful careers. So how might they have done this?

Become an expert!

What’s important when applying for a job is that you become an “expert” on your disability. It’s important that you understand how your disability affects you and the adjustments you would need to work well in an organisation. So think about what would make your life easier. This may range from flexible working, working from home occasionally, specialist equipment, line management support – a preference for having clear goals and regular meetings to check progress are some of the things to think about.

The question an employer will always want to ask is “What is your disability and how will it affect your ability to do the job?”

Once you feel comfortable with the above and have thought about your needs, and the support you might ask for to succeed in the job, think then about your strengths.

Know Your Strengths

It’s so important to know what you can offer an employer, so spend some time thinking about your personal attributes and your knowledge and experience. For example, a person with dyslexia, has often learned to be very organised because short term memory can sometimes be an issue.

If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue/ME for example, again you may have worked out how to be extremely organised during your degree to meet deadlines and cope with tiredness. You may also have developed strong resilience and empathy skills as a result of your condition.

Think how you have achieved on your degree course and how this could be transferred to the workplace. Perhaps some of the techniques or tools you have used during your academic study would be easily transferable to the world of work. If you are finding it difficult to articulate your strengths, do come and speak to a Careers Adviser.

Finding Jobs

You may find it useful to target disability friendly employers. Look for particular accreditations such as Disability Confident employer or the Two Ticks. disability_confident_employer_roller

EmployAbility www.employ-ability.org.uk is a not-for-profit organisation that provides support and advice for students and graduates with disabilities. Employ-Ability also runs a wide range of internships and graduate recruitment programmes on behalf of many of the most prestigious and progressive blue-chip and public sector organisations.

When or if to tell an employer about your disability

“So how do I get a job and when, if, and how should I tell an employer about my disability?”
When to disclose has probably been the most popular query I have had this year as a Careers Adviser covering students with disabilities.

Disclosure to employers is complicated and a challenge, because you don't always know exactly what you'll be doing in that job, and whether your condition will be relevant. As many disabilities aren’t obvious to people, students may also find it tempting not to let a potential employer know in advance. However, there may be many benefits to disclosing and particularly early in the recruitment process. One recent graduate I met at a Careers Adviser’s training event in London last week said that he really hadn’t wanted anyone to know he had dyspraxia/dyslexia and when applying for the Civil Service Fast Stream, he chose not disclose the first time round and then failed on one of the final tests. The second time round he was advised to disclose, was given extra time and support and he was successful in his application. His biggest regret is not doing this earlier!

Firstly, if you are not sure, you can decide anytime whether to disclose or not. However, the important thing to bear in mind is that you will not come under the protection of the Equality Act 2010 until you do. For more information on this take a look at https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act-2010/what-equality-act

or Diversity Link information.

At the Psychometric Test, Application or Interview stage?

If you do decide to disclose think about when you might. You may decide if you have dyslexia or suffer with anxiety or ADHD, that it would be good to tell an employer of your disability prior to sitting any psychometric tests as you may need to ask for additional time and in some cases you may need to give the employer time to consider alternative tests in order to measure your capability to do the job. A key tip here is think about telling the employer sooner rather than later as preparation work would need to be done to best support you.

You may decide to disclose at the application stage as  companies may select you then on meeting the essential criteria required to do the job. You may decide that you would prefer to apply and then if shortlisted disclose then. It may be that you need some reasonable adjustments for the interview in order to compete successfully.

You may decide that actually, you will wait to see if you get a job offer and then speak to an employer about support you might need in the workplace.

Some graduates decide to wait and see and will start working before making a decision to disclose.

It’s really up to you and what you feel is the best time if at all. If you would like help on making this decision then please do book to see me – just email me - Melanie Wortham or careers@bath.ac.uk. If you are leaving Bath then we can do a Skype appointment.

Links to information and Advice

There are many non-profit organisations and charities who also offer advice and support. Some of these are:

EmployAbility (specialist organisation working with disabled students and graduates)
Disability Rights UK (includes a useful careers guide)
RADAR (disability rights organisation)
Leonard Cheshire Disability (the UK's leading charity supporting disabled people)
Great with disability
Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
Action on Hearing Loss (formerly Royal National Institute for Deaf People)
MENCAP (for people with learning disabilities)
MIND (for people with mental illness)
British Dyslexia Association
The Dyspraxia Foundation
Narcolepsy Association
Interview and Assessment Centre Preparation

Resources at the Careers Service

We have many resources in the Careers Service to support you.

Check out our website http://www.bath.ac.uk/students/careers/

See our selection of DVDs on preparing for interviews and assessment centres http://www.bath.ac.uk/students/careers/information-resources/catalogue.bho/index.html

Book a practice interview to help you prepare for those difficult question and alleviate some anxiety

Try out our video interview software Interview Stream

So my final thought for today is play to your strengths and take your time to prepare for the recruitment process, finding out exactly what is involved and how you can be a success in that job.

For further information and support do contact us by popping into our new facilities in the Virgil Building on Manvers St or sending us an email at careers@bath.ac.uk.

 

Melanie Wortham

Careers Adviser

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Its not too late for me to get a job, is it?

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📥  Advice, Tips & Hints

A common question we are asked by final year students in our Quick Queries is "its not too late for me to get a job, is it?".  This is a totally understandable question to ask and one that indicates that many students are feeling anxious about their future, after graduation. The transition from being a student to worker is scary and means dealing with a lot of change (moving cities, forming new friendships, finding a new place to live etc) Not to mention if you are unsure of what you want to do or need to embark on the process of job hunting, it can all feel like it is too much.

Before going any further, I want to be clear, it is not too late to find a job! On MyFuture, (the careers service's vacancy database), we have nearly 700 active opportunities. You may find that some organisations that interest you are not recruiting at the moment, for example some graduate opportunities follow specific recruitment cycles. This however doesn't mean you've missed the boat....

It is important to approach career planning in small steps - if you are unsure of what you want to do then focus on exploring ideas or simply updating your CV may give you the feeling that you are moving in the right direction. Think of where you'd like to be in the next 12-24 months as opposed to determining your final career.

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If you are finding that the anxiety of not knowing what you want to do or looking for work is affecting you, then do consider the tips below:

  • Get things in perspective. What you are feeling is very common – you’re not alone!
  • Be kind to yourself and don’t compare yourself negatively with your peers.
  • Set realistic targets with small steps you can take towards finding a graduate role. Steps could include seeing a careers adviser, connecting with Bath alumni via Bath Connection or LinkedIN or checking out opportunities on MyFuture.

Finally, don't be afraid to talk about your worries and look out for the signs of anxiety that go beyond normal worries. According to Mind,  "If you've been feeling anxious in a way that's stopping you from doing the things you would normally do, if you're not socialising, and if you've been feeling that way for more than just a couple of bad days – that's the point when you might want to see somebody". The Residential Life and Wellbeing Service  Advisers at Bath give students help and advice on all welfare and wellbeing issues. They run daily drop-in sessions on campus.

Don't forget you can carry on using us after you graduate http://www.bath.ac.uk/students/careers/graduates/index.html.

 

What does success mean to you?

📥  Academic Career, Advice, Diversity, Event, inspire

Last Thursday I had the privilege of attending Sulis Minerva Day, a day celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The final event in a day of inspirational and fascinating talks from eminent female scientists and engineers and engaging soapbox presentations from Bath's doctoral and postdoctoral researchers was a panel event on 'Pioneers and Pathways', with a wide range of speakers from academia, industry and science communication. The panellists, with help from some lively and honest contributions from the audience, discussed their own experiences and thoughts on how to attract more women into science and engineering

The Chair of the panel, Professor Carole Mundell, Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Bath, opened the panel session by asking each of the panellists what success looks like for them. Clearly this is a very personal topic with a wide range of possible answers; a Google search for 'career success' yields 27, 700 000 results. Nevertheless there were some common themes arising in how the speakers defined success. Professor  Mundell said that for her success is two-fold - 'in my personal life knowing my family is happy and thriving, that I have time to be part of that and, in turn, sharing in their successes and passions. Success in my professional life has a similar shape: doing a fulfilling job that I love and for which I am recognised, working with good people and, in turn,  recognising and celebrating their achievements, being authentic and having integrity. I am fortunate to work in fundamental research which comes with tricky problems, but when one is the first to discover something new about the world, that is a real thrill. Success for me is really an accumulation of tiny triumphs, some of which are ultimately recognised formally, which is wonderful and necessary,  and others which may go unnoticed.'

Similar themes came up in the panellists' definitions of success. Dr Patrick Goymer, Chief Editor of Nature Ecology & Evolution, also said that part of success for him was achieving work/life balance, as well as the satisfaction of launching a journal from scratch. Work/life balance was also important to Melanie Welham, Chief Executive of BBSRC. Melanie noted the importance in personal and professional success of being brave, taking opportunities as they come up and taking a leap without knowing where you'll end up. It did occur to me that 'leaps' can be fundamentally scary; and I wondered whether changes or new personal or professional directions might be more helpfully described as steps. We often take steps without knowing exactly where they will lead; career success can be experimental and exploratory as well as carefully planned. Melanie also highlighted the importance of a support network, and advised finding a mentor who is one or two steps ahead of where you would like to be - mentors who are many steps ahead of you can be intimidating.

Developing supportive relationships was also important to Dawn Bonefield, Director of Towards Vision, who said that for her, 'success looks like collaboration'. For Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster and writer, success had meant the ability to bring together her scientific knowledge and creativity, which she considered to be key aspects of her identity, and also having space to look after herself emotionally and to make a difference through her work. If 'making a difference' is important to you in life and career, this great blog post by Warwick Careers Service will help you to think through what that might look like in practice. The Warwick Careers blog also has a lovely post on how mentors can help you achieve career success, particularly by championing your cause and giving you encouragement.

To help you work out what success means to you, think about what is important to you in the different aspects of your life. What is the purpose of career for you? How will you know when you've been successful?

Many of us find identiying our successes quite challenging; take a leaf out of Carole Mundell's book and celebrate your 'tiny triumphs'; keep a mental or physical record of what you've done and think about what you're most proud of and what you learned from the experience. To help build your confidence, think about what you're interested in and enthusiastic about, and then share it with others. Dr. Gerta Cami-Kobaci, a Research Fellow in Pharmacy and Pharmacology, who did a soapbox presentation on her research on designing medicines for pain relief, said she very much enjoyed the opportunity to present her work to a broader scientific audience, and feels that it is very important to be able to communicate with specialists working in different fields of research.

And if you find putting your successes into words a struggle, this blog also has some tips on How to Sell Yourself and Feel ok about it.

 

 

 

Graduate Fair Blog Series: Looking for work locally?

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📥  Advice, Careers Fairs, Careers Resources, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Labour Market Intelligence, Tips & Hints

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This blog entry is a part of the Graduate Fair Blog Series introducing sectors and industries which will be present at the University of Bath Graduate Fair, Tuesday 25th April. Please go here for more information about the fair and the employers present.


So you are graduating soon and you want to stay in the local area, great! There may be many reasons for this, perhaps you are from here or have established family here? Perhaps you love the area so much you would like to stay (like I did 10 years ago)?  Whatever reason, Bath, Bristol and the rest of the South West are lovely places to live and work.

The disadvantages by looking in one region only

Be aware that looking in one region only may limit your job opportunities. In some towns and cities certain industries dominate, while others are under-represented. Limiting yourself geographically may not match with your particular career choices so you need to do your research. Ask yourself how long you are willing to commute? Bath and Bristol are commutable, but you may also want to consider towns like Cheltenham, Swindon and Reading or Newport in Wales. Work out how you will get to work, the costs and how far you are prepared to travel so you can look beyond the immediate locality.

Employers in the Bath area

Bath is not a big city so it is limited in terms of which sectors/industries are located here. The biggest employers in Bath are in the education and health sectors, i.e. the two Universities and the NHS. A wealth of software development firms base themselves in Bath and several internationally recognised architectural and engineering consultancies are found in Bath (source: Bath and North East Somerset Council). See our graduate jobs leaflet for more details on companies and organisations in Bath.

Major Industries in the South West

The major specialisms/growth areas in the SW:

  • Advanced Engineering which includes Aerospace (Bristol), Automotive (Swindon), measuring instruments and medical devices (Gloucestershire)
  • Biomedical and Healthcare (Bristol/Bath and Exeter/Plymouth)
  • Creative Industries (Bristol, Gloucestershire and Plymouth areas)
  • Environmental Technologies
  • Food and Drink (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset)
  • Information Communication Technology (Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bristol, Devon)
  • Leisure and Tourism
  • Marine (Devon, Cornwall and Dorset)

Source: www.gradsouthwest.com which includes more details about these sectors.


Gradsouthwest will be at the graduate fair, do go and ask them any question you may have about staying in the South West! In addition, CIMPA, Decision Analysis Services, Sword Apak and Rise Technical Recruitment have roles in Bristol and London and Country Mortgages has roles in Bath!  Research these employers and the roles they can offer in our Graduate Fair programme.


How to find local work as a graduate?

First, you should make a list of employers that you are interested in.

Find out what employers exist in the area that are in the sectors or industries you would like to work in. Our Find a Graduate job leaflet has some great tips for you:

  • Monitor local job adverts – senior posts will still alert you to potential employers
  • Ask local people which companies they know
  • Tap into local networks of relevant professional bodies or looking for local business groups
  • Look for news items, articles and annual reports in local newspapers and business magazines for potential job growth, e.g. new factories/offices, new product/service launches, organisations relocating, takeovers etc.
  • Keep your eyes open for businesses of interest
  • Building local contacts from your own recreational activities.

You can also find A-Z lists of employers that have been in contact with us on our website.

What are the typical job websites?

You are able to search for local jobs in MyFuture, but be aware that there will be many more jobs available that are not advertised on MyFuture. Bath Chronicle advertises jobs in the Bath area, Bristol Evening Post in the Bristol area. Duport business confidence reports details business performance trends in the city. There are many more local job sites for you to try, please go here for a comprehensive list.

Contacting employers speculatively

As you know, most jobs are not advertised! Therefore, you should be flexible and creative in your approach to employers. Can you apply speculatively? Use LinkedIn in your job search? Get ideas from friends and other contacts? Our Find a Graduate Job leaflet gives you an insight in to different strategies in job hunting.

What else is there to say but the best of luck in your search and maybe I will see you for lunch in Bath or Bristol soon!

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