Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Topic: Careers Fairs

Graduate Fair Blog Series: World Social Work Day 2017 - do you feel inspired?

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Fairs, Careers Resources, Sector Insight, Subject Related Careers

world social work day

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.


World Social Work Day was on Tuesday 21st March. Twitter was full of thanks for the hard work that social workers do and how much their work is valued.  Inspired by the quotes and the images from #WSWD17 I am writing a short blog entry giving you some information and links that will support you in deciding whether social work is the right career path for you.

What is social work?

The British Association of Social Workers describes it as:

Social work is a profession that is centred around people - from babies through to older people. The BASW Code of Ethics defines social work using the international definition of social work.

Social workers work with individuals and families to help improve outcomes in their lives. This may be helping to protect vulnerable people from harm or abuse or supporting people to live independently. Social workers support people, act as advocates and direct people to the services they may require. Social workers often work in multi-disciplinary teams alongside health and education professionals.

Where do you work?

You can work in a variety of organisations, from local authorities working with children or adults to NHS Trusts and other private or public sector organisations. You can work with a range of different people such as children, older people, refugees and asylum-seekers, the homeless, people with drug addiction and many more. Where people need support, a social worker is usually needed.

How do you become a social worker?

There are different routes to becoming a social worker. You can take a social work undergraduate degree or a postgraduate two year master’s degree. There may be bursaries but this changes year by year and you will need to research whether funding is available for you.  Two fast-track schemes also exist. Step-Up is an intensive full-time training programme that covers everything trainee social workers need to know in 14 months and is funded. Frontline is a two year funded full-time training programme, benefitting from intensive practical and academic training.


NB Frontline will be at our graduate fair in April! Take advantage of having social work experts at the fair and ask any questions you may have!


You can find more information on routes into social work here.

What you should think about before making a decision to become a social worker

  • The challenges of social work

Being a social worker is not an easy job, it is emotionally demanding and you often see a negative view of social workers in the media. Positive stories are rarely shared.  You need to be resilient and have a good support network around you to be able to successfully be a social worker. A good supporting network at work and at home is vital. Many students go into social work because they want to make a difference. Because you want to make a difference you are in a danger of putting all your time and energy into the work day and may quickly feel the effects of stress. A heavy workload is normal,  you need to be creative and adaptable to change and be prepared to have good time management skills. This is not a straight 9 to 5 job as you may have a lot of assessments to write up after your working day.

  • The rewards of social work

Social work is not known as a profession where you get a lot of rewards, however social workers value their position as someone who can support people in a crisis and help them back on track, help people achieve their goals and be able to see for themselves when progress is being made. This can be as little as support someone with severe anxiety go outside for a dog-walk to helping someone to turn their life around from a life of adolescent crime to be a valued member of his or her community. It is important for a social worker to remember the successes as a small change supported by a social worker can be a massive change for the client he or she helps.

You can read some examples of the rewards of social work here.

How to learn more about the world of social work

To be able to start your study you are expected to have an awareness of the challenges and rewards of the social work profession and for the postgraduate degree you will need to have some experience. You can get this by researching, volunteering or gaining paid work, and talking to people in the profession. Attend relevant employer events on campus, attend any events put on by professional bodies or Step-Up and Frontline, such as our graduate fair in April, see if there are any relevant volunteering opportunities by contacting Volunteering Centre, speak to your academics, and see if there are any social workers in your network of family and friends. You are also welcome to come and see a Careers Adviser with any questions you may have.

Asking, learning, volunteering and listening will help you decide whether this is the right career path for you. Read through additional information on University of Bath Bsc Social Work,  Prospects and The Association of British Social Workers

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Top tips to get the most out of the careers fair tomorrow!

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📥  Advice, Careers Fairs, Careers Resources, Tips & Hints

The Graduate Recruitment Fair takes place tomorrow in Founders Hall from 10:00am to 3:00pm. We know this is a busy week for a lot of you with dissertation deadlines and exams looming - however investing half an hour to attend the fair tomorrow could open doors, enhance your future applications and help you feel more in control of your future career post-graduation.

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So, here are our top tips to get the most out of the fair:

  • Do your research: have a look at the fair programme and explore company websites. This way you won't waste time asking basic questions.
  • Ask the right questions: make a list of the key questions you want to ask. Think about asking questions that will help you glean useful insights about the company such as: What is the culture like?, What are the key challenges / trends facing the industry? or What are the key skills you look for in applicants?
  • Take your CV: the fair is an opportunity for you to market yourself, therefore take a recent copy of your CV and if the opportunity arises do hand it to potential employers.
  • Dress appropriately: whilst there is no need to be suited and booted, do dress professionally! After all first impressions really matter.
  • Follow up: where possible ask for the recruiters business card and follow up! Thank them for the advice they offered or email them your CV. It may also be useful to connect with them on LinkedIn.

Finally and most importantly, avoid going around the fair in a pack! This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate to potential employers you are a capable and independent individual.

For more tips, check out our handy help-sheet on how to prepare for the careers fair. Good luck and hope to see you in Founders Hall tomorrow.

 

Demystifying the Careers Fair!

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📥  Careers Fairs, Event, Networking, Tips & Hints

This afternoon a number of students have been asking me questions about the Autumn Careers Fair taking place on Thursday and Friday this week. For some students this may well be your first ever careers fair that you are going to while for others this may be a very different experience to the job fairs in your home country. So, I thought a quick blog explaining how the fair works and what to expect, may help some of you.

  • Each exhibiting organisation has a stand with representatives from the business there to answer your questions. If you want ideas on what to ask, check out our blog post on good questions to ask at a careers fair.
  • Some employers will be available to talk to you on both days, where as some will only be there on one of the days. Do have a look at the fair guide and make a list of the employers you'd like to speak with.
  • If you are nervous about starting a conversation, try a bit of practice! Come to the Careers Service stand and talk to us first, this way when you approach employers you are interested in you'll feel confident in yourself.
  • In the UK employers will not offer jobs at a careers fair, this is your opportunity to network and learn about the organisation, the sector and available opportunities.
  • Try and arrive early, company representatives aren't robots - they will be knackered near the end of the day.

I also asked some of my colleagues for their top advice for making the most of the fair, here goes:

Tracey Wells, Head of Service "Wherever possible, try to talk to someone on the stand instead of just picking up a brochure or a free toy; you never know a 5-minute conversation could lead to your dream job"

Ghislaine Dell, Careers Adviser "Avoid walking round the fair with a group of friends. This is an opportunity for you to network and make an impression with a potential employer!"

Kate Maton, Information Assistant "Smile, be enthusiastic and enjoy the fair"

And finally, last bit of advice from me - even if you have a 'hit list' of employers you want to talk to - keep an open mind and talk to representatives from other organisations as well. An open mind can open up possibilities.

Ps. This image has no link whatsoever to the blog post. We adore the penguin and thought we would share it with you.

 

 

How To Effectively Follow-Up After A Careers Fair

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📥  Careers Fairs, Networking

Wow! The Autumn Careers Fair was busy today! It was great to see so many University of Bath students engaged in conversations with recruiters on campus. It might be useful to think about what you learnt from talking to the exhibitors and consider the steps below to progress your career planning!

First up, step back and reflect on what you learnt at the fair. Which companies did you engage with and were excited about speaking to? Was there a company there that you could see yourself working for in the future? Did anything specific stand out from the conversations you had – for example the career progression opportunities, the company culture? Next make a list of the exhibitors you chatted with in a list of preference. Go online, research them further and if you are considering applying for a placement, internship or graduate role then make a note of their application deadlines.

If you exchanged business cards then you must follow up with a personalised thank-you email. You could consider attaching your CV. If you don’t have the exhibitors contact details why not shout-out to an employer and say thanks for their help a few days after the event on Twitter or Facebook? You will also impress the employer with your ability to ‘think outside the box’.

Finally pop in and see us at the Careers Service – it can be helpful to talk through your reflections. We can support you in creating a job hunting plan, help you identify similar employers and guide you through the application process.

 

Autumn Careers Fair 2014

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📥  Careers Fairs

The University of Bath, Autumn Careers Fair will be held on Thursday 16th October from 11am-4pm in the Sports Training Village. 

For those of you who have never been to careers fair, you’re in for a treat: over 135 employers all interested in you and under one roof! We wanted to share some tips so you can make the most of the fair.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Check out the list of employers who are attending (available here ) and do a little bit of background research on each company to help you create a shortlist of companies you want to approach on the day.

2. PREPARE INTERESTING QUESTIONS
Don’t ask questions about information that can easily be found on a company’s website! Use the opportunity to glean information about the company that isn’t easily available. Remember you are talking to another human therefore show interest in what they have to say. Ask them about details of their work, career progression, company culture, the sector, routes in and areas of expansion for their business.

3. POSITIVE START
Introduce yourself, say you name and remember to smile! Give a quick personal summary (15 seconds) then go for the questions! Make sure you maintain eye contact and write down any useful snippets as they will help with applications and interviews. Remember to thank them for their time!

4. IMPRESSIONS COUNT
Get to the fair early and make sure you dress smart! If you are nervous, ‘warm up’ by approaching companies not on your target list. Approach each employer on your own. Nothing is less appealing (or less professional) than a group of friends arriving together and taking turns asking questions.

5. KNOW WHEN TO MOVE ON
If there is a queue forming behind you or if the employer is looking distracted, say your thank you’s and move on!

Good luck and enjoy the fair!