Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Topic: International Students

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.

Navigating the British work culture - how to be a chameleon

  

📥  Career Choice, Career Development, International Students, Networking

Whether you have worked before or not, starting a new work experience or internship or placement in the UK can be a bit of a challenge. What are the rules this company plays by? What are the rules that everyone follows but are never written down? What are the customs - and how is it different from where you have worked before?

This conundrum is even harder if your previous work experiences have been in a country where the culture is very different.

From talking with international students, one of the things that concerns them is that where they have worked, speaking up with ideas, or questioning the way something is currently done, is not acceptable - yet it seems to be expected by British employers. So how can you know when you are doing what is expected, and when you have crossed an invisible line into being disrespectful?

This is where getting advice from other international students that have made similar journeys can really help - try registering with the Bath Connection or using LinkedIn to contact Bath alumni who have worked there. Or, if you are about to embark on a placement, speak to your placement officer about which students have worked there before and ask them about the workplace culture and any conventions you should be aware of to help you fit in.

Similarly - social gatherings seem often to be centred around pubs/bars and the consumption of alcohol. If this does not sit well with you - try suggesting an alternative venue for a change, maybe going to a restaurant instead.

To help you navigate these issues, we've written a handy guide to help you. And remember, Careers Advisers are always happy to talk to you about your concerns and how you can ensure you get your experience off to the best start and give yourself the best springboard into your future career. Just book an appointment to speak to one of us.

 

Developing a global outlook

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📥  Advice, International Students, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

In today's increasingly international world, it is becoming quite common to hear organisations talking about wanting individuals with an international outlook. But what is this?

At its simplest, it is an awareness of difference and a willingness to accept and work with that difference. So when you are on holiday in Spain, you find yourself slipping into the way of eating later in the evening because that is the accepted way of doing things there. And you don't complain loudly abut it - at least not if you want to have a meal that tastes good and is served with a smile. You may even try to use a few words of Spanish while you are asking directions or shopping for souvenirs.

So it is with the world of work. Global outlook is a willingness to look outwards. To work with those who are from different cultures, understanding that there may be differences in the way you speak, or the jokes you tell, or other cultural norms - and taking account of that when you do business with those people.

If you want to build a career that spans countries, either by working in a British organisation that operates internationally, or an international company that has a base here, then it pays to develop this cultural sensitivity and also an interest in what is happening in other parts of the world.

And if you are really serious about it, why not think about developing a second language (for the Brits among us who only speak one!)? There are plenty of resources here at the University to help with that, including the Foreign Languages Centre, Self-Access Language Centre, Students' Union Cultural Societies and the simplest of all, talking to the many international students that have chosen to study here.

To deepen your understanding of other cultures and make it easier to work internationally, read news stories about world events and also try reading them on non-British producers - the English version of Al-Jazeera is very good for giving a non-British perspective on events both home and away.

Embracing the global nature of university and work life will develop skills such as tolerance, sensitivity (think emotional intelligence!), flexibility,m adaptability, and inquisitiveness and open-mindedness. Many employers value these particular characteristics, so what have you got to lose?

 

An international student's guide to succeeding in the UK job market

  

📥  Advice, Applications, Career Development, Commercial Awareness, For Taught Postgraduates, International Students, Interviews

Welcome to the first of our international -themed blog posts to mark International Careers Week.

This post is aimed at any international students looking to build their career right here in the UK. We know that many of you are very career-minded so here are a few tips to make sure you are making the most of your time here and giving yourselves the best chance of success.

  1. Get informed
    Make sure you are aware of your rights as regards work permissions. The Student Immigration Service are putting on a talk to refresh your memories on working in the UK after your studies and I really do recommend you go. The rules are complex and ever-changing so find out what the law actually says, and pick up a copy of our advice for employers too.
  2. Get ready
    We have laid on the complete series of our popular workshops for international students this week, as well as an assessment centre workshop, so you can perfect your skills and stand out for all the right reasons to employers.
  3. Get involved
    It's never too late to join a society, start volunteering, maybe even take the opportunity to build up some part-time work experience. All these things will be useful boosts to your CV as well as helping you pick up that sought-after commercial awareness and improve your English language skills.
  4. Get feedback
    Our expert team of Careers Advisers are very happy to give you feedback on your CVs, applications, cover letters and also help you prepare for interviews. It might seem a little scary to come and ask us to give you feedback - but that 15 minutes can make the difference between being on the 'no' pile and being invited to the next stage of the process.
  5. Get Connected
    They say 'It's not about what you know, it's about who you know'. Now this is not the whole truth, but having access to a large network of connections and being ale to ask them for help is surely a good thing, right? So, we have worked together with the Students Union and Alumni to offer you a skills session on networking and getting ahead in business, followed by Get Connected, a chance to ask alumni how they got to where they are now, and get a free drink along the way.
  6. Get ahead
    You'll see we have many jobs being advertised on MyFuture at the moment. But before you excitedly apply to all the ones that look interesting, do make sure you check on the employer website whether they are accepting applications from international students. Not all of them do, and checking will ensure you don't waste a lot of time preparing an application only to have it rejected.

 

Eight good international careers web sites for International Careers Week!

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, International Students, Tips & Hints

To celebrate our International Careers Week, we thought you might like to step away from your search engine of choice, and take a look at these hand-picked (by Tracey Wells, Head of Careers) international-relevant resources.

1.      GradlinkUK

Let’s start with the award-winning GradlinkUK from our friends down the road at UWE Bristol. It’s actually 6 different careers sites covering Africa, ASEAN, China, Canada, India and Bangladesh. Jobs, CV and careers advice. There are some nice case studies too.

2.      Targetjobs

Covering 40 different countries from Australia to the US, these handy quick overviews give an insight into the jobs market, applying for jobs and even some background on the countries themselves.

3.      EURES

The European Job Mobility Portal. More than just a web site with 1 million+ jobs in Europe. You can also chat online to a EURES Adviser. That’s new.

4.      GoinGlobal

Even without a subscription you can still access careers information on 35 countries. One day we’d love to subscribe to this site!

5.      LinkedIn

Not just for networking, there are thousands of jobs and internships around the world on LinkedIn. Use it for company research as well as networking. Don’t neglect your profile either – you never know who’s looking for a candidate like you.

6.      EURAXESS

Researchers in Motion…research and funding opportunities in Europe and further afield. There are nearly 9000 opportunities advertised at the moment.

7.      Prospects

Country profiles from Prospects cover 30 different countries including European countries, the USA, China and more. Sections on work experience and internships as well as general careers information. Beautiful photos on the homepage.

8.      The University of Bath Careers Service 

And finally, we’ve brought together loads more fantastic international careers resources in our online catalogue. Some of these are actual books that you can access here in the Careers Service. Yes, books. Other listings include some of the best web sites for both work and study internationally.

 

Get Connected in International Careers Week

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Career Development, Event, Finding a Job, International Students, Networking, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints

We know that one of the best sources of career advice and inspiration is someone who is doing, or has done, the thing you are wanting to do. So we are delighted that Alumni Relations have organised another of their highly successful Get Connected events this week - and to make it even better, it is right here on campus and has an international theme to match the week!

Students will be offered short, informal appointments with alumni to ask any burning questions about their future career. There will also be opportunities for general networking and staff from our Career Service will offer advice on CVs and the evening will conclude with an informal networking opportunity.

Advice will be available from the alumni experts on how to start your working life around the world, including international students looking for tips on how to enter careers in the UK. The volunteers come from varied careers and can give advice on staying in the UK and working abroad in many different career areas.

Get Connected - International Careers will be this Thursday 3 March between 6pm and 8pm in the Plug Bar in the Students' Union. It's free to attend but you will need to register in advance to claim your free drink! A list of those who have already registered is available on our website - so if you're a little shy about going and want to know if any of your friends or classmates are going, you can have a look! (And if they're not - why not tell them about it?)

Opportunities to ask one-to-one career questions of alumni are very rare, and people before have found this a very valuable experience – not just for the advice but for getting some experience in the important skill of networking.

Find out more about the alumni volunteers - and make sure you book your place in order to meet the alumni experts and also a free drink!

 

 

 

Get ready for International Careers Week!

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📥  Career Development, Event, International Students, Networking, Uncategorized

Next week sees the return of our annual internationally-themed week of events. We have tried to have a little bit of something for everyone so do have a look at our events for that week to see what takes your fancy!

The week kicks off with Mars China coming in to talk about their management leadership opportunities for Chinese students wanting to return home after their studies.

We then focus on Japan, with DISCO International talking about opportunities for Japanese bilinguals - as well as PwC talking specifically about their opportunities for international students. With UK recruitment currently tightening up for international students, this is a great opportunity to meet a company who embraces internationalism. Also that day we host Withers & Rogers talking about the future of global organisations and how IP Offerings and protection are a key way to enhance that.

Thursday brings the Fulbright Commission here, offering their annual tips session on Postgraduate Study in the USA. We know that many of you are interested in this, so do come in and speak to the experts!

Added to all these external presentations, our Careers Service experts are offering a programme of workshops to help students both home and international prepare themselves for an international career. There are two assessment centre group exercise sessions - it's peak season for assessment days just now so book your slot soon. We also have repeat sessions of our popular workshops for international students looking at covering letters and also interview skills. If you are finding these hard to master then come along and learn how to demystify them and feel more in control of your approach.

You may have heard us talk about networking and advise you to develop and make best use of your LinkedIn profile. If you know you should but aren't sure how, book onto our workshop on Wednesday afternoon which will give you tips and strategies to boost your profile and show you how to extend your reach by leveraging the Bath Connection.

Finally, we are delighted to say that this year we are working with Alumni Relations who are offering one of their highly successful Get Connected sessions right here on campus on Thursday evening. It also has an international focus and the experts are all either international alumni or alumni who have worked overseas during their careers. Added to this they are launching a Get Connected webinar on Friday, for those of you who'd like the chance to ask your questions remotely.

Hopefully this will have whetted your appetite but do remember, if you'd rather just come in and ask one of our Advisers your questions, we are available every day for 1:1 appointments - we're looking forward to seeing you!

 

Job-hunting in the UK? 9 things you need to know.

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📥  Advice, Applications, For Taught Postgraduates, Graduate Jobs, International Students, Networking, Tips & Hints

 

For many international students, starting their job search in the UK is one of their top priorities. But if you've just arrived here, how should you start? What are the key things to be aware of? And is there anything to avoid?

Especially if you have only just arrived and are still experiencing an element of culture shock, decoding the UK recruitment market might seem like a big ask. So have a look at our handy guide to job-hunting in the UK and start feeling more in control!

 

1. Recruitment starts early

The top firms, who recruit a lot of graduates, like to start early and give themselves plenty of time to select the graduates they are looking for to start in 2016. Even though start dates vary between July and September, some schemes are already open for applications. Many organisations recruit on a rolling basis, which means they continue until all positions are filled. So applying early to them works better; leaving it later means you may miss that opportunity. However, some companies do advertise much later so there will always be jobs to apply for.

 

2. 'Graduate' jobs are for postgraduates too

In the UK, Masters degrees are not as common as in many other countries and also not required by the majority of recruiters. So postgraduates will need to apply for the same positions as graduates from Bachelors degrees. From the company's point of view, the training they give you will still be the same. However, you may find as a postgraduate that you are able to progress through the company at a higher rate, as you will have additional experience.

 

3. Vacation time - when it is and when it isn't

Non-EU students are able to work for 20 hours during semester time and full-time in vacations. This means that internships in the summer vacation period are not available to postgraduate students, as their intensive Masters courses count that period as study time, allocated to the research and writing of the dissertation. Check with your Department, and also the International Student Advice Team, as to when you are able to start full-time work following the submission of your dissertation.

 

4. Don't be in a rush to write your CV

Many students come in and get CVs checked, only to start their graduate job hunt and realise that CVs are not always needed or asked for. Instead, focus on thinking about what jobs you would like to do. If you know, that will make your job search more strategic and targeted. If you don't - don't panic! Come and speak to us - we are experts at helping people work out what jobs interest them and what skills they enjoy using.

 

5. Do something non-academic!

Employability in the UK is about a whole range of skills, not just academic excellence. Organisations seek graduates who are great team players, have the emotional intelligence to work with a range of people and situations, and that can communicate well with others whatever their status. To develop these skills, join a club or society, take up a sport and/or get a part-time job.

 

6. Learn the language of employers

For organisations here it is really important to hire graduates who share their values and beliefs - such graduates are more likely to make decisions and choose actions in the 'company way'. So attend some employer presentations, talk to past students and visit the Careers Fair to get the inside track on what matters to each company. That way, you will find out which companies match your own beliefs and values - and you'll be a lot happier working for them.

 

7. Get connected

You may already be familiar with the saying 'It's not what you know, it's who you know'. It completely makes sense, then, to try and expand your network so that you know more people, and in more places. We encourage students to put together a LinkedIn profile and start building a network - initially within Bath, and with friends elsewhere, and then expanding to include organisations you would like to work with, Bath alumni and outwards. If all this sounds really hard - come to our LinkedIn Day in October or come and speak to one of our Advisers.

 

8. Read the news

Or watch it, or listen to it, or stream it on the phone when you are waiting for the bus. Companies prize business awareness very highly - if you know what is happening in the economy, or which company your target organisation has just merged with, or what effect the cold weather will have on biscuit consumption, you will come across as exactly the sort of well-informed graduate likely to be snapped up. And starting now means you can do little and often, rather than having to cram it all in in the two days before your interview.

 

9. Get some expert advice

Careers are complex. The pressure to make 'the right decision' or submit 'the perfect application' is hard to resist. If you would like just to talk it over with someone, or have a friendly pair of eyes look over the answers to your application questions to make sure you are doing yourself justice, then please book an appointment. We are very much looking forward to seeing you! And remember - coming early means you're more likely to make better applications - please don't wait until you have had 20 rejections to come and see us. We can still help you - but better to come in after 2 or 3 rejections to check you're making the most of your applications.

 

 

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.