Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Tagged: advice

Make volunteering count on your CV!

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📥  Advice, Career Development, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized, Work Experience

Make volunteering count on your CV!

 

volunteer

From 19 - 25 February 2018 Student Volunteering Week is celebrating the contribution and impact of student volunteers and encouraging even more students to get involved! In the spirit of volunteering I am re-posting a blog entry on how to make volunteering count on your CV, as I believe volunteering can be just as valuable as paid work for many jobs out there.

If you are interested in seeing what events are happening on campus during Volunteering Week, check out the SU website: https://www.thesubath.com/vteam/student_volunteering_week/


Volunteering work can be equally as useful as paid work experience when it comes to applying for jobs and many students forget to emphasize their volunteering experience on their CV or don’t include it at all. Here are some tips on how you can make your volunteering count on your CV.

·         Some organisations value voluntary experience more than others

If you hope to make a career in the third sector or within international development, you may not be selected for an interview unless you have some volunteering experience! If you have relevant volunteering experience this needs to be emphasized in your CV and show up on the first page, under “Relevant Experience” or “Work Experience”. Too many times I have seen relevant volunteering experience hidden in the achievements or interests section, where employers may not see it. Remember, an employer usually only skims through a CV during the first selection process for a job!

·         Volunteering gives you transferable skills

You may not have any volunteering experience that is relevant for the actual job you are applying to, but that does not mean that your experience wasn’t useful. If you worked successfully in a team, mention it on a CV. If you worked in budgeting, this can emphasize your numerical skills or if you worked in fundraising, this may have increased your skills in persuasion. Look into more details about what skills the job is asking for and have a think about how your volunteering experiences can give you examples of those skills, and remember to include any specific achievements.

·         Tailor your volunteering experiences to company values

Have a read through the values of the company and tailor your volunteering experiences accordingly. Perhaps the company you are interested in have sustainability high on their agenda? Then your volunteering experience in environmental conservation may be relevant. Or maybe the company likes to be engaged in the local community? What then about your volunteering experience in a local charity? Make sure to highlight the most relevant volunteering experiences.

·         Make international volunteering count

Apart from following the tips above, if you have volunteered in certain countries or areas of the world, this may be beneficial for an international company to know about. Your increased interpersonal skills and increased international awareness may be extra worth for companies that have projects or networks in those particular regions.

To summarize, my final piece of advice is to tailor, tailor, tailor your volunteering experiences to the job you are applying for. What would be important for the employer to know about you? How can your volunteering experience benefit the company / organisation? How can your volunteering experience show who you are?

Book a quick query with a careers adviser if you need any support in writing your CV, or attend one of our workshops or talks. Book an appointment or a place on a talk through MyFuture.

Additional resources:

https://www.bathstudent.com/volunteer/

https://targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/public-service-charity-and-social-work/advice/288223-volunteer-your-way-to-a-graduate-job

https://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network

 

Exploring Career Stories

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📥  Advice, Career Development, Careers Resources, Tips & Hints

Exploring Career Stories

what's your story

I watched a youtube link today where a student talked about the importance of exploring careers stories in finding out about jobs, sectors, employers and skills needed and how it really had taught him about different career pathways. He emphasized the importance of not just asking people you meet about their jobs, but also ask about the challenges they face in their jobs and consider whether these challenges make you feel excited or bored, and use what you learn in your own career planning and thinking.

It made me think about how I have asked, emailed  and explored the careers stories of random people I have met along my career journey and how this has benefited me. For example, before I decided to become a Careers Adviser I wanted to learn about the job role, its challenges and the pathways into the profession. To increase my awareness and to decide whether this was indeed the career path I wanted to go down, I emailed (this was before LinkedIn) ten different people in careers adviser roles at universities and colleges and asked them to share their career journeys. I was surprised that the majority of them responded positively and gave me a wealth of knowledge I used reflectively and positively in my own career planning.

So, within the era of modern technology, how can you explore careers stories now?

  • Well, my first piece of advice is to do what people have done for generations. When you meet people, may it be at a party, a networking event, an employer event, a hike or a family gathering; be genuinely interested in the career journeys of the people you meet. How did they end up in their chosen career? What were the challenges along the way? What do they enjoy (and not enjoy)about the job they are doing? What qualifications did they study? People generally like talking about themselves so why not take advantage of  that!
  • Secondly, the internet is full of blogs, vlogs, videos and more to explore and  learn from. One of my favourite video links are from icould - here you can explore real careers stories searching by job type, subject and even life events.
  • Thirdly, what about viewing people’s LinkedIn profiles and discover the millions of career journeys different people have taken to get to where they are now. Type in a job role in the search box and see what comes up. Why don’t you connect with them, tell them that their career journey and job role sounds inspiring and ask politely whether they can share their career story with you. A contact for life may happen!
  • If you like to read information, then Prospects may be a good place to go. You can explore hundreds of different job roles and most of them have links to several case studies where you can explore a graduate’s careers story.
  • Finally, what about talking to alumni in jobs and sectors that you are interested in to share their career stories with you? On Bath Connection you can do just that. Those registered on Bath Connection have voluntarily said yes to support you in finding out more about jobs and sectors, and some even are happy to take on a mentoring role.

So go ahead, explore the different careers out there, increase your awareness of what you find exciting and not so exciting, and see how these careers stories can shape your own career journey.

I wish you the best of luck.

 

 

Tips for achieving your best! Part 5 - Guest blogger - Keon Richardson

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📥  Advice, Diversity, inspire, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Our guest blogger Keon talks about the importance of writing down your goals, finding someone you trust to support you in reaching those goals and importantly ignoring those who may criticize you along the way .....

7.    Write down your Goal(s) and TEN reasons WHY you deserve it!

The motivational tapes, that I mentioned in my last blog, were key to helping me get through my dissertation, but just listening to them would have been pointless if I didn’t have clear goals to work towards. The tapes resonated with me a lot better when I could relate to the motivational speaker’s trials and tribulations towards reaching their goals. I had two pieces of paper stuck to my wall. One was a list of everything that I wanted to achieve by the time that I left the University of Bath. The other (and what I needed more than the former) was ten solid reasons why I believed that I deserved to graduate with a First-Class Degree. This took a lot of immense soul-searching and deep reflection to draw out ten firm reasons. Although, when the tough times came (a week with no heat or hot water in my student house; my Laptop breaking; and walking with a bruised toe for two weeks like an injured pigeon), I could return to my wall and look at why I should continue despite the struggles. At the bottom of my list I wrote “I OWE IT TO MYSELF!!!” in block letters and underlined to ensure that I would do whatever was necessary to obtain my goal. To quote Les Brown again – “You can either have reasons or results. Reasons don’t count”. Even though it was bitterly disappointing not to receive a First Class Degree, I got a 2.1 Degree and a First in my Dissertation, which is the next best thing. As I said before, who you become in the process is bigger than the goal itself!

8.    Find someone that will make YOU responsible for your goal!

If you just write down all your goals and you don’t tell someone, then it’s easy to feel guilt free if you don’t achieve them. Why I suggest telling someone who you trust about your goal is that this person will make you accountable for your actions. In Semester 2, I became best friends with a student who is studying Pharmacy. At the end of March, I told her that I wanted to get a First in my Dissertation and I mentioned the date that I would have my dissertation completed by. She challenged me to have it completed four days before my personal deadline. It took a lot of confidence to tell her about my goal and she rightly tested me to see if I was serious about my goal. There were occasions where I was in the library watching Futsal on YouTube and she would say, “so you are wasting Student Finance to watch YouTube”. As funny as it was, it kicked me back into action to get on with my work. To quote Les Brown again, "we have so much energy that can take us so far – it’s necessary that you hook up with some other energy that can take you to the next level." I ended up finishing my Dissertation a day before our agreed date and my Dissertation was finished a week and a half earlier than the actual deadline. This gave me boundless time to proofread my work before handing it in.

9. Use your "haters" as a goal!

You have to believe that you deserve your dream. MANY people will attempt to derail you from your dream. I’ll never forget when a teacher from my secondary school/sixth form said that I have an attitude problem and that I won’t last in Bath. One summer, my friends suggested to this teacher that I should speak to the students at our old school about my university experience, and this teacher said that I must have a “hidden agenda”. When I went to school a week later, he asked, “haven't you dropped out of Bath yet?”. As much as this angered me, this motivated me because I said to myself that I’m going to make sure that everything he thought about me was a lie. The day I received my First in my dissertation I 'pulled' up to see him. He asked how I was doing at Bath and I told him that I received a First in my Dissertation. The only words that he could utter was “MY GOD!”. It was an unreal feeling knowing that I made him eat his words and all the negativity that he said about me was a lie. People are going to criticize you when you’re working towards your goals, but you have to believe in yourself that your goals are possible, your goals are necessary, and you achieving your goals will help to inspire others.

 

Tips for achieving your best! Part 4 - Guest Blogger- Keon Richardson

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📥  Advice, Diversity, inspire, Tips & Hints

Keon Richardson (Sport and Social Sciences graduate 2017) continues with his tips for achieving your best with his own personal strategy for dealing with exam stress (chocolate!) and how he used motivational tapes to keep him on track ..

5.    Create a coping strategy to deal with essay and exam stress!

Mmmmm chocolate!

Following on from the wise quote that “Final Year is a marathon not a race”, I really recommend that you develop and implement a coping mechanism to deal with those moments where you are in your room at 11 pm panicking whether your all-nighter will be handed in on time or not. Each student deals with stress differently. However, I believe that we have consciously or subconsciously developed a method to counteract the stress that we face within education and everyday life. The options for students to relieve stress are endless: smoking, drinking, partying. The list can go on forever. For me, none of the above was a viable option because of how seriously I took playing Futsal. Futsal training for an hour and a half three times a week allowed me to get away from the books and channel my energy in something that I love. It also prepared me for the day as training was from 7.30am to 9am (except Thursdays). However, after the season finished in a heart-breaking cup loss to Northumbria University, I decided to take a rest from playing to recover from Patellar Tendonitis. Consequently, the only alternative I felt that I had was food. A 114G bar of Galaxy Cookie Crumble was my sacred haven to get away from the fear of completing a 15,000 dissertation in three months, the anxiousness of waiting to find a full-time job in Disability Football Development, and the other stresses in life. The moment that the blocks of soft melted chocolate biscuit swirled in my mouth, all my life fears went numb and I was entrenched in a Tango Dance with the sensation of the Galaxy Cookie Crumble. I would eat chocolate when I was writing essays, when I wanted to get away from my thoughts or when I rewarded myself for working hard (my room was full of Cookie Crumble and other treats especially when I received my Assignment Feedback). Although my chest would be heavy for a few days, it calmed my nerves and gave me comfort in the periods of Final Year where I went into isolation mode to complete my work!

6.    Listening to motivational tapes every morning an every night!

For me personally, I believe this is my KEY point to doing well in academic studies and succeeding in life. As I alluded to in the last tip, chocolate was my instrument to counteract my overthinking. But what really got me through Final Year was listening to motivational tapes.  No matter who you are, at some point during University (particularly in Final Year) you will get tired. Everyone reaches their plateau where they feel that enough is enough. What motivational tapes did for me was that it distracted me from my current situation and elevated me into a positive mindset to get through the day. There are three Motivational Speakers that I listen to: Eric Thomas, Les Brown, and Lisa Nichols; all three are renowned global speakers from the US. Eric Thomas ("WAT UP! WAT UP! WAT UP! IT’S YOUR BOY E.T!") would give me the fuel to do work when I didn't feel like doing it and the desire to push through the moments when I was getting writer’s block in my dissertation. He was the go-to-person when I was in the writing mode. I would put on his hour long tapes and let it hit the back of my mind as I was writing. Les Brown and Lisa Nichols are much older folk so they aren’t as hyped as Eric Thomas. Their motivation is a lot more soothing and the first thing I played in the morning and would listen to whilst I was falling asleep. This helped block out all the doubts and questioning myself I would usually do while I was tossing and turning in my bed. It gave me the faith that I would graduate, as Les Brown says “faith comes by hearing and hearing; death and life is in the tongue. Watch your words. Watch your thoughts; for they have magnetic powers”. Although I do not know them and have not physically seen them, they were mentoring me and developing my psychological strength to get through the workload. I found it helpful to listen to motivational tapes when I first woke up in the morning. Scientifically speaking, your brain operates at a 10.5 wave cycle per second, which is the highest it will operate across the whole day. The first 15-20 minutes you wake up you’re in an unconscious mind zone, so why not fill your brain with positive messages? Alongside this, you can write down your short-term and long-term goals! I know that you may have other ways of motivating you to get through challenging times so think on what these are for you .......

Support from Student Services - If you would like to discuss coping with exam and essay stress or struggling with workload, then do have a chat with a Wellbeing Adviser or see information on their website http://www.bath.ac.uk/departments/student-services/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for achieving your best! Part 2 - Guest blogger Keon Richardson

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📥  Advice, Applications, Diversity, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Today we continue with our guest blogger Keon Richardson (Sport and Social Sciences graduate 2017) as he puts forwards his 11 tips on achieving your best whatever you are studying ...

1 Make Use of ALL the Services At University!

I alienated myself from societies, students, partying, lecturers and my personal tutor when I first started University. This was because I was quite nervous living away from home and I also wanted to focus on becoming the best Futsal Player that I could be. This came with its positives and negatives. Although I was seeing great strides in my technical ability, I often fell asleep in lectures because of my intense training schedule and I hardly read any Journal Articles that were on Moodle. But when I continued to struggle to write essays and saw Thirds littered across my Assignment Feedback, I decided that I needed to have a better balance of being a 'Student-Athlete' and use the support services that were available to me.

Ultimately, the question I asked myself was – "Why do you pay £9,000 a year to suffer in silence?" Grammar and concise writing were the main areas that I needed to work on to improve my grades, and my personal tutor recommended that I should go to the Writing Centre. At first, I was embarrassed because I perceived that he felt my writing was that poor and I pre-judged the Centre to be for foreign students who were struggling with their assignments in English. But after a few sessions, I saw improvements in my grammar, paragraph structuring and writing flow. At the same time I was in the Careers Services working on my CV. This also added to my writing development as I had to structure three pages (two page CV and one page cover letter) which summarised my experience, personal skills and why I wanted the job advertised, coupled with why I wanted to work for the organisation. As I became a regular face at the Writing Centre and Careers Service, staff members were willing to spend more time with me because I was eager to develop. Not to mention that these services are FREE.

2 Plan Plan Plan!

 

My Dad's favourite quote is, "if you fail to prepare then prepare to fail" and I couldn't agree more. Carefully prepare a plan for your essay or exam which outlines the following: topic, limit, focus, essay/exam instruction word(s), your main argument(s), opposing sides to your argument, key authors to support back elements of the argument, and a conclusion that connects to your introduction. Creating this plan will require a lot of reading and making notes which could take up to 7 days. But once you have your plan you'll be able to write your essays and attack your exams with ease. I had to constantly revise my plan for my 15,000 word dissertation as the data that I collected from my interview changed sections of my Introduction and Literature Review. Even if you are not 100 per cent confident in your plan, at least you have a foundation for your essay/exam and can continue to revise your plan as you go along. Show your plan to your lecturers to gain reassurance and ask them any questions that you unclear about for your essay/exam. I'm certain that my lecturers were sick of seeing me time and time at the end of every seminar to hound them with questions. But I'd rather know that my plan is in the right direction than have no clue what I am doing and unable to contact my lecturers over the Christmas holiday (I've been there before!).

Read more on Keon's tips tomorrow........

For further information on the Careers Service and our resources check out http://www.bath.ac.uk/students/careers/

For information on  Academic Skills Centre (previously Writing Centre) Drop in Sessions available 12:15-14:05, in the Skills Zone. Check website for further details.

 

Tips for achieving your best! Guest blogger - Keon Richardson

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📥  Advice, Diversity, inspire, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Happy New Year to all our readers! It's a time of the year when we often think about whether we should make New Year's resolutions and then if we do whether we can actually keep it longer than the month of January! Our Career blogs over the next few days will feature a recent graduate, Keon Richardson, who did decide to make some changes to the way he did things during his student life and for him personally this helped him to go on and achieve many awards that he had not thought possible at the start of his journey. Keon wrote a blog on his experiences at University and so over the next couple of weeks we will be featuring different aspects of his blog. Find out how Keon successfully managed his time to achieve what he wanted from his University experience. Read his tips for succeeding, his low points and how he handled this, and the challenges of being a black student at a University like Bath.

Keon Richardson graduated 2017 from the University of Bath with a Second-Class First Division Bachelors Art Honours Degree in Sport and Social Sciences with the Bath Award and Half Blues Award. By the end of 2017 Keon started his dream job as the new Disability Officer at Palace for Life Foundation.

 

Posing at the River Avon!

"My four years at Bath has been special and full of memories that I will cherish forever. I was the only student from the University of Bath to complete a professional placement at QPR in the Community Trust; to achieve the London FA and The FA Young Volunteer of the Year; the only student from the University of Bath Football and Futsal Club this season to be presented with the Half Blues Award; and one of two University of Bath students to represent Team Bath in the Zambia IDEALS Project last year and compete for Bristol City in the FA National Super League. Last summer I was awarded a football coaching scholarship by Team Archie to shadow a football coach educator deliver Premier Skills across China and support the delivery of the Federation of University Sports of China High School Girls’ Football Final from 22nd July for four weeks.

Despite the amazing accolades, I was hugely frustrated of just missing out on a First-Class Degree. Nevertheless, I am personally proud of my own personal development over my four years of academic study. As hectic as my studies and extra-curricular activities sound, it gave me discipline to prioritize my time wisely and balance “work and play”. And with God’s grace and a plan of action, I received a First in my 15,000 word dissertation.

The purpose of my blog is not to impress you that I received a 2.1; my message is to impress upon you that you have greatness within you more than you are currently expressing. You have something special in you that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor hearts that have not felt. I know from my own personal life that anything is possible if you have a vision and you are dedicated to working every day to make that vision into a reality. I went to a state school in North London where I was told more about my ­limitations than my potential. “You’re not socially ready to go to University”; “You’ve never been in an academy. How can you play at University Futsal First Team Level?”; “You’ll never get into Bath”. This was a typical reaction that both students and teachers threw at me to derail me from going after my dreams to both study sport and play first team futsal full-time. As a young black male living in Tottenham (London Borough of Haringey) which is outlined as “one of the most deprived authorities in England and ranks as the most deprived in terms of crime” by the Department for Communities and Local Government, drugs, gang wars, knife crime, and robbery has been impinged on myself and other young people throughout our adolescence. But I got to a point where I realized that I should not deprive myself from obtaining knowledge nor experiencing the best life that has to offer just because I live in deprivation. Adding further to the plight, the Independent Commission on Social Mobility highlighted that “there are more young black men in prison in the UK than there are UK-domiciled undergraduate black male students attending Russell Group institutions”. In the summer 2007, I was robbed for my Sony Ericsson and Apollo Mountain Bike by one of Tottenham's rivalry gangs and that was the day that I decided that I won't fall into this type of lifestyle and I will overcome this negativity.

When I began University in 2013 I decided to set my goals high and aimed to receive a First Class in my degree. In the moment, I set that goal for the sake of it. However, between finishing my placement year at QPR in the Community Trust and preparing to coach football in Zambia, my motivation to receive a First was to take my work ethic to another level that I had not been to before. I realized that to get a First I would have to do things I had never done before, such as: preparing lists of questions for my Dissertation Supervisor; reading Books and Journal Articles with a close analytical eye; sticking to a weekly work schedule; working on days that I didn’t have lectures; and setting myself personal deadlines to finish my essays. What I have now come to believe is when you set extremely high goals for yourself, who you become in the process is much more important than the goal itself.

Even if you don't achieve the goal, your personal development through the process outweighs the goal itself. I know that's easier said than done. I cried and was very upset for most of the day when I received the email stating that I received a 2.1 and not a First. However, I am slowly coming to understand that the person I've matured into physically, mentally, spiritually and socially over the past four years at University is greater than a First Class written on a piece of paper. So how did I do this?! Over the next few days I will share with you my eleven tips to achieve your best in whatever you are studying……"

 

Christmas Careers Advice Corner

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📥  Advice, Tips & Hints

Christmas Careers Advice Corner

Snowy christmas norway

 


In just over a week’s time I am off home to Norway for Christmas. It is one of my favourite times of the year going home, and this time my sister tells me there is snow on the ground! So here I will share some of what I am looking forward to at Christmas and how this can help  you in your career planning.

  • Decorating the tree – we always decorate tree on the 23 December, a lot later than most of my friends here in the UK. Decorating the tree always takes a lot of planning, but it always looks nice at the end. So how are you going to plan to gain awareness of potential career pathways or job roles for 2018? I suggest you use a couple of hours researching our wonderful careers resources and explore the tree and branches of sectors and jobs out there.
  • Reflecting on the year gone by – I always have a lot of time on my hand during Christmas as I have a very small family. With a cup of hot chocolate in one hand and a pen in the other, I sometimes write down notes of reflection in my diary. What went well, what went not so well and how can I improve things for next year? Reflection is a useful careers tool too – here is a great article by Open University on self-reflection which may help you think about how this last Autumn  term went for you.
  • Spending time with family and friends – I can’t wait to see my sister again and spend some quality time with her and also see an old school friend in Oslo. You never know how seeing friends and family can inspire you in thinking of new career ideas or support you in getting new contacts in your job search. I also know that sometimes seeing family can be difficult, especially if you feel low as you have not secured a graduate job… yet. There is still time to find one! Here is a previous blog entry on coping with rejection which you may find useful.
  • Having a cup of tea in front of the fire – well, this is my favourite past-time. Staring into the fire, feeling warm and fully relaxing, perhaps reading a book at the same time. I think my most important piece of advice over Christmas is to take a few days out to really relax and take your mind off exams, job hunt or university. Go for a walk, sleep in and spoil yourself with a food and snacks, play in the snow! That way you will come back more refreshed for a new semester. If you still are finding it difficuly getting your mind away from exam stress, this earlier blog entry on managing your time around exams may help you. The Wellbeing Service here at Bath are also available to support you before and after Christmas and have a range of activities for  you who are staying in Bath during Christmas.

Lastly, here is a reminder of our Christmas opening hours, please do contact us if you need any further support or inspiration. We are closed from Friday 22 December to 3 January. Please see at the bottom of this link for details of our opening hours.

 

 

 

 

 

Being a Final Year Student –Managing your academic work and finding time to apply for jobs!!

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📥  Advice, Finding a Job, Tips & Hints

Being a Final Year –Managing your academic work and finding time to apply for jobs!!


“No one warned me that my final year would be like this!” said a student that I had seen earlier this week. It’s not easy to juggle academic work and job applications deadlines, as well as find time to attend interviews and assessment centres all in the autumn semester. So how can you survive and ensure that you achieve your desired goals without burnout? Here are some tips for getting through the next few weeks.


This blog entry was posted in a previous academic year by Melanie Wortham, Careers Adviser, but is still very relevant for students today.


Setting Goals - Set yourself specific and clearly defined goals, and make sure that these are realistic and achievable. To do this, you first need to examine your present situation and assess what goals are important to you and what action you need to take to achieve your target. You may decide that getting a 2:1 is your priority and therefore you may have to limit the number of jobs you apply for. Decide which are the most important companies for you to target based upon factors such as closing date, location, degree class required, and chances of getting in.  Have a contingency plan or alternative route to your goal in case you have to change your plans, for example, consider taking a relevant postgraduate course, or a temporary job where you might gain relevant experience which moves you closer to your goal.

Avoid Procrastination – It’s very easy just to do nothing or get distracted on lots of other more interesting activities or tasks and then not attempt the important tasks! Don’t put off starting something which will then lead to further action. Many applications to large employers need to be made in the first term of your final year and if you procrastinate you'll miss the deadlines.

Write a To Do List – Writing a list like this takes away a huge amount of stress as these tasks can then be slotted into your calendar at a time when you think you can get them done. However, do take a look at your list and prioritise those things which need to be done earlier. Keep reviewing your list and updating it.

Organising Your Time – If you are finding it difficult to fit everything in, then keep a time log and see where you might be wasting some time, or be able to make more use of time. When applying for jobs keep copies of all the applications you have made and keep a log of the date you applied, result, and a record of all your interviews, plus any questions you were asked, particularly those questions you found challenging. This will help you to keep track of your progress and spot areas where you could improve.

Break down Tasks into smaller tasks – Getting started on a job application is the hardest thing. So if you have a spare half hour, why not start an application or do a bit of a research on the company for that interview. For example, most applications now are online, information can be saved and returned to at a later date for editing. The first part is mainly your personal details which takes a while, but doesn’t require a huge amount of thought as you probably have all this on a CV. You will feel a sense of achievement that you have started. Then tackle those difficult questions one by one as you have time, but remember to keep an eye on deadlines.

Perseverance -  Learn how to take a positive attitude towards failure. Perhaps, you didn’t get shortlisted for interview or didn’t get through the assessment centre this time. Try to ask for feedback from the employer or come and see us here at Careers to discuss how you might improve next time. Talk things over with your friends who may have similar experiences to share and can offer advice to you. Don’t despair as mistakes are a crucial part of any learning process. It is said that the people who have achieved the most have made the most mistakes!

Be Kind to Yourself! Make sure during your final year you do find time to enjoy yourself and relax. Find time to do some sport or go shopping with friends or have a night out. Reward yourself if you get shortlisted for interview or make it to the final stages of an assessment centre.

Help is at Hand – The Careers Service offers support to all students and graduates. We are open from 9.30 – 5:00pm Monday to Friday in the Virgil Building, city centre. You can come in and have a CV or application checked, get support in finding a job or researching employer or discuss what to do next. You can find details about our services and appointment here.

And remember - The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ~Mark Twain

 

Thinking about a Career in Teaching Part 2

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📥  Advice, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Part 2 of our “Thinking about a Career in Teaching” blog focuses today on Schools Direct route (SCITT), Teach First, PGCE (FE), resources and support for potential teachers with a disability. LATEST NEWS! Find out about a scheme to reimburse student loan repayments!

Schools Direct – School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT)

A SCITT is an accredited body with links to the Dfe and where groups of schools get together to provide on the job training.  A SCITT will often offer every secondary subject if they can because of the scale of the operation. They also tend to target mature students if it is expensive to live in the area and difficult to attract young graduates. All trainees are called Associate Teachers to get the respect and all courses are registered on UCAS with salaried and non-salaried SCITTs available.

One important thing to check when looking for places is the actual number of places available as if a SCITT is advertising history or PE, they may only have the one place. For further information on SCITT see here.

Teach First

The Teach First route is now pretty well known and is fully funded and salaried and available in 11 different areas. It also has partnering organisations such as the Navy and PwC. Target areas are rural and coastal as these are the areas where it has been difficult to recruit teachers.  Teach First will cover Early Years, Primary and Secondary. On this programme you would be teaching curriculum subjects but the different to other schemes is that you do not necessarily need a degree in that subject as Teach First will also consider any relevant A Levels.

The advice for students with non-curriculum subject is to ring the TF admissions so for example if you are studying a humanities subject you may be advised to apply for English.

You will currently need a 2:1 and 300 UCAS points but UCAS points are likely to be dropped very shortly. It is hoped that this will encourage more students from widening participation backgrounds to apply who may have been taught in TF schools and are inspired to teach but may have lower grades. It’s important to note that although there is minimum criteria, no-one is told not to apply. The PGDE is fully funded by TF which is a school based programme, with some teaching days at a university. New recruits are also allocated TF mentors. This programme awards QTS after year 1 and then PGDE and NQT status the following year.

Whilst you are on the programme you have the opportunity to do Insight Days in partner organisations in the First Year, and in the Second Year –years 2 week internship offered with partner organisations.

If you are applying in your penultimate year of degree then it is possible to be offered 1st choice in location. Interesting statistics for the Teach First Scheme show that 60% stay on to teach and after 15 years 80% are back in teaching. Generally TF teachers will get promotion faster within their TF schools. For more information see Teach First. https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/

Teach First will be doing a presentation on 14th November and you can speak to them on the parade on the 9th and 14th November. Check www.myfuture.bath.ac.uk for more details.

PGCE (FE)

If you are considering teaching in an FE college you can take a PGCE which leads to QTLS but not QTS. Most students on this PGCE have a job or placement prior to doing the course. If not, help is given to find a placement. If you are interested in this qualification you would apply Direct and not through UCAS. Graduates who hold a third degree classification may be able to enter this course if they have a good reason for their final mark.

Concentration in FE colleges is on the 16-18 age group so you will not get experience of the 14-16 age group.  If you are considering maybe doing guest lecturers at an FE College in addition to another job then you won’t need a PGCE and can simply apply to do a six day course.

Psychology graduates have more opportunities to teach in FE. You would normally accept a lecturing post and then be trained.

It is important to note though that career prospects in FE are less well paid than a teacher and less secure.

Latest news - Bursaries and English Teachers Required

From September 2017 there will be more apprenticeship routes for students as Trainee Lecturers at the college or apprentice teachers. Bursaries available £9K for English. The reason behind this is that many 16 year olds have to redo English or Maths and therefore have to stay in education so there is a larger requirement for lecturers in this area.

Resources and Support for Potential Teachers with a Disability

There are 6.9 million disabled people of working age.  9% of teaching applications were from people declaring a disability, yet less than 1% of the teaching workforce has a disability.

Often students won’t declare on an application form and declare it afterwards to the admissions officer or personal tutor whilst on placement. However, students are really encouraged to declare any disability on the UCAS application form so that adaptions can be made for the interview if required, but also any reasonable adjustments when considering the teaching aspect and the placements.

There are specific forums to support disabled students such as the Disability Teaching Network Other resources produced by the Careers professional body AGCAS are available to support potential teachers with a disability. If you would like information on these then please do book to see a Careers Adviser by emailing careers@bath.ac.uk

International Students

International students can get on to PGCE courses. There are also cases of international students taking course in Independent schools. Perseverance pays off as there is a case of an international student convincing school that they could sponsor her and they did.

Scottish Students

If doing the PGCE in England, when they start, they need to contact the Scottish body so that they can do the QTS in Scotland afterwards.

Reimbursing Student Loan Repayments

The DfE have just announced details of a pilot programme for reimbursing the student loan repayments made by some teachers in the first ten years after they gain Qualified Teacher Status, with the intention of improving recruitment and retention is areas where this is most challenging.

In order to be able to claim reimbursements a teacher must meet these criteria:

·         Have been awarded QTS between 2014 and 2019

·         Be employed by a maintained secondary school, a special school or a secondary phase academy/free school

·         Have taught languages, physics, chemistry, biology or computer science for at least 50% of their contracted hours during the year they are claiming for

·         Be in a school within one of the 25 participating local authorities

·         Still be teaching when you apply for reimbursement

The participating authorities are: Barnsley; Blackpool; Bracknell Forest; Bradford; Cambridgeshire; Derby; Derbyshire; Doncaster; Halton; Knowsley; Luton; Middlesbrough; Norfolk; North East Lincolnshire; North Yorkshire; Northamptonshire; Northumberland; Oldham; Peterborough; Portsmouth; Salford; Sefton; St Helens; Stoke-on-Trent; Suffolk.

Full details are available here.

If you would like to discuss any of the teaching routes with a Careers Adviser do book an appointment through www.myfuture.bath.ac.uk

On a final note!

This blog was written with the latest information on teaching that is currently available. However, teaching routes and different schemes are constantly changing so if you are reading this blog several months after it was published then do remember to check out the government website for any future changes! Get into Teaching 

 

Thinking about a career in teaching - Part 1

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📥  Career Choice, inspire, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Many students consider teaching as a career option during their time at University. In October we had a Getting into Teaching event so I thought it would be very timely to give a teaching update and what routes are available to get into teaching as there is a lot of choice out there! Many graduates choose to do a PGCE in Higher Education, but it’s worth investigating other routes into teaching. Last week for example we heard the news of the apprenticeship route into teaching.

As there are several routes to cover there will be two blogs – Part 1 and Part 2! Today’s blog will look at Bursaries, EYTS, Primary and Primary and Secondary PGCE and the new postgraduate apprenticeships. This blog will give you a quick overview on the different routes and a few key pointers on what to consider when making your decision from some teaching professionals. However, for further detail do check out the main government website on Getting into Teaching at https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/

Those entering teacher training remains fairly static. However, school led routes have grown now to around 56%. The Government has targets by subjects of number of teachers needed and as applications for Business Studies, Chemistry, music and PE are down were down in 2016, it is likely there will be a real push to increase more places in these subject areas.

So how many routes are there into teaching? Well, there are HEI led, School led, and Specialist routes and options within these.

HEI led
PGCE and PGDE
Also options to train in Early Years EYTS
School Led Routes
Teach First
School Direct (salaried)
School Direct (non-salaried)
HMC Teacher Training (2 year Independent private schools) leads to PGCE and QTS
School Centred IIT (SCITT)
Apprenticeships
Specialist Routes
Researchers into Schools (PhDs)
Assessment Only – must have good experience
Now Teach – London only – career changers – runs like Teach First – early stage
For HEI and School Direct routes apart from Teach First, you need to apply through UCAS

Applications will open 26th October 2017

https://www.ucas.com/ucas/teacher-training/ucas-teacher-training-apply-and-track

Bursaries available for training

To encourage applications from some shortage subjects bursaries have been in place since 2011. The large bursaries given for some subjects means for example that a student wanting to teach a shortage subject with a First Class Honours could be better off doing a School direct – non salaried and taking the bursary than doing a Schools Direct – salaried. So it’s very important to take into account the subject you are wanting to teach and the bursaries offered for different degree classifications.

The NCTL has announced details of the bursaries which will be available to trainees on postgraduate teacher training courses beginning their training in autumn 2018. For shortage subjects you could earn up to £28,000 whilst training for your PGCE! Check out https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/overview for further information.

To receive a bursary or scholarship trainees must be entitled to support under the Student Finance England criteria.

Early Years Teaching Status (EYTS)

An EYTS course covers 3month to 5 year olds. The curriculum will have more emphasis than the primary route on social, health care, child psychology and child development of this age group. It is important to note that EYTS status does not have Qualified Teach Status (QTS). However, it is structured around a PGCE course and you must be prepared to work across all age groups. You wont be able to get any funding if already have the EYPS. Graduates holding an EYTS can teach in a reception class setting.

Various routes within EYTS

PGCE birth to 5 Graduate EYTS £7,000 paid towards fees. A full time pathway
Professional certificate – part time work based. Bursary of £14,000 - £7K towards fees and £7K to employer
Assessment only pathway for more experienced practitioners. Will gain experience across the age groups. Assessment covers 5 days in Key Stage 1 and 5 days in key Stage 2. Assessment period altogether is 12 weeks and included a portfolio.
Many graduates go on to work in various locations including Disney – cruise ships, family centres, nurseries, and hospitals.

Primary PGCE

This route is again a university-led postgraduate teaching programme. Information can be found here. So I thought it would be useful to focus on what skills do you need for teaching in a primary school?

The main challenge teaching in a primary school is that you need to be an expert in all 11 areas of the curriculum. Universities offering Primary PGCE will normally offer seminars in all the different areas Maths, English, PE to get you up to speed. You will also need a good deal of resilience because teaching is hard, but the real X Factor of teaching is the need to be able to get along with children and establish a rapport. So, if you have some good experience of working with children then this will help you with an interview for this course. One additional point to mention is that modern languages have to be taught in primary schools now so it’s a real advantage if you have another language!

Other Useful information about this route!

9 month course with 5-11 age group pathway or 3-7 pathway. Both pathways lead to QTS.

Generally those on the course are 50% new grads and 50% previous career or sometimes women returners.

There are normally three large periods of school based work experience – 6 weeks,7 weeks, and then 8 weeks across all age ranges. You will also study pedagogy which is based on years of research.

The course includes 3 Masters level components leading to 60 credits and you can often complete the Masters at a later date.  It’s worth doing this as the Masters is becoming an important step forward if you want to be considered for promotion.

Working in Special Schools

The normal route is to do a PGCE and then specialise afterwards and do a Masters. Some courses will offer an option to specialise on your course. For example:

Perry Knight from the University of Bedfordshire who offer Early Years Teaching Status advises that those wishing to work in special schools or as an SENCO teacher can do one week in a specialist school on placement and if successful offered a full placement in that area. The student would then go on to do the Masters in Special Educational Needs.

PGCE Secondary School

There are many providers offering the PGCE Secondary and this is probably the best known route and a university-led postgraduate teaching programme. All applications are through UCAS.  Further information can be found on the link above on primary.   A key piece of advice here is to make sure you check out the teaching experience you will get on your selected course. For example, Nigel Fancourt – Acting Director PGCE Course Oxford works only with non-selected schools and not even grammar schools as he feels that students needs a wide experience of different schools.

There is still a shortage of teachers in secondary education particularly in Physics and Chemistry. However, Biology remains oversubscribed.

If you are a Psychology graduate and interested in teaching, then its important to demonstrate enough knowledge of chemistry and maths/stats to get in. Again, those graduating in Engineering may be able to gain a place on a PGCE course if enough Maths can be demonstrated

As in the PGCE primary, the pedagogy taught is key in drawing on wider context and research. 60 Credits are also gained towards a Masters which Fancourt stressed was needed for leadership positions. Its worth noting that for the future research informed practice is likely to be the main model  and possibly a 2 year teacher training postgraduate course incorporating a Masters

Latest News! Postgraduate Teacher Apprenticeships

The DfE announced last Thursday a new post-graduate apprenticeship route into teaching.  The post-graduate teaching apprenticeship is a school-led initial teacher training (ITT) route, enabling schools to use their apprenticeship levy to support the training of new teachers.

Entry requirements are the same as for existing PG ITT routes.  The apprenticeship combines work with on and off the job training and on successful completion, apprentice teachers will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status.  Apprentices will be paid at the rates applicable to unqualified teachers.  Schools may receive further financial support from the government for apprenticeships in the shortage subjects and also to a lesser extent for general  primary. This route is available for candidates starting their apprenticeship in 2018.  Applicants will apply for school-led places listed on UCAS and potentially convert their place to an apprenticeship at a later date. For further information click here.

Tomorrow’s blog will look at PGCE (FE), Teach First, SCITT and resources and support for potential teachers with a disability.