Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Tagged: First year

Career Planning Checklist for First Years

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📥  Advice, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized, Work Experience

Career Planning Checklist for First Years


I hope you have enjoyed the first few weeks on campus!  In the next few years you may make friends for life and acquire knowledge that will inspire you in many different directions, I know it did for me! You might already wonder about what you would like to do with your degree and what you will learn here at Bath. Your first year is all about finding out who you are, what you like to do, what you are good at, what you are not so good at and creating friendships and networks. Your career journey actually starts here, today, and I have several ideas about how you can start exploring.

Get involved!

This is the time to join student societies and clubs. Do you like to juggle or debate politics? It is for you to find out. Would you like to have an active voice on campus?  Join societies, student committees or join roles in the Students’ Union.

Get work or volunteer experience!

I had no idea what I wanted to do after my degree when I started, so I explored many different roles and acquired many different skills which became useful later. Working in catering taught me I don’t like working with food but I love talking to customers! Working as a market researcher taught me I don’t like speaking on the phone, but I enjoy writing up company marketing reports. I volunteered in translation, which confirmed my interest in languages. Being a student advisor in the Study Abroad Office my last year at University taught me that I enjoy supporting students decide about their future, and became the reason why I started working in student support and ending up as a Careers Adviser. So my advice to you is to get experience, try different jobs and volunteering roles. Explore who you are!

Start writing your CV!

To apply for work experience and volunteering roles, you may need to have an updated CV. So why not start that now? It will also be so much easier to add to the CV later on if you start early, believe me! There are several CV writing workshops and talks you can join through MyFuture – our careers portal to events, talks, workshops and for booking appointments. We also have a great CV writing resource to get your started.

Does all this peak your interest? Come and visit us!

We are open everyday and we always have time to speak to you. We are now based in city centre, near the station in the Virgil Building. We have lots of resources, both online and in the centre, for you to look through. We have Careers Advisers for you to book appointments with, to share your ideas and thoughts.  We offer a range of appointments and support, please see our website for more details. We even have a page dedicated to you, first year students.

Here are further links for you to explore:

-          MyFuture – your links to careers appointments, skills development training, employer events, jobs and internships.

-          Bath Careers website – A great resource for all things careers, from writing a CV and succeeding in an assessment centre to exploring employers and taking a gap year.

-          Joblink – The Students' Union's part-time job portal, if you would like a part-time job alongside your studies.

-          Students’ Union – great resource for all things SU.

But most of all, ENJOY your first year at Bath.

 

Do I need to use the Careers Service in my First Year?

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📥  Career Development, inspire, Tips & Hints

Firstly, welcome to all First Years! We hope that you have now settled in and are enjoying university life and your chosen degree programme.
Right from the start of this academic year, you will have opportunities to develop your employability skills and build on those skills you already acquired before arriving here. So it’s a good idea to start to think about how you might do this. Getting some work experience or getting involved in student activities – from societies to taking part in many of the volunteering activities that take place in the local community is a great way to do this. These activities can help to develop your team and leadership skills, organisational skills, and communication skills which employers will want to see evidence of. So my advice is get involved as much as you are able to and challenge yourself.8618916280_d68b2c46ac_z-2


At the Fresher’s Fair the other week, a common question from students to the Careers Service team was – “Should I be worried about my career path now?” Or “Do I need to use you already?”
The answer to the first concern is, “no”! There is absolutely no need to be concerned, but it is useful to know the sorts of things we do in the Careers Service and how we can support you and help you to develop your employability whilst you are with us. So in answer to “Do you need to use us this year?” is "maybe"!
Many of you will already have attended or will be attending an induction day on what we offer. However, for those of you that missed these, I thought it would be a good idea to list some of the areas we are here for particularly in your first year.

  • Resources
    Firstly, on our Careers Web pages at www.bath.ac.uk/students/careers we have an extensive range of resources to help you develop your employability. Have a look through our listings and you will find information on
    Choose a Career? – Lots of guidance and tools on helping you to make a career decision over the next few years
    Get Work experience? – How to find guide, information on Gap years and websites to search for opportunities
    Succeed in Selection – Covers anything to do with getting a job or placement - from our interview guide, psychometric tests to practice, to our video interview programme which allows you to practice your interviews.
  • Events and Workshops
    Throughout your time with us, we offer many careers events, including careers fairs, workshops and employer talks. Take a look to see what might interest you or help you in your career journey by going to https://myfuture.bath.ac.uk/
    An event of particular interest - Summer Internships Fair – 25th November – Founders’ Sports Hall
  • Career Appointments – you can talk to a Careers Adviser for one-to-one help either in a quick query appointment or longer guidance appointment. We suggest booking a quick query appointment initially and can help you with the following:
    - Advice on options and modules
    - Advice on changing or leaving your course
    Our Careers Advisers are impartial and can help you understand the pros and cons of changing course. Check out other sources of help .
    - Finding work experience
    - What career to aim for:-
    You don’t need to have decided what you want to do before you speak to a Careers Adviser but you could read our Careers Guide to get you started .
    You can also check out the Choose A Career pages to find out more.
    - CV advice: – useful if you are considering an Insight Week or work experience in the summer
    To book just go to- https://myfuture.bath.ac.uk/
  • Career Drop –Ins For First Years
    Finally, in addition to our bookable appointments, from the 15th November we will be offering Career Drop-in sessions every Tuesday 5-7 pm aimed particularly for First Years. These will be in the Student Services area – just go to 4W.

I hope this has given you a taster of the support that we can offer you on your career journey and ideas for developing your employability skills. You will find a useful guide to employability in your library card wallet.
We look forward to welcoming you soon!

 

How to make the most of "your careers service".

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Career Development, Careers Service Update

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We are really looking forward to welcoming you at Bath. I understand amid all the excitement you may also have moments of being nervous about this stage of your life. I thought I would pen some hints and tips about how to make the most the careers service and what to expect.

  1. University careers support is different to what you may have experienced at school. You can make an appointment as soon as you arrive and you don't have to know what you want to do. Instead, we can help you clarify your thinking and most importantly we won't tell you what to do.
  2. Throughout Freshers week, our careers advisers will pop up during lectures or as part of formal induction talks. This way you'll know who they are and how to make contact.
  3. Your engagement with the careers service doesn't have to be face-to-face. We arrange loads of skills training events and talks. You will also be able to meet employers on campus.
  4. You can come and see us as often as you like! (even after you graduate).
  5. Its OK for your career thinking to change, just give yourself the time and space to consider different options. Don’t rely on student gossip about what to do when. Make sure that you have the time frames and application windows clear in your mind. Your careers adviser will know.

 

Is it time to talk about my future?

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

Today, I had a 1:1 meeting with a Bath graduate, towards the end of our appointment she said "I wish I would have thought about my future much earlier"
Many of you will be excited about coming to Bath, frantically packing and looking ahead to the array of freshers activities. For our returning students, you may well be looking forward to catching up with friends... Now, I know I sound like a party pooper, but you may want to consider giving your future a little thought.


As a first year:

  • If you don’t join a club or society now there is a good chance you won’t have the time or motivation later. You will make new friends and gain the skills that employers want by getting involved and helping out.  By starting in your first year there is a good chance you will be on the committee by your final year and have great experience on your CV.
  • Get a part time job. Earn money, gain skills, learn what it is like to have to manage your time effectively and understand the work place. Many employers complain students are not work ready so prove them wrong.
  • Take notice of the jobs people do, consider if you might like to do that and use the careers support available to help you.

As a 2nd year:

  • Catch up on first year if you missed out!
  • Work towards getting a summer internship – you need to be fast if you are interested in some of the larger companies as they tend to open applications in September.  Smaller organisations tend to recruit a bit later in the year.
  • You could volunteer – more flexibility than a job, but great experience. It can be the ONLY way to get experience in certain sectors.
  • Get a part time job. Earn money, gain skills, learn what it is like to have to manage your time effectively and understand the work place. Many employers complain students are not work ready so prove them wrong.
  • Start planning what you want to do when you leave. Explore and experience as much as you can by attending events and talking to each other, and us if you like 🙂

Finalist:

  • Time to start making applications now for jobs or further study after you graduate.  If that fills you with horror then it’s time to ask for help.
  • It’s not geeky or stupid to use the support and advice around you at the University. Most students won’t own up to being a bit lost, those that do, get help and find their way forward.
 First posted on the University of Manchester Careers Blog.

 

Is there such a thing as a non-relevant internship?

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📥  Work Experience

We're seeing quite a few students coming in asking us about internships. This is great - to have people coming in and asking us about productive uses of their summers is exactly what we want! But some of you are quite concerned that you can't get the 'right' sort of internship, maybe because you're a first year and the schemes you can find are only open to penultimate years.

So I thought I would issue a bit of reassurance.

It does not matter if you are studying, for example, engineering, and can't find an internship with a related company. There are still internships available for first years (just have a look at the programme from our Summer Internship Fair to see the sort of things available).

Yes, these tend to be in finance, or what might be termed 'general management', or in summer camps. But that doesn't mean they are useless as far as you are concerned.

These roles, or organisations, might not be your first, or even second, choice of career or employment sector. But they will still give you very useful experience of using some of the skills that all employers want.

For example, almost every employer wants people who can work well in a team and solve problems. They don't mind that the team of people you worked in was a set of camp counselors in Canada. Or that the problem you solved was how to increase a particular brand's market share. They do care that you had an opportunity to use those skills - and you have a great example to use in one of those competency-based questions employers love to ask you.

You will also learn about the sort of working style and culture you prefer - whether that be relaxed, flexible, likely to change at the last minute, or more predictable and structured. That might make the difference between you applying for a placement in process engineering in a large plant, or a smaller conasultancy that goes into many different companies to help them increase efficiencies in their production.

So go on - try something completely different! You have nothing to lose - and a whole lot of insight and useful skills development to gain!

We are here every day to help you with applications for internships and to answer any of your career questions - click here for times and how to book.

 

 

Internships for First Years

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📥  Work Experience

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In my afternoon drop-ins yesterday the vast majority of questions from new students were around how to find an internship.  Whilst it is generally more common for recruiters to offer internships to second years, there is a shift in recruitment practice with more and more employers engaging first years.

One such way of engaging first years is through Spring Insight Weeks. These are generally shorter than a full internship and usually take place over the Easter break. However this does change depending on when Easter falls. Please do check your academic timetable before committing to any Insight Weeks!

Insight weeks allow first years to explore different sectors and to find out what it’s like working for particular employers. They are also a great way to begin to clarify your career thinking. Crucially, doing an insight week in your first year will help you when you apply for an internship in your second year. The LSE Careers Service have helpfully put together a list of Insight Weeks and opportunities for first years.

There are other ways of gaining work experience, The Huffington Posts article on ‘How to boost your CV without Leaving Campus’ offers excellent tips and advice! The Careers Service also hosts over 150 employers in Semester 1, many deliver presentations on campus showcasing opportunities within their organisations. Why not come along to a few and see what’s out there?

You may also want to consider speculative applications as a way to secure work experience over the summer.  Just because an organisation isn’t advertising opportunities doesn’t mean they won’t consider potential candidates. The key is to approach organisations in the right way: create a strong CV and cover letter, research potential companies and write to a named individual. Usually SME’s are more open to this approach; check out business directories such as Kompas to identify companies in your area. Finally pop in to the Careers Service, we have a host of resources you can take-away and our Careers Advisers can support you with putting together your speculative application.