Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Tagged: graduate schemes

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

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

world social work day

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


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

What is social work?

The British Association of Social Workers describes it as:

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

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

Where do you work?

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

How do you become a social worker?

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


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


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

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

  • The challenges of social work

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

  • The rewards of social work

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

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

How to learn more about the world of social work

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

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

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UCAS points and international qualifications

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📥  Advice, Applications

This afternoon I met a student from Mexico who was applying for graduate schemes. She was a bit stuck as the application form required UCAS points - while there is no direct way to provide a UCAS points equivalent for international qualifications, there are some strategies and organisations you can use to help.

  • Email or telephone the employer giving full details of your qualifications and grades and ask for their advice about what you should put on their application form.
  • Check with your academic department and ask them if they translated your international qualifications into UK equivalents when you applied.
  • If your academic department doesn't have this information then ask them what the entry requirements are for your course in terms of level of  UCAS points. Then explain to your potential employer that you were accepted onto a course that requires this level of pass. You may want to note that Bath does not select on the basis of UCAS points so there will be a degree of guess work involved.

You may also want to bear in mind, larger graduate recruiters will usually accept international qualifications. Simply list your qualifications and grades including percentages if possible. Some employers may have their own way of assessing international qualifications such Deloitte while some employers such as PwC no longer use the UCAS system as part of its application process. Therefore it is important to research different employers and their requirements before you embark on applications.

Finally, the National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the UK (NARIC) is an organisation that specialises in comparing international qualifications for the UK. They can tell you whether your international qualification is broadly equivalent to A-Level study in the UK but they cannot directly compare your previous grades to UCAS points. NARIC usually charge a fee for a written assessment, but have an advice line for simple queries from students.

 

Get your graduate job hunt on track...

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📥  Advice, Applications, Event, Graduate Jobs, inspire

We know most of you are looking forward to the Christmas break and a bit of R&R at home. But picture this - every time you see your mum, dad, sister, granny, aunt, granddad, great uncle, next door neighbor, your cat, your friends dog, the postman, baby niece.... they all have one question:

"So what are you going to do after you graduate?"


Please don't bury your head in the sand, instead take action! Sign up to our 1-hour webinars designed to get your job hunting on track! From top tips to get started to exploring alternatives to grad schemes; from clarifying whether you want to undertake further study to finding useful sources of funding - we have it covered!

Log into MyFuture  and sign up to one of our webinars below. The best bit? You can participate from the comfort of your own home ....!

How to get your graduate job hunt started!
Tuesday - 15th December, 12.15-1.15 

During this Webinar, we will explore techniques to help you generate viable job options that align with your skills and interests. We will also provide you with a helpful job-hunting timeline.

Alternatives to graduate schemes
Wednesday - 16th December, 12.15-1.15 

We will look at the wide range of positions available with organisations of all shapes and sizes and sectors. We’ll include the harder-to-find sectors such as NGOs, charities, science, sport and many more. We’ll look at how to find these jobs, how to apply for them and, crucially, how to pick the ones that will best match your career ideas.

Postgraduate Study and Funding
Thursday - 17th December, 12.15-1.15 

From pursuing a topic you love, to gaining a necessary qualification for a specific career; people do postgraduate study for a whole range of reasons. This webinar will help you think through your motivations for considering postgraduate study and how it could benefit your career. We’ll look at the types of courses on offer and how to research course availability, content and funding sources, and give some top tips for applications and personal statements.

 

Get ahead of the game...

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📥  Applications, Event, Tips & Hints

staying-ahead-fish

 

It seems every year, graduate scheme applications open earlier and earlier! However as a general rule of thumb, the application period for graduate schemes starts in September 2015 and will end in December or January 2016. A significant proportion of employer shortlist on a rolling basis, there it is important to apply early! The whole process from application to assessment centre and offer can take months. The application process is really involved with many different steps: on-line application form, aptitude tests, initial interview, assessment centre etc. Juggling job hunting alongside your final year study can seem really daunting!

So what can you do?

START EARLY!

  1. Consider taking part in our Careers Webinars, designed to give you a head start with your graduate job hunting. Places are limited so sign up today via MyFuture.
  2. Go for intensive preparation, our Careers Prep in a Day events are perfect! Held on Saturday 26th September (final year undergrads) and 3rd October (Masters students). You can get all aspects of career planning done in one day from identifying where to look for jobs, learning how to write strong applications and participating in a mock assessment centre session.

WHAT ELSE?

Make a list of grad schemes that you are most interested in and prioritise applications according to closing deadline. Check out Save the Student who compile and maintain this information. They also have a list of schemes that recruit all year round.

 

 

Are you considering applying for graduate schemes this year?

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📥  Event, Graduate Jobs, Tips & Hints

It seems every year, graduate scheme applications open earlier and earlier! However as a general rule of thumb, the application period for graduate schemes starts in at the end of August and will end in December 2015 or January 2016. A significant proportion of employer shortlist on a rolling basis, therefore it is important to apply early!

To give you the best possible start, the  Careers Service will be offering a series of 1-hour webinars (you can participate from the comfort of your home) aimed at students embarking on their final year and students who have recently graduated.  The #getahead programme covers all aspects of career planning, from understanding the graduate job market, improving your applications to considering postgraduate study. You can participate in all the sessions or choose the ones that are most relevant to your circumstances.

How to begin your graduate job search
14th September 2015
6-7pm

This is a MUST if you are considering applying for a graduate scheme this year! We will provide information on where to look for grad schemes, how to market yourself and will also share alternative options.

How to ace aptitude and other psychometric tests
15th September 2015
6-7pm

If you are thinking of applying for a graduate training scheme chances are you’ll have to complete some sort of psychometric tests as part of the selection process. During our informative webinar we will discuss typical psychometric tests and will signpost you to resources to help you develop your confidence.

Improve your CV and applications
16th September 2015
6-7pm

In this session we'll look at how to improve your CVs, cover letters and applications forms through interactive activities allowing you to 'sit in the recruiter's shoes'.  Understand what employers are looking for, how they assess your applications and how best to market yourself effectively.

Considering a PhD or a Masters?
17th September 2015
6-7pm

Whether you’re considering a Masters or a PhD, this informative sessions will give you space to consider your options. We will share tips on writing personal statements and will provide advice on sources of funding.

For more information and to reserve your place, please visit MyFuture.

Make the most of our summer careers fair!

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Labour Market Intelligence

Did you know we are hosting a Summer Graduate Careers Fair on Tuesday, 28th April from 10am-4pm in Founders Hall? The fair is a great opportunity to explore graduate roles (if you are a finalist) or summer internships / work experience opportunities. You may want to have a look at the fair programme to explore the exhibitor list.

We understand this is a busy time for many of you with project deadlines and exams, so we wanted to share our top tips for making the most of the fair:

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

Finally and most importantly, avoid going around the fair in a pack! This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate to potential employers you are a capable and independent individual. For more advice check out this really useful advice from TargetJobs.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing you at the Fair!

 

Are you graduating with a 2:2?

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📥  Advice, Tips & Hints

Getting your degree from Bath is a great achievement!  But what if your results aren't quite what you expected? Every year about 30% of graduates leave with a 2:2.   If you have found yourself in this situation and are worrying about your career prospects it’s important to remember you are not alone.

Many students believe that if you get a 2:2 you have no hope on getting on a grad scheme. This is a myth! There are plenty of graduate schemes that accept a 2:2 and the University of Durham Careers Service have put together a really helpful list.

What else can you do?

don_t_panic_button

Take a practical approach. Consider whether it’s possible to appeal your final degree classification. There may be mitigating circumstances that you have overlooked and may prove decisive in an appeals procedure. However, don’t assume that your appeal will be successful – talk through your options with your personal tutor and/or Director of Studies. Act quickly and be hopeful – but realistic.

If you have a conditional offer, you need to ring the company and let them know the situation. There may be no room for manoeuvre, but if you really impressed them at interview then you never know, they may just honour the offer.

Don't panic and make rushed decisions! We often see students who look to applying for postgraduate study as a way to make up for the 2:2. Postgraduate study is a viable option post graduation but only if it fits with your wider career plan. Take your time, research industry needs and be absolutely sure you want to commit the time and energy into further study.

Getting a 2:2 might be a disappointment and it might mean having to re-think you options, but it doesn’t mean automatic exclusion from a fulfilling career. So, before panic and anxiety takes over - please come and talk to us!

The job hunting apocalypse…

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📥  Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs

zombie-cartoon-will-work

I have just been outside the library talking to students about their job hunting nightmares! If you are passing by, say hello!  I got the sense a lot of students have turned into Zombies when it comes to job hunting – for a number of students, it’s an apocalypse out there and you have decided to give up on finding a job!

Here are some of the reasons why students have given up:

“I am down to get a 2:2; there is no way I will find a job”

“I don’t know if I am good enough”

“I want to be an x but there is nothing out there for me”

I am a huge fan on the TV series The Walking Dead and am going to utilise my love for Zombies to share some job hunting survival strategies.

  • Look beyond the doom and gloom: news that 83 graduates apply for every job is eye catching, but this is only true of the large graduate schemes which only make up 12-15% of the job market. Feedback from employers is there is a war for talent with start-ups and blue chip companies recruiting heavily.
  • You can survive a 2:2: while some graduate schemes use 2:1 classification as a way to sift applications this is not true of all employers! I just did a quick search on Milkround.com and counted at least 20 grad schemes which accept a 2:2. Not to mention SME’s and start-ups, who often don't have such stringent requirements. So it is worth exploring alternative routes into the sector of your choice. Check out this amazing list  produced by Warwick Careers of employers who consider a 2:2!
  • Easier to survive in groups: using your network can be a great way of finding out about opportunities that aren't advertised, inside scoop on what particular employers look for and what it’s like to work for a particular organisation. Talk to your professors, peers, employers on campus, Bath alumni and careers advisers. Use tools such as LinkedIn to make connections.
  • Take your time: avoid diving mindlessly into applying for jobs, just because everyone around you is! It can be invaluable to step back and reflect on what you really want to do. Sometimes taking a year out and focusing on learning about a sector through internships and work experience will not only build your CV but also allow you to make clearer and informed decisions.

Remember you don't have to loose your brains while looking for a job! Come and see us in Careers and we will support you all the way.

Happy Halloween!