In the beginning of February we hosted four international Bath alumni in a panel event who shared their valuable experiences, challenges and advice for applying to UK jobs as international students. See below for their advice, tips and useful resources! The Careers Service thanks Charlotte for writing this excellent summary. See here for a recording of the event.
Patty - Marketing Assistant
MSc Marketing Graduate, Patty currently works as a marketing assistant and chose this role because of her passion for international marketing and e-commerce however this was not what she had envisioned herself doing. Initially, Patty applied to graduate schemes at large international corporations because of their visa sponsorships and leadership opportunities, however upon further research, she found that small and medium sized companies could also be great opportunities, it is just a matter of doing your homework and finding the right companies. During her job search she was increasingly anxious when other people around her were landing their dream jobs but she emphasised that resilience is critical and exploring alternative avenues is invaluable in the process of applying for jobs. Patty’s top tips was to do your research, for both visa applications and jobs, as early as possible and this research is not as daunting as it may seem due to the wide range of resources available through the Careers Service, and University Immigration Services. Furthermore, she noted the importance of applying early, even if you are not successful in early applications it is both reassuring to make a start in your job hunt and can also provide invaluable learning insights.
Sammi - Client Executive
Sammi is a Management with Marketing graduate who did her placement year at advertising firm. Her placement year helped reaffirm her interests in marketing and advertisement because it combined both the creative and corporate worlds. Sammi’s top tip when beginning a job search is to identify your interests and strengths and explore how different corporations align with them. For example, Sammi noted that from her research she found that media companies are more strategy based which complimented her degree and skillset. Following on from this, she further emphasised the importance of researching roles available and to keep an open mind! Sammi explained how she connected with Bath alumni on LinkedIn who had a similar background to her, therefore she learnt about their experiences and advice about the types of work available and how best to apply. Getting experience, whether in the UK or overseas, is important and she noted the importance of being flexible and open to different roles and opportunities. Her current role was not one she necessarily envisioned but now there is no place she’d rather be. Echoing the sentiments of Patty, Sammi also reassured the audience that timings are not the same for everyone and that it is not about how quickly you land a job, but rather how the job is suited to you!
Raj - Product Development Engineer
Next, MSc Design Engineering Graduate, Rajas, explored his career choice dilemma and the importance of using all resources available to you. To begin, Rajas outlined the career choice dilemma he faced because he did not know what roles were out there. He noted that critical to understanding what role he wanted to pursue was reflecting on his skills, knowledge and experience as well as searching for first-hand accounts or day-in-the-life resources about different career paths. Next, he emphasised the invaluable resources within the Careers Service and the PGT Engineering Industry Experience Officer who helped him through the process of job applications and career guidance. Rajas explained that asking for help is vital when applying to jobs, especially as an international student! Lastly, Rajas noted three different types of job application strategies for different stages of your job search:
- The focused, detail-oriented application. These are the first applications you make and are usually for large, competitive companies. This may feel like one of the more challenging strategies but they are essential to do as early as possible and will help improve your future applications.
- Utilising recruitment agencies and having a more generic CV meaning that recruiters contact you. This approach is less tailored and you are more likely to hear from small/medium companies. This route has medium competition and is usually undertaken after the closing of applications to large corporations.
- Speedy applications and one-click applications on LinkedIn whereby you can search for keywords and job alerts. This stage comes later in your job search and by this point your CV will be polished and you will have much more experience of the recruitment process.
As well as his different strategies for applying to jobs, Rajas notes the continued importance of checking job websites, such as Indeed and My Future, on a regular basis, using LinkedIn for networking and advice, and making sure you learn from each of the steps in your application process.
Aleksei - Graduate Ecommerce Executive
Lastly, MSc Management Graduate, Aleksei, discussed his experience applying for a skilled worker visa and his advice for thinking about your job application process methodically. Aleksei currently works as an e-commerce executive and began applying for jobs in October using resources such as Bright Network, Prospects, company career pages, and MyFuture. He discussed the initial set-back of being rejected because the company didn’t sponsor visas. Although disheartening, he explained that it was still a valuable learning curve and meant that he was extra thorough when researching companies and their sponsorship options; he highlighted the importance of using the careers services resources and checking which companies sponsor certain visas. From a practical point of view, Aleksei encouraged organisation and proactivity, stating that he began researching different companies and jobs as early as over a year in advance and made a note of all the deadlines so that he could organise his applications accordingly. He noted that it is important to routinely check job websites and manage your time wisely so that you are not overwhelmed with applications and assessments. Lastly, he mentioned the importance of interview preparation and how he used sites such as Glassdoor and the careers service to support him!
Student Immigration Service
Careers Service (access required)
Online Networking and Professional Advice
Bath Connection (Networking with Bath Alumni)