We hope you’re enjoying your time at Bath so far. Hopefully you have settled in, made some new friends, and joined some clubs or societies. If you have read our regular first-year emails, you might already be aware of how the Careers Service can support you. It’s entirely up to you when you want to engage with us, but if you are looking to get a head start, this blog will walk you through the process.

Get involved!

For many of us, university is where we experience independence like never before. Living away from the places and people we grew up with tells us a lot about ourselves. Now’s the time to explore your interests, whether that’s joining a society or signing up for a sports team.

You might be wondering how this is relevant to your career. How does joining a sports team relate to your career goal of, say, investment banking? Well, your involvement demonstrates transferable skills. Playing sports requires teamwork, while writing for the student newspaper shows that you can work to deadlines. So don’t be afraid to broaden your horizons and pursue your hobbies and interests. When the time comes, employers will want to see that you have had a life outside of studying, especially if you’ve skilled up in the process.

Get work or volunteer experience!

Similar to the point above, working or volunteering helps you discover your likes and dislikes. You might think you know these already, but they can fluctuate over time. As a self-proclaimed hermit, I liked the idea of lone working, as I knew I could motivate myself to get things done without supervision. I actually found lone working my least favourite part of volunteering, and it encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and start talking to people.

Linley and Bateman, authors of The Strengths Profile Book, posit that there’s more to strengths than just what we’re good at. Strengths are a combination of how well you perform them, how often you use them, and how energised you feel when you do. In the example above, I knew I performed well as a lone worker, but found it zapped my energy in excess.

Pay close attention to how you feel in part-time work. Do you enjoy talking to customers? Do you get a buzz from busy shifts? Does time fly when you’re solving problems? What gets you ‘in the zone’?

To find out more about gaining work experience, see our Get Started guide, or head over to the SU website for part-time job and volunteering opportunities.

Start writing a CV

If you applied for part-time work while you were at school, you might already have a CV. Keep in mind that you will be continually adding to this over time, and you may need to prioritise some content over others. For example, before I started uni, the only work experience I had was volunteering. I was able to flesh this out on my CV and talk in detail about the skills and experiences I’d acquired. By third year, I’d worked as a paid student ambassador and completed several degree modules I wanted to mention on my CV. To make space for these, I had to pare down what I had written about my volunteer work, without removing it altogether. You may find yourself chopping and changing your CV a lot, especially when tailoring it to different roles.

If you haven’t started a CV yet, don’t worry. This video explains how to start. Our Get Started guide for CVs also has some useful tips.

Does all this pique your interest? Get in touch with us!

We are open every weekday, and you can find us in the Virgil Building on Manvers Street in town. Feel free to drop in to ask us a question. You can also:

  • email us on careers@bath.ac.uk.
  • call us on 01225 386009. Our phone line is not currently live, but if you leave us a message we will call you back.
  • use MyFuture to view our resources, book events and appointments.

Most of all, ENJOY your time at Bath! 😊

Posted in: Advice, Tips & Hints, Work Experience


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