Deciding On A Career
It is very easy to feel intimidated when you come to university, especially with the jobs fair and all of the other careers events that Warwick hosts. However, these opportunities should not be ignored and they are definitely not there to scare you away! Rather, Warwick tries to offer its students the best chance of securing not just a good job, but the job you want.
I remember when I first joined university, I was very lucky because I already knew that I wanted a career in finance. However, it is completely normal to not have the slightest clue of what sector you want to work in, let alone the exact career path you want to follow. In my case, it didn’t even make a difference that I knew I wanted to go into finance, as I didn’t make the most of the opportunities offered to me on campus.
Rather than attending the company presentations and networking events organised by Warwick, I chose to focus only on my social life during the first term at university, meaning that I missed out on some worthwhile opportunities. I had no ideas what spring weeks were until it was too late to apply for them, and I had learnt nothing about the type of firm or division I would want to apply for anyways. Fortunately, I take a four year course and so had a chance to reapply in my second year, but for many of my friends who made similar mistakes to myself, they had lost their first opportunity to gain financial work experience.
Spring weeks, for those who are confused, are weeklong programmes that take place during the spring term to give students an insight to a certain industry or firm. They tend to be for finance, consulting or law related careers but it is worth researching early on in your first year to see if your preferred sector offers anything similar. They tend to be relatively competitive to obtain, but if successful, you will be ahead of the rest of your cohort, as they are a stepping stone into an internship, and later, a grad role.
My best tip of advice here is to start early. Although Freshers Week is about making friends and having fun, it is worth having some thought about your future too. Make sure to attend both the societies fair and the jobs fair at the beginning of the first term to get an idea of what opportunities are available. I recommend joining relevant societies that focus on the domain you are interested in, and trust me there are plenty to join at Warwick. Once a member, you will have access to CV clinics, application advice and company events, which will all help steer you in the right direction. When opportunities arise, however small or big, take them! Any experience is good experience, and when you come to applying for spring weeks or summer internships, these events are exactly the type of thing you can draw upon to add value to your application.
Good luck for your first few weeks at university, and good luck for whatever endeavours you follow after that.