myAdvantage: Careers Guidance
As we enter yet another new year (it’s like clockwork!) I find myself trying to look into the future. What will 2021 look like? What will life beyond 2021 look like?
Unfortunately, I wasn’t born a seer, nor do I know any seers. Imagine foreseeing the sheer drama that has unfolded in 2020!
In light of accepting that we cannot predict the future, I suppose we must settle for preparing for the uncertainty through upskilling and considering our options.
Luckily for us Warwick students, we have MyAdvantage – the closest thing to an oracle that we can get.
MyAdvantage is Warwick’s platform for student careers and skills. I’ve used it for:
- Appointments for careers guidance and application feedback
- Booking skills workshops and other careers events
- Looking for internships
Legend has it that somewhere deep in the bowels of the university, there live a group of wise beings who can steer you onto the path of enlightenment.
These beings can be summoned through myAdvantage, like so:
Let me recount my experiences with these beings, who can be identified as careers consultants.
I was one of those people who booked an appointment at the beginning of my first year with my department’s dedicated careers consultant. The interaction went along these lines:
me: “Greetings o wise one, I’m Shika and I don’t know what I want to do with my life. Please guide me.”
her: “My young grasshopper, you are merely in your first year. Take a deep breath. You must get a life before you can figure out what to do with it.”
Ok, that’s a lie. The careers consultants are too nice say something like that!
What actually happened was that she listened to me waffle on about what I was interested in and what I thought I wanted from a career. Then she gave me some tips on how to make the most of my time at university and career options to consider. Then she said that it’s ok to just have fun!
While I didn’t get a personalised instruction manual on how I should spend my uni days, just having a chat made things much clearer.
The second appointment I booked came about quite accidentally. One moment, I was talking to one of the careers consultants during the SU’s Skills Festival and then BAM! I completed my Strengths Profile.
What’s this mysterious Strengths Profile? It’s a report of your strengths, learned behaviours and weaknesses created based on answering a bunch of questions. My next careers appointment was a ‘debrief’ where I had lovely chat with possibly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met about my profile.
I would really recommend it! Not only is it paid for by the uni (the report isn’t free) so you really should take advantage of it while you can, but it’s really helped me with understanding myself and talking about my strengths in interviews.
I owe my life (ok, maybe not my life but my first summer internship at least) to the careers consultants.
One of the main lessons I’ve learnt is that when it comes to applications, quality is better than quantity.
So to level up the quality of my applications, I booked an appointment to get feedback on my CV and cover letters. Before this appointment, my CV was categorically rubbish. After this appointment, it was still rubbish, but it was littered with dozens of annotations on how to improve it.
And when I got an interview in which I had to deliver a presentation? I got feedback on it. For CS students, we can also have mock technical interviews.
This resource is so, so valuable! I would really recommend that you do this in your first year, as the tips I picked up from these appointments have stayed with me throughout my degree.
That’s not all! Check out events and internships/jobs via myAdvantage.