Thinking about your Career Options
Hello everyone! Although we are well into exam season now and your future career may be the last thing on your mind, it is important to take advantage of all the time you will have over the summer as well as the opportunities that Warwick has on offer for you to help you get your dream job! Here are some things to think about during your summer break as well as a reminder of the services available to you during term time.
- Work Experience
Around two thirds of employers look for graduates with relevant work experience because it helps them prepare for work and develop general business awareness and one third of employers felt that applicants did not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about their chosen career or job. To gain a better understanding of a career, organise some short-term work experience or a few days’ work shadowing with an employer. It may not give you time to develop job-specific skills, but it can give you insight into the work involved. It also shows you have motivation and commitment. Some schools, colleges, and universities may be able to organise this for you but if not, research and contact companies yourself.
Although students are often reluctant to pursue internships because they worry they’ll be stuck doing menial tasks like getting coffee or making copies (and let’s face it- no one wants to work for free), internships are investments in your future. Internships can last from a few weeks to up to a year, and could be something you organise over the summer holiday or a gap year. Depending on the type of contract, you may or may not receive a wage but internships are available in many sectors and industries such as business, law, marketing, engineering, and hospitality, and can give you the opportunity to gain more career-specific skills and knowledge. They are very popular and competition for places is high, so you’ll need to apply as early as possible. Internships offer you the chance to network in a real working environment and to explore different career options as well as providing long term work experience to boost your CV with and transferrable skills.
University is one big experience and doing some voluntary work can make a difference to the local community and your overall experience. While volunteering, you will meet many new people and be networking all the time as well as boosting your career opportunities with work experience to put on your CV and transferrable skills. Volunteering shows what you’re passionate about and shows your commitment as you won’t be paid for your time and there are even options to volunteer abroad so you get to travel and see the world too! Volunteering is often much easier to obtain than paid work experience or internships so it can be very valuable if you aren’t able to find any paid opportunities.
- Part Time Jobs
Although having a part time job during your degree isn’t for everyone, it is a valuable source of work experience for your CV and provides an extra source of income which is never a bad thing for a student! It will also help you with your budgeting and time management skills as well as providing you with transferrable skills which will be useful in your next job and future career.
- Careers Fairs
Warwick hosts many Careers Fairs throughout the academic year which offer you the opportunity to network with a wide range of employers offering graduate positions, internships and work experience opportunities across a variety of sectors across all degree disciplines. You can explore your career possibilities, investigate roles you may be interested in applying to as you move towards graduation and find out more about internships, work experience and volunteering opportunities on offer.
- Drop-in Careers Sessions
There are various Drop-in Careers sessions available at Warwick in the Oculus Building and at your department building as well as sessions for Academic Skills and a Job Shop with myAdvantage website tutorials. Seeing a professional careers advisor can be pivotal to help you get the right work experience and/or internships and can help you take the next steps towards your dream career after you graduate. If you want your CV or application form reviewed or want help with searching for jobs don’t forget the Job Search Advice drop in, running weekdays during term time also on the 1st Floor of the Oculus. This is a popular service, so there may be a wait to see an advisor and it is recommended that you sign up early online or on the sign-up sheets.
- Skills and Development Workshops
Warwick offers many workshops and drop ins for specific issues relating to your degree, such as Exam revision and technique, Speed Reading and Critical Thinking. There is also the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award. The WSPA will help you to develop skills that are valued by employers and that will be useful for you more broadly, in your personal life and whilst studying at Warwick. The award is achieved through attendance at workshops, followed up by producing structured, reflective online entries, involving action planning and reflection. Information about these workshops can be found at the myAdvantage website. Many young people underestimate their digital expertise so capitalise on these skills and show potential employers exactly how valuable they can be and learn how to use certain programs if you need to.
Thanks for reading! Kristie