Meeting employers

 

As a Masters student you already have a degree under your belt, which places you in an excellent position when talking to employers. You should make the most of this and use it to your advantage. In addition to this, you are undertaking further study, which demonstrates your commitment to learning and provides a future employer with additional skills.

Many employers really value a Masters qualification, but some are not aware of the significance of it. YOU need to sell yourself!

Here's a handy infographic to get you started.  (Click the image for a larger version. Click here for an accessible version).

Why should I hire you infographic - please see transcript below

What do employers think of postgraduates?

Lauren McCafferty

Student Recruitment Senior Manager, PwC

“Critical thinking skills, heightened analytical skills, an ability to work independently, and communicating complex theories to people who don’t come from that background: those are the great skills that a postgraduate can offer an employer like myself.”



Tessella logoTessella really value employees with a postgraduate qualification because they bring the following skills: (View an accessible version of the Tessella skills infographic (PDF - 59KB)) 

Tessella skills infographic

Find out more about the employer perspective on postgraduate study:

Meeting employers

Here at the University of Birmingham we provide you with many varied opportunities to meet prospective employers face-to-face. Talking to employers can help you gain a greater understanding of your future job roles. It can also give you an insight into the skills that employers regard as the most valuable, which can be crucial when applying for jobs.

Internships and work experience are a great way to find out more about specific jobs and sectors and also enhance your CV.  We create opportunities for you to work for employers from campus and compete in real-world business challenges.  One such opportunity is the Masters Consultancy ChallengeRead more about this exciting scheme.

Careers fairs

There are a variety of careers fairs held on campus during the autumn term.

We also hold international careers fairs off campus during spring term, in collaboration with other Midlands Universities.

When attending a careers fair it is important to plan ahead to make sure you stand out from the crowd:

  • Research companies attending that you are interested in
  • Prepare questions to ask based on what you already know about the company and the opportunities they have available
  • Practise introducing yourself – maybe come up with an elevator pitch
  • Practise your hand shake
  • Dress smart
  • Take your CV
  • Get the employer’s contact details so you can follow up with them after the fair – be proactive

Employer events

Throughout October a number of employers are on campus to meet students and provide information about their opportunities, so keep an eye on the events calendar so you don’t miss out. And remember – plan ahead to make a good impression. (See the Careers Fair tips in the section above).

In spring term we hold informal Getting to know drop-in sessions with various employers. This is your opportunity to clarify information for job applications or find out more about specific companies and sectors.

In spring term we also hold a sector events series where you can hear from and network with various speakers, including PGT alumni, about their experiences working in specific sectors.

Tips from a University of Birmingham academic

Professor John Tellam, MSc Hydrogeology course tutor, recommends that students:

  • Choose projects and options that interest you, rather than what you think employers will want to see: employers like to see enthusiasm, ability, and successful completion of a complex task. 
  • Start job hunting early, and consider what sort of job would suit you best. Research companies and talk to your lecturers and Careers Network.
  • When approaching a company, see if your lecturers have any contacts – these people may have knowledge of upcoming roles, and are more likely to spot any special skills you may have to offer.
  • Do not over-embellish your CV – keep it simple, informative, and relevant. Careers Network can offer help, and you can ask your tutors for advice.
  • Be clear about your technical interests, but remember that employers are often looking for indicators of initiative too, which may come from outside your study (travel, charity work, expertise, major sporting achievements, student officer appointments).
  • Prepare well for the interview – expect technical questions, research the company and ask questions, and observe interview etiquette. Remember that the interviewer wants a technically capable, bright, adaptable, enthusiastic employee who will fit into the ethos of the organisation and who will be fun to work with – and aim to get that impression across!