Making the most of your final year video transcript

On-screen text: I am in my final year and have done no preparation towards my career. I have lots of work and exams so I don’t have time.

Carl Jukes: It is important that you make time. All your hard work on your degree may result in you getting a first which is brilliant but what else do you have to offer a company when you are applying for a job? You will be competing against other graduates who also achieved a first but they have other activities on their CV. This could be work experience, societies, fantastic CVs and application forms that stand out because they took the time to get them checked by a professional and who perform well in interviews because they were fully prepared for the recruitment process. This is where Careers Network can help. 

You may feel you do not have time to do work experience in your final year or get a part time job which is completely up to you but we can at least make sure your CVs, applications and interview techniques are up to scratch through workshops, one to one appointments and mock interviews.

Rebecca Walker: I actually only applied and interviewed for one position as I knew where I wanted to work. Luckily enough and thanks to Careers Network, I was offered the job of a newly qualified staff nurse at the Trust I wanted to work within.

I organised a mock interview before my interview and this really helped prepare me.

One of the main things I got from the mock interview was how to provide detailed examples of the skills I said I could offer. This was really good as within healthcare you need to say what you can do and provide an example so that your interviewer knows that you can achieve this to a high standard.

The mock interview helped me manage my nerves as I had an idea of what to expect at the interview. The Careers Adviser talked me through how many questions to expect, how many interviewers to expect and what the set up would be so it all helped prepare me for my interview.

On-screen text: I don’t want to go straight into work, I would like to do further qualifications or take some time out to travel. How do I go about doing this?

Caroline Egan: You don’t need to go straight into your chosen career; it can be really useful to take some time out after your studies to gain some life experience or do further qualifications to prepare you for your ideal job. You are welcome to come and chat to your college careers team to discuss options. If you choose to take some time out to travel, you can always incorporate volunteering into your travels, which will help you to develop both professional and personal skills in a new environment and will look great on your CV.

Helena Kazi During my time here, I was supported by Entrepreneurship and Innovation which is part of Careers Network. During my experiences I was able to volunteer overseas. I worked in an eye camp out in South Asia. My experiences helped me to develop my communication skills as well as establish networks and build relationships with medical experts. I was also able to see the inner workings of large NGOs and charities. I highly recommend volunteering internationally as you get to see the direct impact your work has on vulnerable people in developing countries.

On-screen text: I have just found out about the bursary schemes but I am not eligible to apply because I’m in my final year so is it too late to do work experience?

Andy Newnham: It is never too late to do work experience or an internship. Even though you might be too late for a Careers Network bursary, there’s still time to apply for lots of other different opportunities. Doing work experience or an internship gives you two really important things; the first is it gives you experience of the working world which will be vital in your future employment, and the second is it will give you a whole host of employability skills which are really useful when you are writing future applications. If you come and talk to an internship officer or a careers adviser in Careers Network, we can point you in the right direction.

Andrew Hicks: During my final year, I applied for a range of jobs and internships. So members of the careers team helped me improve and update my CV and application forms and tailor them to specific roles, following this when I did receive invitation o assessment days and interviews, they gave me advice on how to behave as well improving my chances of success with a mock interview. This helped by giving me a boost of confidence going into these days which are fairly scary experiences and following this I’ve recently been given an offer for my dream job.

On-screen text: I have nearly finished my degree but have decided this is not the field I would like to pursue a career in, now what can I do?

Yasmin Ansari: Explore what you enjoy; think about the things you might be naturally good at. You don’t necessarily have to start a job in your degree that you did at University so think about some of the skills you’ve gained, the type of work experience you might want to gain. You can get some help from Careers Network to help you identify possible career pathways and you can do that through one-to-one guidance, going to a workshop or engaging with us online through our online tools.

Simon Lee: Through my time at university I gained mostly civil engineering background in terms of work experience, and it wasn’t until my final year when I thought and it and I said actually I don’t really want to do engineering it's not that interesting to me in terms of the day to day work and I want to do something that I really enjoyed doing for the past four years of my life which is media. So I approached the Careers Network and said they have an alumni-mentoring scheme and I applied to it and I was very lucky to get on and have a fantastic media mentor. We regularly speak, eventually she managed to give me a number of different contacts as well as giving me advice in terms of what to do, who to speak to, where to go to and I managed to gain my first media work experience over Christmas in my final year and when I graduate, I will be working for on of the world’s best media entertainment businesses.

What next?

In your final year, it is important to:

  • have a clear path of what you want to do when you graduate
  • have a fantastic CV ready that has been checked by Careers Network
  • attend workshops an a mock interview in preparation for your future
  • develop key skills through work experience and volunteering
  • research early the industry you wish to enter and build contacts
  • consider further study, training or take time out to travel

Find out more about all these opportunities: www.intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/careers

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