Making the most of your time at university video transcript

On-screen text: Now I have finished my first year, I’m ready to start exploring my options after University. Where do I start?

Yasmin Ansari: Don’t worry if you haven’t taken any steps in your first year to develop your career plans there is still plenty of time in your second year to enhance your CV and build on your skills. For example you may be interested in attending careers fairs or employer presentations. Careers Network also organise lots of alumni and employer events each year. Remember the more preparation you do, the less work and less hassle it will be in your final year.

Simon Lee: In my 1st year Careers Network put on a number of careers fairs although the main focus was for different years, intermediate and penultimate and even final years but I still felt it was right to start looking very early on. From that I had the opportunity to speak to a number of different employers and really get to understand and know what they were looking for in an internship student or even graduates. From having those conversations it was very clear that they wanted students who are interesting, do a number of different extracurricular activities. It’s not all about the degree. A number of people think that they go to University and they come out and automatically get a job but that’s not actually true. They want someone who has a number of transferrable skills that they have developed at University through joining different societies and so on. So it was really useful and really helpful to find that out at the careers fair.

On-screen text: I know exactly what I want to do when I graduate so what support can Careers Network provide?

Caroline Egan: Careers Network is here to help guide you in your career research and we also provide opportunities for you to develop the kills necessary for entering the job market such as workshops and the Personal Skills Award. Careers Network offers a hugh range of resources to support you through the career planning process too from online tools to identify and develop your key skills to guides on how to write great CVs and application forms and group and one-to-one sessions covering every aspect of the process. Another opportunity unique to Birmingham is the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme led by Careers Network, which offers 15 penultimate year students the opportunity to receive one-to-one mentoring from high profile Birmingham alumni during their final year.

Fiona Kempster I found out about Careers Network, we had people come into our lectures and tell us about My Progress, I like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and they are good, they always update all their schemes and programmes and that’s how I found out about the Alumni Leadership Mentoring scheme which pairs quite prestigious alumni with a student and it helps you to think about your future life. I take part in the Personal Skills Award which turns the extracurricular activities you do into points and at the end you get an award which is recognised by quite a broad range of businesses so it’s really useful. They constantly update it and it helps me to think of my future life and not just my career right now.

On-screen text: I want to do some work experience or an internship but I don’t know how to go about finding it

Andy Newnham: If you want to find internships and work experience, two of the best things you can do are come to the work experience and internships fair which is held every February and visit the internships website. At the work experience fair you can attend talks, meet internship employers and talk to internship specialists about the opportunities that are available to you. Throughout the year Careers Network hold regular workshops, presentations and drop-ins all about internships and work experience so you can hear it first from the experts. We also offer bursary schemes that will help you undertake brilliant opportunities and give you the financial support you need to do these in the UK and abroad.

Peter Connolly: Last summer I was interested in doing a placement in one of a number of industries but didn’t know where to start. Advisers at Careers Network pointed me in the direction of a number of companies in the fields I was interested in and through their advice, I managed to secure an interview in the defence industry. The interview was to consist of competency based questions, which Careers Network was further able to advise on. I ended up working in Portsmouth for the Summer and whilst I start to find work experience in a couple of other fields before deciding my future path for certain, I’m excited about a potential future in the defense industry.

What next?

During your time at University, it is important to:

  • interact with employers on campus at events and fairs
  • apply for the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme
  • develop key skills through joining clubs, societies and part time work
  • apply for an internship or bursary
  • take part in the Personal Skills Award 
  • attend workshops to prepare you for the recruitment process

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

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