The lastest career news and comment from the University of Manchester. The University of Manchester Careers Service aims to improve the employability of its students and also recent graduates. This is done by enhancing their skills, organising tailored events and giving expert advice.
Written by Max Ibbotson, Final Year English Language Student and Careers Service Student Blogger
Could I play for Leeds in the Champions League final? Seems likely.
Then you get a bit older, a bit more sensible, and think ‘don’t
be silly, Max: you’ll never be an F1 driver. You’d easily make it as a footballer
though. Far more realistic.’ But time passed and I reluctantly discovered that
three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and me being terrible at
football. (Although, a ‘Most Improved Player’ award for 2010-11 re-ignited the
fire… for all of 5 minutes.)
I’ve always known that I was going to go to university, mainly because it was always the next logical step (or at least the simplest step). When I was doing GCSEs, I had no idea what I wanted to do; I just knew I wanted to be at the University of Manchester. I ended up doing English Language, mainly for two reasons: an English degree leaves ‘doors open’, and I didn’t fail it (believe me, I tried). I wanted to be at uni because it was supposed to be ace: meet new people, get drunk and maybe learn a bit. I also wanted to go to uni in order to give me a chance of getting a better job, or at least a better chance of getting a job. There lies the problem: what job?
Now I’ve finished uni, I’m kind of out of ideas, like the writers for Game of Thrones’ last series. I want a career, but I’m not sure what I should do – how do I know that what I want to do is right?
Swimwear: Model’s own.
Money: Is your dream job going to leave you destitute? It’s all well and good being an outdoorsy person, but being homeless isn’t ideal. On the other hand, don’t do a job just for the money. You’ll realise that the monetary gain won’t, usually, outweigh the hatred for the job.
Pride/Prestige: Its great getting a job that you’re proud of but will it make your family proud? They’re the ones that put up with you while you wanted to be an astronaut. Do the right thing, give ‘em something to brag about. Or at least do something where you hope they don’t disown you.
Travel: ‘Who doesn’t want to go to new places with an employer’s expenses account behind them? (Beware of the companies who offer ‘travel opportunities’ when they just mean a weekly run to the head office. Sneaky so-and-so’s.)
Pressure: Sometimes it’s nice to know that your job is important and you’re relied upon. But make sure that you’re up to it. For example, I could never be a heart surgeon, I’d have a heart attack every time I’d be needed to save a life…
Down Time: Will your career be all work and no play? If you really love the job then it’s not too bad, but I know that I wouldn’t be able to go without my Sundays on the sofa.
Making important business calls since ’97.
Looking back, I think that the first serious thought I had for a job was one in PR. I’d binge-watched a lot of The Thick of It in first year and it looked quite fun to be as preternaturally raging as Malcolm Tucker. Plus, it seemed like the kind of job that, with its ‘knowledge is power’ thing, would satisfy a burgeoning superiority complex. English Language degrees tend to be good for this kind of industry, and so I might have a pretty good shot at ‘making it’. You realise as you get older that pursuing your dreams takes a lot of effort. Finding an ideal job tends to mean finding a middle ground between how good the job would be and how much effort it requires to get it and sustain it.
“I’ve always been inspired by great food & drink!”
Then I fancied being a ‘writer’. Writer is in inverted
commas because it’s a broad term: will I be writing epic novels or maybe I’ll
be a journalist. There seems to be a lifestyle that many writers appear to have
– travelling and eating and just all-round chilling – that’s, obviously, right
up my street. Who wouldn’t want to do that?! However, when you start writing
about things you learn three things: it’s very hard to actually make something
people want to read; it involves constant practise and research that will make your
head hurt; and you don’t actually get to travel and eat and chill if you
haven’t already done 20 years of hard work and toil. Ugh.
Finally, towards the end of second year I decided that this
was it: no more messing about with stuff I knew I was never really going to do
– I was going to be a copywriter. This was a job that only entered my
consciousness when I watched Mad Men – again – and it seemed an ideal job for
three reasons: I could still do some creative writing with the security of a
9-5 job; I would be able to do something about the god-awful rubbish you see in
adverts; maybe I could be like Don Draper too…
One of the few reasons I liked my degree was because we
would analyse how language could be used in an infinite number of ways, and how
each way that you spoke or wrote would influence people in an infinite number
of ways. The whole game of adverts is to influence and persuade. I fancied a go
The point is this: it’s fine to not know what to do! It’s
fine to have a change of heart. It’s fine to be torn between multiple careers. I’ve
spent many hours day-dreaming different careers. The truth is, you’ll never
know for sure. You just follow what you feel is right at the time. Will the
copywriter thing stick? Not sure. If not, then, unless I’m kidding myself and
finding excuses not to work, I know it’ll be for the right reasons. Time will
Written by Max Ibbotson, Final Year English Language Student and Careers Service Student Blogger
What I’ve Learned From Job-Hunting
Well, it’s time. You’ve finally finished uni. Coursework submitted, exams buried, Big Hands roof garden visited. You were hoping this day would stay away forever, but it can’t. The day is here for you to actually get a job. Here are a few of the things I’ve found out, and that you will too, about the Job-Hunting Landscape.
You never hate yourself more than when you’re writing your CV/cover letter
It seems strange that the worst kind of person with an ocean-filling hubris is more likely to get a job over you, a nicer, humbler person. But CVs and cover letters are both a no-man’s-land for social conventions – you don’t usually like to boast about it, but now every employer is going to know about that ‘commitment’ badge you earned in year 9. Show off.
Don’t be afraid to apply to companies with no jobs advertised
It’s actually quite a common – if a bit scary – way to get a job. Sometimes it’s because they’ve not got around to advertising the job, or they just like the initiative. Either way, it’s a valid way to get your name known. Although, it is excruciating trying to sell yourself to someone who doesn’t want to be sold anything – so congratulations, you’re officially now a cold caller!
Entry-level jobs often ask for two years-experience
I mean, WHAT??? Frankly, it’s ridiculous and I have no real advice to give you other than to go back in time and get yourself and internship for a job you didn’t know you wanted at the time. (Although if you’re reading this and not yet in your final year, do what you can to gain any kind of practice and understanding of the industry you want to work in. This can be as simple as joining a society and running their social media or organising their events. Also, the university offer mentoring schemes that are a great way to get hold of some work experience
Job titles don’t always match the job descriptions
You could come across what sounds like your dream job. Being a ‘Marketing Executive’, for example, sounds pretty good. You might be in charge of some people, maybe have your own office. However, check the job description and buried within the stuff about ‘liaising with team members’ and ‘successful achievements of goals and meeting deadlines’ is the bullet point that the job is mainly just handing out flyers. That’s right: you’re going to start off as one of those people stood outside in the rain near the SU. Doesn’t sound very ‘executive-y’, does it? On the other hand, you may see a job title that’s maybe not your bag, but the job description is ticking all the boxes. It’s all very deceiving. And annoying. The point is: every industry and sector have their own quirks and nuances with their job titles. Do your research and work out what job titles really mean. An ‘executive’ in marketing may be very different to an ‘executive’ in finance, for example. Watch out.
You’re not going to find your dream job just yet
Despite what I said above, it’s very unlikely that what you want to do will be available to you straight after graduation. Do your homework – how do you get to where you want to be? Often, you’ll have to zig-zag your way in to the job by doing stuff that’s similar but not exactly the thing you were after. Plus, employers will appreciate that you know and have experienced multiple areas of the industry. Don’t let go of the dream just yet.
Written by Kareem Belfon, Marketing and Communications Assistant at the Careers Service.
Where did the time go?! My 12 month Marketing and Communications internship at the Careers Service has come to an end and I’ve finally bagged a new job. Before I close this chapter and say goodbye to Careers, I thought I’d pull together a quick playlist that perfectly depicts my 12 month MGT internship. A careers blog that doubles up as a pre-drinks playlist? Genius.
Gossip – Get a Job
As the great mind Beth Ditto once said: “I’d love to stay and party but I’ve got to go to work.”
Finishing Uni and figuring out what I wanted to do next was pretty stressful. But if I wanted to stay in Manchester, I had to get a job. Having to look for graduate level work and find a flat at the same time left me feeling pretty uncertain at times. However, with a decent CV and some research, I applied for an MGT role within Careers.
Sugababes – Overload
The first week of my internship was fun, but very hectic. I met everyone, found out what they did and got an insight into what my internship will be like. Lots of names and LOTS of acronyms. It felt like information overload, but it quickly got better. Before you know it, you’ve learned everyone’s names and know exactly how the office is run.
Britney Spears – Circus
I was always busy during my internship. I’ve written countless blogs, sent out emails to every student at the Uni, filmed and edited videos, helped organise events, created marketing campaigns and met tonnes of great people working at the Uni. A personal highlight was working on the circus themed My Future Fest in February. I got to shape an event and independently design the artwork for it, which will look great on my CV. I didn’t think my internship would lead to me assembling a 10ft big top entrance, but here we are.
Jungle – Busy Earnin’
Simply put, my MGT internship pays the bills. I’m renting a nice flat and I’m not living like a skint student anymore. It’s great being self-sufficient and seeing a nice sum of money enter my bank each month. I know that a lot of people get stressed out about wanting to stay in Manchester and not knowing how they’ll afford it. My internship solved both of those problems, with a few quid leftover to treat myself every now and then too.
Katy Perry – Bon Appetit
Offices are filled with snacks. I ate all of them.
Dolly Parton – 9-5
The 9-5 life has its perks. I like the idea of routine, so getting up early never really bothered me. Inevitably, I found my concentration dip at points throughout the day. If you find this happening at work, just ask to go for a walk to regain focus and clear your head. It takes time getting used to the 9-5 routine, but I found it a lot better than the 8pm library sessions I used to do everyday in final year!
Carly Rae Jepsen – Making The Most Of The Night
Coming home, jumping on the sofa and watching Love Island every evening is NOT making the most of the night. 9-5 life might leave you feeling knackered come 5pm, but it’s important to stay active after work. Go to the gym! Read books! Go to the pub! Make sure your day isn’t consumed with your job.
Moving On – Anna of the North
So, my internship is nearly over and I find myself back in the same position I was in a year ago – looking for jobs and struggling to think I’d ever find one. However, my internship gave me so much to put on my CV that I could apply for jobs that I’d never be considered for without it. Now, I’m off to work for a healthcare communications agency, all thanks to the skills I learned on my internship. Cheers MGT!
Written by Max Ibbotson, Final Year English Language Student and Careers Service Student Blogger
I like the pub: it’s warm, there’s little damp and the beer’s on tap. That makes it better than my student house. On all three counts. Even better, if you go during the afternoon, a beer is cheaper than a Taste the Difference mini pork pie. Belting.
Now, imagine my deep horror as I come to the realisation that my idyllic beer-and-pork-scratching haven is collapsing in on me. A life I have loved and cherished and forgotten good chunks of for 3 years is being dismantled. I have to get a job and I’m terrified.
“But I don’t want to!” “No one would hire me!” “Happy Hour is still on for another two hours!” Try as you might, there’s no avoiding this one. Sure, you gained a load of friends, debt and transferable skills, but it’s time to face up to the fact that you’re finally at the end of your educational road – or tether, for those of you who are more than ready to ditch the exams and endless masses of coursework.
But life after uni sounds complicated: I have to find a job and a flat, and I’ve not a Scooby Doo what to do and how to do it. Being a student is easy – struggle to wake up, go to a lecture, go for a nap. Rinse and repeat. And that was acceptable because everyone knows that’s what being a student consists of. Now I have to become an adult and I don’t think I’m ready.
I think I’ve worked out what I want my career to be. For about ten years I’ve been kicking around ideas for what real job to get. All sorts of ideas but none that really stuck, mostly because I never really wanted to do them. As I’ve got to the end of uni, I’ve shaped some sort of idea of what I want to do when I finish but it’s not really filling me with enthusiasm for life in the Real World. There’s a good chance I might not like it, or that there aren’t many jobs going, or that I just won’t be any good at it. I’ll have finished uni without anything other than an extra two stone and bags under my eyes.
Even though I might have decided what I want to do, I’ve no idea what it’s going to entail. If I want to be a copywriter, I could be working in an office 9-5, or I could be working freelance from home. Maybe I’ll end up working for an advertising agency and work with loads of different clients, or I might be just working in-house for one company. There seems to be a never-ending uncertainty with finding and pursuing a career that’s exciting, but the fear of not knowing is enormous.
If that wasn’t bad enough, I’ll be homeless in a month. Getting a student house was a walk in the park: nab the first one that pops up on Manchester Student Homes in November and don’t worry about it for 8 months. With proper flats in the city, you have to think about how close you are to tram stops, parking spaces, and whether the balcony faces south or north. (Also, no one tells you just how expensive council tax is. It’s, like, really expensive – I couldn’t believe it.)
In a vague attempt to try and cure my neuroses, I asked some friends who’ve graduated – and actually got a job – whether things are as bad as I worry they might be.
According to Sara, although you lose some of the freedom you had as a student, it doesn’t completely disappear. “Accept that your flexibility is gone: you have to go to work. It shouldn’t stop you doing things though, you just have to make sure you forward plan a bit more.”
Sara is now a staff nurse, so it’s promising that after a year of intense 13-hour night shifts her worldview is still fairly positive!
James was in a similar position a year ago to the one I’m in now. He didn’t have a job and if he didn’t get one soon he wouldn’t be able to pay rent. Besides actually getting a job, James’ advice is to not leave things ‘till the last minute because “it causes way more stress.” There doesn’t seem to be a solution to finding which job you want to do, but James reckons you should try and go to as many interviews as possible. “It’s good experience. Even if it’s for a job you don’t really want, all of the interview processes can be proper different so you can build up more confidence. And when it comes to a job you actually do want, you can know how to prepare and you’ll be nowhere near as nervous.”
Sara did give one last piece of advice: “don’t age yourself too quickly.” By this, she meant that you’re still young – getting a job doesn’t change that and you should carry on doing the things that 20-odd-year olds do. Obviously you’ll have a job and more responsibilities, but you’re still young and you don’t have to waste that just because you’re no longer a student.
I suppose the thing that is really driving my fear is the fact that I just don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m sure it’ll be fine and things will work out, it’s just the fear of the unknown. What I do know though is that I’ll miss being a student – I already do. The lie-ins and the pork pies and the pints. But last orders have been rung: it’s time to go to work.
If you are leaving Uni soon there are some things you need to know….
Email & computer access
Your email account will be turned off (usually after graduation) and you will lose access to computers on campus too. You normally get an email warning you about this from IT, (but it’s easy to miss), so start clearing out your inbox and forwarding on any information you need to keep.
You’ll need to change the way you access CareersLink soon.
1 If your STUDENT CareersLink account still works – keep using it until it doesn’t! (there will be a random date when you are converted to ALUMNI status!)
So if you still have access to my Manchester – Change your preferred contact email to a non-University email address asap.
2 To access your GRADUATE / ALUMNI CareersLink account:
If you were already using a non student email account on Careerslink – you may be able to login immediately or just reset your password. (use the forgot password link)
If you need to tell us a new contact email address. Email the support team on email@example.com quoting your student ID numbers or uername and tell us which email address you want to use. Reset your password the first time you use the alumni account. Your username remains the same (8 digit combination of letters and numbers used for all University IT systems.)
If you are moving on to a new University, things will be different. Although you can access careers services here for 2 years after you complete your course (or 1 year if you leave without completing) you should check out the Careers Service at your new Uni too. They may have different services and expertise to us, especially if it’s a subject area we don’t cover here… like agriculture or marine biology!
Written by Ioana Pintilie, Final Year Psychology Student and Careers Service Blogger
Securing a graduate job in the UK is challenging to begin with – for an EU student it could be even worse. As an EU final year student who came to the UK to study and with the ambition to work, this is how I overcame some typical challenges:
Fear of failure
The issue: To state the obvious, university in the UK is expensive. Because of this, it makes sense to feel a great deal of anxiety when talking to friends from your home country who somehow managed to get an enjoyable, well-paid job, by applying from the comfort of their own bedrooms, with half of your effort and a fraction of the cost. Meanwhile, you are in your term-time bedroom in accommodation you share with strangers, juggling dissertation work, coursework, possibly a part-time job, money management, socialising, family pressures and job applications – and all of that in your second language, chances are! So, obviously, you start to wonder – was coming here even worth it? Did I just waste tons of money and got myself into debt to end up just about as well-off as my friends?
What to do? First of all, remind yourself of the good things you were fortunate enough to experience whilst studying abroad – the people you would have otherwise been unlikely to meet, the places you’ve seen, the opportunities you enjoyed, and all the different cultures you’ve encountered. Second of all, you’ve taken the initiative to go far away from family, friends and familiar places, you understood all the legal requirements, achieved academic results, virtually looked after yourself for the first time in your life, worked twice as hard as your peers – and all of that in your second language! This is not only something that not everyone can achieve, but it also demonstrates skills that employers everywhere are looking for – willingness to take a challenge, responsibility, adaptability, ability to work well under stress, efficient money management, an independent mindset and a desire to learn. Take the time to remind yourself of all that and be confident – you are amazing!
The competition-prejudice combo
The issue: If you were blessed enough to have a name that is commonly used in English or at least easy to pronounce, I truly envy you! My name, although common in my home country, has never failed to bring about puzzled grimaces on the face of any British person that tried to read it. At first it annoyed me, later it amused me, and now I am no longer trying to correct mispronunciations. However, it can also bring about an implication when looking for employment: are employers prejudiced against foreign applicants? Maybe I am overthinking it, but to me it always felt that on top of the already-competitive UK job market, I am faced with additional difficulty that is directly caused by my EU citizenship. This is because at the screening stage, employers can and will be as fussy as they want to be and they can “skip” your CV as soon as they come across the faintest hint of doubt.
What to do? I decided to become more selective in the employers I send my CV to. That is not to negate the advice of applying in as many places as you can, but do make sure you know exactly what you value in a company you work for and do your research. Check the company’s website – what do they take pride in? Check the company’s LinkedIn – how many non-English names can you find in their employee list? If you are invited to an interview and the interviewer is prejudiced – would you really want to work there? Know your own worth, keep searching and trust that once you encounter the right people, it will all work out. Oh, and don’t forget to embrace your EU background – you carry an extra language, a different perspective, insight into a non-UK market, not to mention all sorts of quirks that together build brand YOU.
What am I doing with my life?
The issue: Okay, you’ve had a plan that you were relying on and for some reason it didn’t work out. You are now about to finish uni and you have no plans for the upcoming summer, let alone the coming year. While your mates are preparing to relax, you either panic or feel your mood decrease by the day. You feel stuck and the prospect of having to give up plans and just travel back to your home country is looming.
What to do? Take things one step at a time. The final few weeks of uni are quite crucial for your degree and it’s important to make sure you go through this challenging time well-prepared. After all, it’s not like the whole story has to end here, but merely the chapter called “uni”. As my mum often tells me, “What’s yours is already out there, waiting for you to get to it”. Maybe you just don’t know everything yet. Take some time off to try out something new. Reconsider postgrad study. Go see a new country. Take up a new hobby. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but never had a chance to. The upcoming summer is likely to be the only thing that’s separating you form, well…adulthood. Make the most of it and remember: very few people actually have everything sorted out. But that is because things are just about to sort themselves out. Have confidence and see where life takes you next.
The official event info is here. If you want more informal detail and background, read on:
What is Pathways?
This event makes it easy for you to get loads of relevant careers information, specifically for doctoral researchers and post-doctoral staff.
We know you’re busy, and all that “networking” takes lots of time and effort, so we help you by bringing dozens of contacts to you – all in one place, on one day.
Is it any good?
It’s been shortlisted for awards, copied by other universities, attended by over 4000 researchers, but the best proof is that people who attended Pathways as students are now keen to come back as panellists and employers.
It’s an event which cuts through the gloss and hype you sometimes read on employer websites and gives it to you straight – real stories from real researchers like you.
And if all else fails, the free lunch always gets the thumbs up (we know our researchers…)
What to expect: Friday 7th June 2019, Renold Building
From 9.30-1.00 “Question and Answer” panel sessions with people who have either completed their PhDs or moved on from university research posts in the last 10 years or so.
We’re expecting to see panellists in careers ranging from academia, lab based jobs, freelancing, finance, teaching, writing, project management and more, but we’re not trying to cover all the careers which interest PhDs (impossible!)
The focus is on how people made their career decisions, particularly at crunch points in their careers, for example:
Should I move out of academia straight after my PhD?
Should I do a/another post-doc?
How do I make it as an academic?
If I want something different, where do I start?
There will be several panels running concurrently but you can choose on the day which ones to attend.
The format changes for the afternoon, with two larger sessions:
a panel looking at ways of making a living, including both employers and entrepreneurs
a final interactive session with management development consultant and coach, Helen Hinds, to give you the confidence and skills to put all you’ve learned during the day into practice
Who can attend?
If you’re a current or recent PhD or member of post-doctoral research or teaching staff from the University of Manchester, this event is for you, and it’s free.
Keep the date free and work on your supervisor or PI to persuade them it’s in their interests to let you attend.
If you’re doing a PhD, you can attend in:
your first year (to get you inspired & plan out all the fantastic things you’re going to do in your PhD)
your second year (to reassure yourself that the pain will stop, eventually, and that everyone else feels the same way in their second year…)
your 3rd/4th/5th/6th year (to convince yourself that you will finish this year, and there might be a way to be gainfully employed after all)
Each year, around half of our panellists have had post-doctoral research or teaching experience in addition to a PhD.
If you’re a member of research/teaching staff, I’d recommend attending as early as possible in your current contract.
If you’re considering a move outside academia, that’s perfectly possible – but it does take some planning. This is where you can talk to people who’ve successfully made that move.
(Note: If you’re a member of research staff without a PhD, the whole focus of the event is on “careers with a PhD”. You can attend, but from past experience, you may not find the event very helpful.)
I’ve been before – is there any point in me coming again?
Yes, if your career ideas have changed, or if you want to get more suggestions from PhDs who’ve “been there, done that”, on how to turn your career ideas into actions. Some of our panellists are regulars; some are new to the event – come and hear what they’ve got to say.
All good things must come to an end, and my MGT internship at the Careers Service is no exception. 12 months ago I was feeling lost over my future career; I felt like there was no clear path for me and my head was swimming with different options. While I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I did know that I wanted to stay in Manchester, so an MGT internship at the university seemed like a great option. I’d used the Careers Service as a student and found them so helpful and reassuring, so I decided to apply for the Information and Guidance Assistant role with the information team in the Atrium. Since then I’ve gained so many skills and not only learned about the role and the world of careers in general, but also about myself and what I want from a job. Here are a few of my biggest take-aways from my time as an MGT intern at the University.
1. The options are HUGE
There are so many different MGT opportunities it is staggering. I got my job relatively early in the recruitment process (MGTs are advertised until as late as January, but the peak is between May-August) so I stopped looking for new MGT opportunities, but there are interns in every academic school, administration, comms and marketing, sports, the SU and just about every other area that you could imagine. Talking to the other MGTs I have learned about all kinds of exciting roles that are on offer at the university exclusively to UoM graduates from 2018 or 2019.
And it isn’t just roles at the university either, as the MGT programme connects local businesses with graduates and all kinds of different opportunities in a range of sectors can be found. Check out the Facebook page for more information.
2. You will make mistakes, and that’s OK
During education you’re encouraged to never make mistakes, that they can’t be undone and you’ll be penalised when you do. ‘Unlearning’ this can be a bit of a struggle, but my internship has really taught me that mistakes are a part of life, and it’s how you work to fix the mistake and learn from the mistake that matters. Mistakes aren’t a failure, they’re an opportunity to do better next time. No employer expects you to walk into a job (especially an entry-level one) and to already know exactly how to do that job, so branching out, giving a few things a go and sometimes getting them wrong is how you grow in your career and as a person. Not only this, but making mistakes helps you develop your problem-solving skills and can be great to talk about in interviews!
3. Make the most of your time
Me and my colleagues with our Making a Difference Award for Environmental Sustainability!
When I came into my internship my attitude was to seize the opportunity to try as many new things as possible. I’ve undertaken my own projects, helped out with events and participated in Green Impact (we even won a Making a Difference award!) to try and gain as many skills as possible. The uni has great learning and development opportunities for its staff, so if you aren’t sure what you want to do or feel you might be lacking in some key skills for your chosen industry an MGT internship is a great chance to gain some of those skills.
Not only was I encouraged to use my time effectively while I was in the role, it also made me realise how important utilising your time as a student is as well. My experiences with extra-curriculars like PASS and my committee roles at the Manchester Swing Dance Society were a stepping stone to me getting this job, which in turn was a stepping stone to my new job. I’m so grateful that I took the time to do extra activities as a student, so if you’re coming back in September this might be something you want to think about too. Find out more about gaining experience here!
4. Save your job descriptions
This is less of a ‘life lesson’ and a bit more specific to careers generally but still very important. When I was initially offered an interview for my internship, I decided it would probably be worth reading the Careers service guide on preparing for interviews so I would feel a bit more secure. In the guide it emphasised researching the role and going over the key skills the employer has asked for, so I looked the role up on Careerslink to see the description. Once I started looking I realised that, because the application date had closed, the job description wasn’t available anymore! Fortunately I had emailed the role to a friend and managed to find it that way and it was lucky I had or I may never have gotten the job. Not only did this extra research help me nab my role, but it also taught me a valuable lesson for the future: always save your job descriptions!
Luckily, if you apply to a job through Careerslink and this happens to you, you can ask the lovely info team to send you a copy! All you need to do is pop in to the Atrium or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the vacancy ID and they can retrieve it for you. It’s a shame I didn’t know that at the time!
5. Sometimes you need to take a step back to breathe
Before starting my internship I’d been in education for nearly 17 years. Like many others who aren’t sure what they want to do, I considered doing a masters and delaying the inevitable for another 12 months at some considerable financial cost because it was familiar. Education was my comfort zone, even having done an industrial placement. However, as time ticked on and I still hadn’t applied for anything, I had a proper think about why I wanted to do a masters, and how I could possibly choose which ones to apply for if I didn’t even know where I was going. After a tough final year I also had to think about my own wellbeing and whether I could really handle a masters.
Having told myself it was now too late to apply for a masters (it wasn’t), I started looking on Careerslink and discovered the MGT scheme. To me, this seemed like the best of both worlds, as it was a full-time paid job but it was in an environment that felt familiar. It wasn’t further education but it was within an educational setting. Plus, as it was a 12-month fixed term contract, it didn’t feel like I was signing my future away to something I potentially wouldn’t enjoy. I saw my internship as an opportunity to step away from further education, take a bit of a breather, decide where I was headed and start forging my own path.
As luck would have it, I have loved my role and my time at the Careers Service, and I know I wouldn’t be going into the great role I am now without the skills I’ve gained and the support I’ve received from my colleagues. I’m not saying that choosing a masters is the wrong path; for some people it is absolutely the best choice for them, but it really is worth taking the time to consider your options and why you want to do something before you commit to it.
Fancy taking up the mantle of my role at the Careers Service? Applications are open for the 2019 MGT position of Information and Guidance Support Assistant until the 2nd June (vacancy ID 88758) and is open to 2018 and summer 2019 graduates! If my role doesn’t tickle your fancy but you’d love an MGT role, keep an eye out on Careerslink as new vacancies will be posted throughout the summer!
The University of Manchester Careers Service is looking to recruit a number of Applications Advisers, working as part of the busy careers team to provide 1-1 advice to students and graduates on their job application techniques. See www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/services/applicationsadvice/
We employ a pool of applications advisers to provide services at busy times of year. Joining the pool does not guarantee hours every week but offers you the flexibility to work when you are available.
The role includes:
• Delivering 15 minute individual face to face appointments to students and recent graduates.
• Giving feedback covering the content and format of their CV, cover letters, application forms, LinkedIn profiles and personal statements for further study.
• At peak times Oct & Nov we would expect individual advisers work 2-6 sessions per week.
• Hours will vary according to levels of demand from students.
• You do not need to work the same hours each or every week.
This role is part-time, with most hours being in semester time. Applications Advisers work half days or full days:
• Half day: 1 session = 9.15-12.45 or 1-4.30 = 3.5 hours.
• Full day: 2 sessions = 9.15-4.30 (6.45 hours with half hour lunch break).
Hourly rate: £9.75 per hour
Full training will be given. This role would suit someone looking to go into advice / guidance work / HR or recruitment. As these roles are for the next academic year, they are not suitable for someone currently in their final year (eg masters due to complete by Christmas), but we particularly welcome PhDs who are looking for flexible part-time work throughout the next academic year.
• Experience of delivering 1-1 advice.
• Experience of delivering feedback.
• The ability to manage your time and client expectations.
• A clear understanding of, and the ability to identify with, the undergraduate job search experience.
• A strong commitment to excellent customer service.
• High standard of written and spoken communication skills; including listening skills, the ability to relate to the student and show understanding, persuasion and good written presentation.
• The ability to deal effectively with people, requiring tact, courtesy, empathy and patience.
• An excellent command of the English language.
How to apply:
Please email your CV with a covering letter explaining why you would like to be considered for the post and the experience and skills that will make you a good candidate.
Please state in your cover letter your availability to work, days of the week – am or pm.
Preference will be given to applicants who are flexible and available for full days or multiple half days.
Return to Natalie Walsh via email: Natalie.Walsh@manchester.ac.uk
For further details/informal enquiries contact Natalie Walsh via email: Natalie.Walsh@manchester.ac.uk
Closing date for applications: Friday 17 May 5pm (note: we may be able to consider applications received by Monday 20th May).
Interviews: will be held on 30/31 May and 3rd June
Training Dates: 18 and 19 June. 2 DAYS COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE.
Plus additional flexible dates in June, July and August.
Written by Max Ibbotson, Final Year English Language Student and Careers Service Student Blogger
You’ve heard about The Grad Fair coming up soon, haven’t you? Surely you have: littered between every meme and Game of Thrones spoiler is another post about how to prepare or what to ask recruiters or whether you should write ‘PLEASE HIRE ME’ on your forehead. But, you’re not sure if you should go, are you? You’ve got a million and one other things to do, like avoiding revision by going to the pub or actually watching Game of Thrones. Again.
Well, you’re not alone. Plenty of people avoid careers fairs: they don’t have time, they’re not interested in any of the companies there, or maybe they just don’t know what to do. And they have a point, because how are you supposed to make worthwhile use of your time if you don’t even know what you’re going to do with it yet?
A few months ago, I sort of knew what I wanted to do, but there were no companies at the careers fair that offered the kind of job that I wanted. I spent a lot of time umm-ing and ahh-ing, working out whether I should bother going or not. But then I realised that I was doing sod all else on a Wednesday afternoon, and that going to the fair seemed the perfect way to look as though I was looking for a job even though I had absolutely no intention of actually getting one.
I went, I saw, I was underwhelmed: I do English Language but most of the employers there were accounting firms, banks and that one company that you see everywhere but you’ve got no idea what they do – none of them seemed to apply to me.
Things You Should Do That I Didn’t:
I wasn’t able to make the most out of my time there for one reason – I expected to get nothing out of it. All you need to do to make it worthwhile is the following:
Raid the literature – you’d be surprised how many different pamphlets and brochures there are about getting a job. Everything, from working out what you want to do to in-depth advice on how to present yourself in an interview, is covered and super useful.
Get chatting – it can be easy to forget that the large companies that turn up to these events don’t just do what they say on the tin. These firms will house a huge array of sectors and departments that may have absolutely nothing to with what that company does. The rep can give you information on what other opportunities are available.
FREEBIES – I mean, what’s not to like about free stuff? Pens, lanyards, tote bags!!! (The bags are vital – how else are you gonna carry all those pamphlets I was on about?)
Regardless of your situation, careers fairs are useful. You don’t necessarily need a plan of who you want to see or what you want to ask, you just need an open mind – it will surprise you.