after university

July 29, 2013, by Jemma Utley

What Are You Going to Do after University?

By Deborah Till, Senior Careers Adviser (Science)

We know that many of you are unsure about your future and are looking for career ideas, or you have a list as long as your arm but aren’t sure which one is right for you. Some of you may know exactly what you want to be but need to know what to do next.

Don’t panic, we are here to help you get started!

1. Step back

When it comes to researching job roles many focus on a specific position rather than looking at a whole sector. Have an open mind and consider all your options. For example, instead of searching for ‘Marketing Assistant’, start your research on Prospects with ‘Advertising, Marketing and PR’.

These are only a few examples of the opportunities available to you in this sector at an entry level. The Prospects website will also show you how to get into these roles, what experience you will need and any further qualifications.

2. Be realistic

Once you have found some jobs that interest you, it would be worthwhile to find out what they are like and the kind of projects you can undertake. A great way to start would be to watch the ’10 Minutes With…‘ videos which are exclusive to current students of the University; you just need to sign in with your University email address. They provide direct insight into what it is like to work in a variety of industries, companies and roles.

Have more questions? Do you know anyone who works in any of the positions you are considering? Ask them what the job is like, if it turns out they’re not happy with their pay or amount of work be aware that an experience of a job is subjective. Try to steer the conversation towards their responsibilities and any projects they have undertaken. If it is still a position you’d be interested in, ask them how they got it.

If you don’t have contacts and need insight into an industry along with professional advice from an alumni, why not take part in the eMentoring scheme? You can also attend recruitment fairs and employer presentations, starting in the autumn term, to talk to the representatives or recent graduates about the role in their company. Ask them if it would be appropriate to carry on the discussion on LinkedIn and add them as a professional contact.

3. Plan ahead

If you have very little work experience it is unlikely that you will get the best opportunities straight away; you should start to build your CV long before you graduate.  After researching the job requirements apply for an internship, take part in volunteering opportunities or extracurricular activities that will provide you with experience.

If you graduating this year, check out our resources for the Class of 2018 here. In the meantime if you have any questions or are still feeling lost, please book an appointment with a careers adviser.  

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceChoosing Your Career