Careers Christmas Wishes

December 24, 2016, by Bethany Ramshaw

Christmas Career Wishes

PhD funding, work experience opportunities, a future for the NHS, and just a bit more clarity about their career are some of the things our student bloggers are wishing for this Christmas. Share your wishes in the comment box below and have a very Merry Christmas from your Careers team.

Natalie Thorne is a post-graduate student studying psychology research methods and specialises in the subject of monogamy

Top of my Christmas list would be confirmation of my PhD funding. Right now it is hard to focus on my masters when I am also in the middle of applying for a PhD. This is a clash of interests which many other masters students have right now. If I knew that funding was sorted, it would help me to focus on getting some good grades next year.

Before that though, I also need to find a supervisor. I have a meeting lined up with a potential supervisor in the next few weeks so having a definite ‘yes’ from her will also make my life easier. It will be great going into the holidays knowing that I have somebody interested enough in my project to back me.

Lastly, and again this is something that needs to happen before my main present request is granted, I need to write a fantastic PhD proposal. I have gone from a few scrappy ideas to a definite plan. Now I just need to make sure my proposal leaps out from all the others and convinces somebody to fund me for three years it will take to carry it out.

Krishna Rajan is a fourth year medical student who is unsure what direction she wants her career in medicine to take

Dear Santa,

As December rolls around, it gets closer to your day to shine. Sparkly green and red decorations are currently blinding late and irritable Christmas shoppers, but I would like to wish for you to keep a certain blue and white organisation from self-destructing. That is to say, my Christmas career wish this year is to simply have a future for the NHS.

Universally, we as medics are taught to treat the patient, and not just the disease. Now as you may know, the NHS is a patient currently in need of some treatment. It is a patient with 1.4 million employees trying to keep it alive, and a country of 65 million relying on it. And while we work tirelessly to keep the NHS alive, you can imagine, a touch of Christmas spirit may be all that is needed. Our doors are open to anyone, including elves – we may draw the line at reindeer, but I could recommend a good vet!

I haven’t written to you in a while, and don’t think I have forgotten Christmas of 2004 when I asked for a puppy and got a stuffed toy dog. This time around, what I’m asking for isn’t just to give me a secure job market for when I graduate – or a fluffy companion – but to also ensure that every individual in the country, regardless of their individual circumstance, is able to get free healthcare. At this time of year, a lot of children are coming down with all sorts of illnesses. Right now they can rely on the hardworking professionals in the NHS to make sure they’re better in time for Christmas. You wouldn’t want all your fans to be too sick to celebrate your arrival, would you?

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. The NHS was founded on the principle of universal health care, and close to 70 years since its founding, its morals and values are still truly imbibed by every member within it. Solidarity and good will – isn’t that what Christmas is about?

So Santa, while you’re munching on your milk and cookies 11 nights from now, remember, the NHS will always be there to stent your arteries and treat your diabetes. It only asks that you will be there to support it too.

Thanks and hoping for a Christmas miracle,


P.S. I’m still waiting for that puppy

Mike Walker is entering the second year of his degree in theology

Like many of my fellow arts students, this Christmas I’m yearning for a little more clarity about what to do post-university. As a second-year theology student, on a degree programme that doesn’t naturally lead to any specific industry or a particular career, I’m a little baffled about what to do when I graduate in a year-and-a-half.

As the halfway point of my time at university approaches, this Christmas, amid the festivities, mince-pies and carols, I’ll be reflecting a lot more on what my future holds. Like most students, all I want to do when I graduate is a job that I enjoy and something that makes a positive difference in the world. However, without a natural choice of career in sight, and faced with a bewildering array of various graduate schemes, job opportunities and careers I’ve never even heard of, I feel a little like a rabbit caught in the headlights of encroaching adulthood. That makes it all the more important that I start thinking now, halfway through my university career, about investing in skills outside of my course, getting a range of experience, and keeping one ear tuned to post-university opportunities.

Fortunately for us perplexed arts students, the Careers and Employability Service here at Nottingham offers a whole host of helpful opportunities and advice, from drop-in CV reviews to insider industry presentations to individual careers appointments. Maybe I don’t need to ask Father Christmas for clarity about the future after all, since I can already get all the careers advice and support I need right here in Nottingham. That’s my New Year’s resolution sorted, then – to take up some of these fantastic opportunities and get a little more insight into what I do after my degree.

Laura Sage is a third year English student and has her sights set on a career in advertising

The main item I have on my wish list this Christmas is to finish my application off for Watford Advertising. The course is also known as the Professional Development Diploma in Art Direction and Copywriting, and I have my heart, soul and mind set on attaining a place there for 2017. Unfortunately for me, I also have third year assignments to complete: group projects, coursework and exam revision. So it’s a case of juggling my time between my future career goals and current university responsibilities.

It would be fine if this was some ordinary application, however for entry to West Herts College, I need to complete a creative test. This involves a whole list of questions as zany as ‘why should you never underestimate a handsome bear?’ and time consuming as ‘create a short film that sells bananas’. I’m excited to get on with it and come up with some wacky answers, but every time I start working on it I feel guilty about my unfinished coursework. So perhaps I’ll add the gift of peace of mind to my wish list, so I can feel like I’m allowed to work on my application without my too-low-word-count shouting at me.

If I get my application sent off on time then  being called for an interview will have to go on my list too. I’ve convinced myself that this is my ticket to advertising career success and I’m willing to buy first class for the opportunity. Not really, I’m as broke as any student – it’s a metaphor Hazel Grace!

Have a lovely Christmas holiday and I hope all your career wishes come true! x

Bethany Ramshaw has just started the first year of a degree in animal sciences

In a job market that’s not looking too great, my Christmas career wish this year is to have access to jobs that are a little more accessible.

In an ideal world, I’d love to work hands-on with animals, rather than in a lab somewhere – the path my degree seems to commonly take people. I’d love to be outdoors, and maybe even abroad somewhere, but that’s in an ideal world. The world we live in is a lot different, and while jobs that fit that description aren’t too hard to come by, they do come with a hefty list of things an applicant should have – years of experience, certifications, and skills. Full time courses just don’t give you the time to check off every box on an employer’s list.

Getting experience isn’t easy either, even if you do manage to find the time to slot it in. I’ve found, over the years I spent in secondary school and sixth form trying to get work experience to see me onto – and through – my course, that places where they take on students are few and far between. There may be a vet practice on every corner, but not many of them offer placement positions.

Overall, I suppose, I’m asking for jobs to be a little easier to attain, and I doubt that’s a wish that’ll ever come true – with more people competing for fewer jobs, applying is only likely to get more difficult. Maybe I can tweak my wish, just a little bit – this Christmas, I’d like more opportunities to gain the experience, certifications and skill sets that employers want to see from me, to make getting those jobs just a little bit easier.

If you’ve got Christmas careers wishes you want granted, the Careers team at Nottingham are here to help them come true. Make sure you come in and say hello in the new year. 

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