careers resolutions

February 7, 2018, by Jack

New Semester, New Me: Five Careers Resolutions

Jack Adams, second-year computer science student

If you listen closely you might just be able to hear the sounds of thousands of students dragging themselves to one of their first 9ams of the year. Well, if it’s not 8:55am in the last week of January where you are, you’ll just have to imagine it I’m afraid.

But I’m sure those students, real or imaginary, will be full of hopes and dreams for the semester. They’re definitely going to be at that 9am lecture every week, they’re going to make notes for all of their modules, they’re not going to fall behind again, and they’ll start revising before Easter.

Give it a few weeks and things might start to slip.

But who knows? Maybe I can really do it this time. So in the spirit of things, I’ve set some careers-related goals for this semester. Maybe you can use my ideas to think of your own…

1. Attend more hackathons

Last semester, I attended my first ever hackathon. No idea what that is? Basically, a ton of nerdy people sit in a building for 24-48 hours, eat an awful lot of pizza, and write computer code.

By the end of the weekend, hopefully you’ve built something cool. There’s a society at Nottingham for these kinds of things, HackSoc, which every year hosts HackNotts, the hackathon that I went to this year.

I really enjoyed HackNotts. These kind of events really help to improve your programming, network, and add to that all-important portfolio with a cool project that only takes a few days of your time.

This semester my goal is to go to three more. One of those will hopefully be Hack24, the other major Nottingham-based hackathon, organised by the local charity TechNottingham.

Tickets go ‘on sale’– it’s free, but you need a ticket – soon, and it’s one of the biggest hackathons in the country, so it’s very hard to get tickets. If you’re interested, your best bet is contacting HackSoc, who have their own ticket allocation.

2. Get more involved in the local tech scene

I’ve already mentioned TechNottingham in this post. If you don’t know, TechNottingham is a local charity that host monthly meet-ups for the local tech community. I’ve never been, but last semester, I did go to the local GitHub Field Day.

If you’re not a computer scientist, the name GitHub probably means nothing to you, but basically it’s a company/community that is kind of a big deal when it comes to software development.

I had a great time at this event. I got three free meals, which is already a winning formula, I met tons of new cool people with similar interests, and I learned a lot of new stuff. It made me endeavour to get more involved, so that’s what I intend to do this semester.

Not only that, but last semester I really discovered that networking isn’t just a silly buzzword. After months of application forms – read more about this in my last blog – I got my internship by talking to someone I’d met at a CompSoc event.

3. Smashing my internship

Speaking of internships, yeah I got one. It was really my only careers-related goal for last semester, so to have one sorted out by January is a really great feeling. I’m going to be spending my summer in London working as an iOS Developer for IG. I’m so excited.

Technically this will be happening after the semester ends, but it’s my post, so I’m including it in anyway. Anyhow, my goal is really to just do as well as I can, and learn as much as possible. I’m fully expecting to feel lost and out of my depth when I first start, but hopefully I can take it in my stride and come out of the other side in one piece!

4. Learn new skills

Speaking of learning new skills, that’s definitely something I want to do this year. And not just the stuff I’ll learn on my degree. It’s kind of impossible to learn the details of any programming language or framework in just 12 weeks of lectures, so at some point the only way to get better is to practice.

This is the semester I really want to focus. By the summer, I’ll have made an actually useful app, and built the personal website I’ve been planning for a while.

5. Go to more careers events

Turns out the Careers and Employability Service here at Nottingham does a lot! I plan to try and make the most of it this semester. I’ve already got my eye on some workshops about situational judgement tests as it turns out I’m kind of terrible at them. I’m sure I’ll be going along to a few Spotlight On events and career fairs as well, which are always really interesting.

Thinking about what careers activities you could take part in this semester? The full events programme is now online.

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