September 20, 2018, by Carla Froggatt
Started Your Masters? How to Hit the Ground Running
By Chris Jones, Senior Careers Adviser
As a taught postgraduate student, you are part of a community of more than 5,000 students studying for a masters degree or postgraduate diploma at Nottingham.
There might be a range of reasons why you are studying your current course, be it a passion for your subject or the need to gain a specific professional qualification for your career of choice. However, it is likely that at least part of the reason for studying at postgraduate level is an interest in improving your future career prospects. It is also likely – with most taught postgraduate courses lasting only a year – that you will have less time than you did as an undergraduate to get to grips with your course and get the maximum benefit from it.
Here are a few tips to ensure you are able to hit the ground running and make the most of your year:
1. Take a look at a NOOC
The On Course for Your Masters NOOC (Nottingham Open Online Course) is free and available to all taught postgraduate students. This online learning course will help you make the transition to postgraduate study by helping you sharpen up your academic study skills with sections on, for example, referencing, research and critical analysis. It will also help you to think about and research your next steps, as it even includes a section on how to successfully move on from your masters.
2. Partake in a placement
Postgraduate Placements Nottingham offer a range of flexible placements specifically designed for postgraduate students. These can be done on a flexible part-time basis over 200 hours, and are paid opportunities with local employers wishing to benefit from the knowledge and skills of a postgraduate student. This is a great way to gain practical experience and build your CV alongside your course.
3. The SU is for you too!
You might think the Student’s Union (SU) is more relevant to undergraduates, but actually, it’s for everyone. It provides a wide range of social, sporting, and volunteering opportunities to help you get involved in student life. You will be able to gain employability skills while making new friends. The SU also provides a range of impartial advice and support services, and even has its own officer dedicated specifically to supporting postgraduate students. Check out the Postgraduate Network on Facebook.
4. Steer your career
As a postgraduate student, you have access to the full range of services from the Careers and Employability Service, including one-to-one advice, skills workshops, employer events and careers fairs. Employers who come onto campus are keen to meet postgraduate students to find out about your specialist skills.
If you are interested in learning more about specific sectors, you will find our range of Spotlight On events very useful. At these, you will get to hear insights from industry professionals working in particular sectors; it’s usually a good opportunity for networking too. Check out our events now.
5. Talk to a mentor
If you want more in-depth insight into a particular role or sector, the Career Mentoring scheme could be for you. With hundreds of Nottingham alumni working in over 60 sectors, you’re sure to find someone who can provide you with the insights you’re looking for.
Studied your undergrad at Nottingham, but are now studying elsewhere?
Look out for similar opportunities at your new institution. And remember that all University of Nottingham alumni have access to the Careers and Employability Service for life. So whether you want to come back to campus for one of our recruitment fairs or would like to get some tailored advice from an expert, we are here for you.
So, whatever course you are on and wherever you are at with postgraduate study, take some time to explore your options and make the most the career development opportunities available. You can book an appointment with a careers adviser to discuss your options in mor edetail.
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