September 23, 2019, by Leah Sharpe
Your Careers and Employability Service – what we do and how to make the most of us
By Abigail Rowse, Employability Officer
What first comes to your mind when you think about the careers advice you got at school? For me, I remember half an hour in a room talking to a stranger about my vague plans to teach, and a lesson with the whole class where we role-played different careers. I was a plumber.
It’s not just me who’s had an unremarkable experience with careers advice prior to university. Many students have mentioned to us their own experiences; often these involved being ‘told’ they weren’t suitable for a particular career or that they should definitely pursue a specific job. Whatever your own experiences, the University’s Careers and Employability Service might be quite different – we would never tell you what to do (or what not to do!). Read on to discover what we offer and how to make the most of it…
1. Information, advice, and guidance: “the best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something”
Former president of the United States, Barack Obama, said the above quote and I definitely agree with him. However, sometimes it can be easy to know that we need to do something but more difficult to know what it is we need to do. That’s where we come in – we offer you information, advice, and guidance on ANY topic related to your career and employability.
Whether you’re trying to decide between further study and a graduate career, you’re thinking about changing your course, or you have no idea what you want to do with your life, we are here for you. You can log into MyCareer with your usual University credentials, where you can book a one-to-one appointment with someone from the Careers team, as well as book onto our events, browse vacancies, learn more about graduate employers, and check out useful resources. You can also peruse our website, which has a wealth of resources written by our team.
2. Events, events, events: “give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”
Abraham Lincoln, another former president of America, also dispelled wisdom in his time. His quote reflects how vital he felt that preparation for any task was – your future career is no different.
In order to support you sharpen your metaphorical axes (prepare for your futures), we offer an extensive events programme. This includes careers fairs where you can meet employers, skills workshops on a variety of employability topics, our Spotlight On programme where you can discover more about a particular sector or career, and employer presentations where you can hear from a range of companies directly.
3. Application and interview support: “the future depends on what you do today”
Mahatma Gandhi, the famous lawyer, politician and activist, knew more than a bit about how to get things done. Once you know what job or course to apply to, there is a lot we can help you with to bridge the gap between wanting to do something and getting there.
You can book a one-to-one appointment on MyCareer for tailored support with a CV, application, or covering letter. Our skills workshops also cover a comprehensive range of topics related to applications and interviews. Topics include developing your LinkedIn profile, taking part in a mock assessment centre, preparing for interviews, identifying your skills, preparing a CV, application or covering letter, and many more. Don’t struggle alone – get support from us when applying for jobs or further study.
4. Skills and work experience: “success is no accident”
The Brazilian footballer Pelé said the above quote because he knew an important truth: in life, we need to work hard to get to where we want to be. University is an excellent time to not only discover what you want to do in your future, but gain experience to help you gain the skills to help you get there.
There are many opportunities to gain skills across the University beyond your academic course, including peer mentoring, joining societies, taking part in sports, volunteering, study abroad and more. The Careers and Employability Service also offers further opportunities to gain skills and experience.
The Nottingham Internship Scheme provides a range of work experience opportunities and internships throughout the year. The Nottingham Advantage Award is the University’s free employability scheme that helps you prepare for the job market and formally recognises extracurricular activities. Our on-campus agency Unitemps helps you find part-time and temporary work that fits around your studies.
The Nottingham Consultancy Challenge offers you the chance to gain hands-on experience of managing a short-term project for a local business or charity as part of a team. The Optional Placement Year could add a placement year to your degree, helping you to build professional skills. Our International Work Experience Grant could help you with costs associated with work experience abroad. The Digital Marketing Academy can help you discover more about this flourishing industry.
Of course, you don’t need to take part in all of these schemes and opportunities, but researching them to find out what might help with your future success is a good place to start.
5. Your Careers Service: “luck is preparation meeting opportunity”
Oprah Winfrey once said, “I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity”. Whilst I doubt that Oprah was talking specifically about the University of Nottingham’s Careers and Employability Service, her words still apply. We are here to help you with both ingredients: events and resources to help you prepare your future, combined with opportunities to gain crucial experience and skills to help you get where you want to be.
What small step will you take today to help you prepare for your future? Log into MyCareer now.