October 7, 2019, by jhillary1

Where in the World Will Your Degree Take You?

Finding work overseas is becoming a more common goal among students upon finishing university. Uncertainty in the local job market can be a factor, or perhaps you just want to work while satisfying your sense of adventure. Either way, finding the right job can be a little daunting to say the least. Here are three examples of Nottingham students who have secured jobs in other countries.

One route could be through your network of connections in academia…

“Ever since I could remember, I wanted to live and work in another country to gain as much experience of other people and places as I could. Being a research scientist makes this a very accessible option. I found out about my current role as my partner was already at the University of Calgary as a PhD student. Having a good network of contacts is invaluable when looking for jobs. This was even the case when I was applying for PhD positions, my undergraduate supervisor had previously been a Post Doc in the lab where I ended up doing my PhD.

My current position still involves a lot of lab research but I also now manage my own projects, lab equipment and have a role in some of the higher decision making with regards to how projects and research is conducted. This role also allows me to be involved in science communication, which I love, by creating and maintaining a website.

For students thinking of applying for jobs abroad my advice would be to start early and make sure you do plenty of research. The jobs themselves are usually fairly easy to find but you need to make sure you are aware of immigration policies in that country. Applying for work permits and visas can sometimes be a slow process, so give yourself plenty of time to get the paperwork in order.”

Danielle Blackwell, Model Organism Phenotyping Research Coordinator
University of Calgary, Canada
BSc Animal Science, PhD

Planning ahead and gaining experience is always a good idea!

“As soon as I turned 18, I moved abroad, only ever returning to the UK for the semesters! I’ve always had the feeling of ‘wanderlust’, the need to explore new places, learn about different cultures and meet people from all over the world. Working abroad allows me to live where other people have their holidays. So far, I have lived in three different countries, seven different cities and I’m about to move to a new country! I also get to use my languages and continue to speak them every day!

I was looking for a graduate scheme to fit me and discovered Hilton’s Internship programs. I’ve worked in the hospitality industry since I was 15 to support my studies but hadn’t necessarily thought about turning it into a career. To combine my passion for hospitality and the languages and soft skills I learnt at the University of Nottingham suddenly made perfect sense, especially as I saw that I would have many opportunities to work all over the world.

Having English as your mother tongue will always be an advantage, but more and more employers are looking for people who can speak two, or even three, languages. Language courses can be expensive – but at UoN – you can pick up a course for free as a subsidiary module or joining a class at the Language Centre. That’s actually how I got started with Dutch, in my first semester, and having that third language has opened so many more doors for me!”

Jessica Piercy, Corporate HR Assistant
Hilton Hotels in Frankfurt
BA German with Dutch

Take a leap of faith! Sometimes a great career opportunity may require you to relocate.

“I currently work at a technology hedge fund, investing predominantly in blockchain/crypto assets, such as Bitcoin; one of the co-founders is Spanish; therefore, we have an office in Madrid, which is where I sit.

My absolute best piece of general advice would be to get involved in the extra-curricular opportunities. Whatever hobby(ies) you decide to pursue, whether it be sports-related or otherwise, ideally aim for a leadership position, to show employers that you have many strings to your bow.

Sometimes the best jobs may well require you to pack up your bags and relocate. If this is the case, I would encourage you to embrace the opportunity to get a know a new city or country; it’ll be daunting at first, but you’ll be better for it in the long run, having pushed yourself to take on the unknown.”

Colin Go, Investor Relations and Marketing
Madrid, Spain
BSc Physical Geography

Do you feel inspired to explore working abroad? To find out more about job hunting, sources of vacancies,  job markets and useful organisations, visit our website.

Posted in International Work Experience GrantUncategorizedWork experience