June 16, 2022, by aeyam24
Reflecting on My Time at University: What I Learnt
By Anna McConachie, English student blogger
With my third year coming to an end, I’ve been thinking over my time at university and how it has contributed to my personal career journey. With so much to get involved in, I thought I’d share how I made the most of my time at Nottingham so you can do the same.
The best thing I did at Nottingham was get involved in societies. The Freshers’ Fair at the beginning of term is a great opportunity to see what’s on offer (and score some freebies). I went every year of my degree! There are so many different things to try, so the fair is a great way to start thinking about how you want to spend your time at university. I got involved in the Creative Writing society, FemSoc, Salsa, Our Streets Now (OSN) and the English Society – but I regret not doing more! There are societies dedicated to cocktail making, dog walking, sports like kayaking and water polo, and so many others.
Societies help develop new or existing skills and passions, which will help your future applications stand out. It’s always good to show employers your personality, and what makes you interesting outside of your degree. They are also just good fun in general! I have met some amazing people by expanding my social circles through joining these societies. Salsa was a completely new thing for me to try, but I had great fun.
I also got involved in the committee of English Society as the treasurer, and OSN as a content creator. I really enjoyed taking on roles with more responsibility to challenge myself. It was great to organise events and work with the other committee members to really make the most of the societies I was a part of. As Treasurer, I learnt how to approve expense forms and manage a budget. As part of OSN, I learnt about using social media for activism. Each role was very different but equally rewarding. The variety of roles available within a committee, means you can tailor it to your specific interests, skills you want to develop, or even how much time you want to dedicate to the role.
Again, these are great skills to demonstrate on a CV and in interview. Being on a committee also helped me realise that I would like my future career to include communications, content creation, and a level of responsibility and management that suits my creative and organisational skills equally.
Using Unitemps proved invaluable in developing my CV. I’ve already written a blog all about part-time work, but I didn’t mention how it’s helped inform my career decisions. In final year I applied for more jobs in sectors I was interested in, like this student blogger role! It’s always rewarding to get paid for something you enjoy, and even sweeter to enhance your CV with relevant experience. Working as a student blogger has helped solidify my interest in communications and editing. I also wanted to work for the Careers team, to encourage me to think more about my own career.
Using the Careers Service
Finally, utilising the excellent careers service has been key for my career development. The ‘Spotlight On’ sessions give an overview of different careers sectors. They also provide opportunities to talk to people from that sector. They are often Nottingham alumni too, making it feel like it’s possible to break into those areas. One-to-one appointments with careers advisers helped keep me on track throughout university. They are great for signposting websites for job applications, internship schemes, and placements. Just having a chat with a friendly face is always beneficial when you are stressed about your future.
If you’re in final year like me, it might help to reflect on your time at uni like I have. Think about the excellent experiences you’ve had that have contributed to your personal career journey, what you’ve learnt, and what’s next.
Why not book an appointment with a careers adviser to talk through your next steps, or get advice on how to make the most of university.
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