September 20, 2013, by NUBS Postgraduate Careers

Welcome to the craziest year of your life (so far!)

By Beth Cooper

A very warm welcome to our Masters and MBA students who have just joined us at Nottingham University Business School. With so much to do in so short a space of time, it is easy to put careers on the back-burner but the sooner you start, the greater the chances of success especially if you are looking to do something different afterwards to what you have done before. To help get you on your way, here are the top tips of the Business School’s Postgraduate Careers Service.

1. Dreams versus reality

As part of your timetable, a core part of your career development will be attending these sessions, which will give you a solid grounding in the essentials of your postgraduate career management. If you already have an idea of what you wish to do and where you wish to be, book an appointment with as soon as possible. By working with an individual consultant, you can be supported in developing an action plan as to how this might become a reality or help you consider other options that may help you get where you want to be through routes that may not always appear obvious. Don’t forget about the other activities, which will give you insight from industry experts, employers and your peers.

2. The triple jump is not as easy as Jonathan Edwards makes it appear

Don’t worry, we are not going to be getting the sandpit out and testing your athleticism. For those with experience, in careers terms, the triple jump is wanting to change location, switch job sectors and move into a different function all in one go. Just like it took years of training and dedication for  Jonathan Edwards to break the world record (and which has been unbroken since 1995), you will need to have a track record of outstanding performance, an ability to demonstrate future potential and most importantly, the skills and experience which are in demand by employers. If you don’t have these components now, you’re unlikely to be getting to world record breaking status over the next year. I would of course love you to prove me wrong!

3. Talk, listen and act

It may seem daunting but take every opportunity to talk to as many people as you can, whoever they might be. Think beyond your class and housemates and make the most of opportunities the Business School and the wider University offers, including socially. Attend the Business Leaders lectures not just to learn from the speaker but also to meet with alumni and those in the local area. Find out more about them, what you might have in common and importantly, connect with them on LinkedIn. In this way you’ll be building a network (yes I had to mention the ‘n’ word) without even realising it so that by the time you’re ready to start applying for jobs in earnest, you’ll have lots of people able to help you.

4. Make the most of LinkedIn

We’ve touched on it already but LinkedIn is a great tool through which you can present yourself to the wider world.  To do this properly, you need to understand what you are offering a future employer and how to promote yourself effectively. Your careers sessions will help with this. It can also be a useful research tool to find out what backgrounds people have in the industry or roles in which you wish to work to help you quickly identify what you might need to do to improve your employment prospects in this area. Or keep up to speed with industry developments by joining groups reflecting your interests. Don’t forget to join the various University of Nottingham and Business School groups as well.

5. I’m an entrepreneur, I don’t need to worry about this

Wrong (well I would say that wouldn’t I?). You can use these tips to help guide your next year too. Testing the reality of your dream business idea will be essential for your future success. Are you going to be able to make your business work in a location that is not familiar, in an area where you have little practical knowledge or expertise and where you’ve not been exposed to market conditions? Networking will be vital for your business success as without a customer in whatever shape or form, there will be no business. For you it won’t just be thinking about LinkedIn but all the other social media and marketing resources to help get your message out there.

Whatever you are studying, wherever you have come from, Julie, Gillian, Tim, Clare and I look forward to meeting you all very soon. 

Posted in Postgraduate