Student life: Careers and volunteering
It’s important to spend part of your time in higher education (HE) preparing for life after HE and thinking about your career. In addition, it can be useful to see what you could also be doing during your time as a student to improve your employability.
Some of you will already know what kind of career you want. You may even apply for and undertake a degree in a subject specifically because you think or know you need that degree for a specific job or career. You might do this by taking on a part time job or doing volunteering linked to your dream career, or by visiting our careers service.
But many of you may not know at all what you want to do as a career when you leave HE and that is totally fine. As we often say on Gateways days, HE doesn’t just provide you with a degree in a subject, but also is a chance to improve and develop key transferable skills that all employers look for.
You are already developing many of the skills that you will require in the future now, in school and as part of your social life – think communication, team work and time management skills! We’ll talk more about skills in year 9.
HE institutions understand that you may have a great set of skills, but still need some guidance on how to find a job or career that matches them. So, all HE institutions will have careers services that will help you explore your options. They will do this by asking you what you enjoy doing, what kind of lifestyle you want and introducing you to jobs and work sectors that you may never have considered or even knew existed.
Alongside using the careers service, you may want to try your hand at volunteering – not just to help you get a job in the future, but because it’s also really rewarding to work in your local community. Students at the University of Manchester can volunteer with young children, disabled people, do litter picking, and gardening and lots of other activities in the Greater Manchester area.
All in all, there are many ways to gain valuable experience and help out the local community whilst at university.