The Careers Service: How to make the most of your pre-final year!
This blog has tips tailored for SALC students who have completed their first year of study but are not yet in their final year. If you’re a first or final year student, or you’re a postgraduate student, please check out our blog posts that are written specifically with you in mind:
We hope you’ve had a really good start to the 2022/23 academic year. For those of you who don’t already know us, we’re Louise Sethi and Gareth Frier; Careers Consultants with dedicated links to the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. That means you might see us in your teaching sessions from time to time and at school events, so please do come over and say hello – we’d love to have a chat with you.
Now is a great time to start thinking about what you want from your future. What interests and excites you? What are your values? What are your strengths? Thinking about the answers to these questions can help you to increase your confidence and expand your horizons. If you can do that now, your future self will thank you when the time comes to apply for internships and graduate-level jobs, as you’ll have a real sense of not only what you want from a career, but also the skills you possess that will give you the best chance of impressing the employers, institutions, business partners or investors that you want to work with.
So, how do you answer those questions about yourself? Stepping outside of your comfort zone and seeking new experiences is a great way to learn about yourself. By trying something new, you might surprise yourself; flourishing in a role that you had never imagined yourself in and making real confidence gains. Alternatively, if the new experience doesn’t work out, you will have gathered useful information about aspects of a career that may or may not appeal to you, as well as invaluable experience to help you deal with similar situations in the future.
With that in mind, have a look at our top four tips below for having new experiences and making the most of your penultimate year of studies:
1.Get Support to help you on your journey. No one is expected to find all the answers on their own. Our Which Career pages have information on a wide variety of sectors to help you to consider your options and find out more about the day-to-day realities of different job roles. No idea where to start? We can help with that too – try our dedicated ‘Don’t know what you want to do?’ webpage, including links to tools that will help you to consider what’s important to you. The website also has a comprehensive overview of the wide range of support on offer from the Careers Service, including one to one guidance appointments, CV reviewing services and interview simulations. We can also alert you to events and resources tailored to your situation and interests. Simply log into CareerConnect, our online opportunities and events portal, complete your profile (including the occupational areas you’re interested in and by selecting your ‘Careers Readiness stage’) and we’ll send you tailored emails based on your answers. This support is open to all students in all year groups, regardless of whether you have absolutely no idea of what you want to do in the future or if you have started to form some ideas.
Click on the ‘Me’ dropdown menu at the top of the CareerConnect homepage and then select ‘Profile’ to update your and ‘Careers Readiness Stage’.
2. Get involved in wider University life. Join one of the Student Union’s 400 societies and sports teams to meet new people and try new things. Alternatively, if you’re already a member of a society or team, can you take a more prominent role by running an event, becoming a student rep or champion, or leading a team? Leadership roles aren’t just confined to societies either and there are lots of opportunities to take on further responsibility across the University. For ideas, visit the University’s ‘Step Up and Lead’ page. ‘Step up and Lead’ is part of Stellify – the programme that helps you to gain extra-curricular experience and stand out from the crowd after graduation. Interested in the media? Without any prior experience, you can write for the Mancunion (the University’s student newspaper), present or produce radio shows on Fuse FM or create online video content via Fuse TV. Check out the Student Media Group’s website for more details, and join the Careers Service’s Media Club to hear about media-related events and opportunities.
3. Experience different workplaces. Use CareerConnect to find a part-time job to earn some cash and to try out a new sector or job role to see if it suits your values, interests and strengths. Looking further forward, many 2023 placement and internship opportunities will be already open for applications with deadlines that fall within Semester 1. See the ‘Vacancies’ section on CareerConnect to make sure you’re not missing out on an opportunity to expand your skills and make invaluable connections in a sector or organisation that may interest you.
Alternatively, volunteering can be a great way to gain experience whilst contributing to a cause that you’re passionate about and can be a particularly good entry point into areas such as the creative and cultural sectors. You can find a wide range of volunteering opportunities to suit a wide range of interests via the University’s Volunteer Hub.
Vacancies can be found by clicking on the purple button on the home page of CareerConnect.
We hope that you really enjoy the new academic year. If you have a question about how the Careers Service can help you, see our FAQS, contact us via Web Chat, or drop into the Atrium (1st Floor, University Place) to speak to a member of the team between 10:00 – 16:00, Monday – Thursday and 10:00 – 13:00 on Fridays.
Written by Gareth Frier