The Careers Service: Make the Most of Your First Year in Manchester


This blog has tips tailored for SALC students who are beginning their first year of undergraduate study at the University of Manchester. If you’re a final year student or pre-final student (either a second-year student on a three-year degree or a second/thirdyear student on a four-year degree), or you’re a postgraduate student, please see our blog posts that are written specifically with you in mind: 

We hope you’ve had a fantastic first few weeks at the University of Manchester. To start with, let us introduce ourselves. We’re Louise Sethi and Gareth Frier and we are 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.

University is not just about getting a degree, it’s an amazing opportunity to build skills, grow in confidence and make connections with new people. If you can start to gain new experiences and skills now, your future self will thank you! This is because, when your workload increases in the later years of your studies and you are juggling coursework with internship or job applications, you will already have experience that you can use on a CV or application form to demonstrate the skills that recruiters are looking for.  

Have a look at our top three tips below for making the most of your first year at the University of Manchester: 


1.Gain experience. Once you have fully completed student registration, check out CareerConnect, the University’s online careers support and opportunities platform, upon which you can book guidance appointments, register for events and workshops run by employers and the Careers Service, and even find a part-time job to earn some extra cash and gain valuable work experience. To get the most out of CareerConnect, we recommend that you answer the ‘Career Readiness’ question on your CareerConnect profile. If you give the Careers Service permission to contact you, we’ll use this information to send you tailored messages with suggestions for support and activities that will be most relevant for you. For further information, see our Career Readiness blog 

Volunteering can also be a great way to gain experience whilst contributing to a cause that you’re passionate about. You can find a wide range of volunteering opportunities to suit almost any interest via the University’s Volunteer Hub. 



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. Make connections. Join a society or a sports team; our Students’ Union has over 400 societies and teams, from football to debating to musical theatre, so it’s easy to find something that you’ll be interested in. Check out the Students’ Union website to see all the options available to you. 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. Explore options and support. Finally, check out the Careers Service website, which has information on a wide variety of sectors and how to gain experience to give you the best chance of embarking on a career path that suits your values and interests. The website also has an overview of the wide range of support on offer from the Careers Service, including CV and application review services and one to one appointments with members of our team to help you to explore what you want from a career. 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.



We hope that you find your first semester here to be enriching and exciting. 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