Upon coming to the university, I knew I wanted to gain as much experience as I could throughout the journey. I wanted these experiences to help me understand what I enjoy doing, develop my skills and make me more appealing to employers – if that was the route that I decided to take.
Not long after arriving at university, I discovered the careers service, which I thought was a cute and possibly handy service. I saw that they had different events from generic ones such as ’How to write CVs and cover letters’ to company-specific ones such as Morgan Stanley coming in to talk about their internship assessment process. I have probably been to over 15 career events since I came to the university as I find them quite enlightening and also an opportunity to share my experiences with other people.
After a year of going to these events, I found the generic ones to be less helpful as I already had most of the knowledge that was being given at sessions – but I guess that’s what happens when you go to the same session multiple times. I wanted a more tailored approach; for that, they have the ‘Quick Query’ sessions which last about 10 minutes and are an opportunity to bring a tailored CV, Cover Letter, application questions or even spoken-word applications – which I did once! Most of the careers advisors have shifts that they arrange for these drop-in sessions between 11am and 3pm, so you never know who you will get. I quite like this because I bring back work multiple times and different opinions always do help. This service has truly transformed the way I approach applications and I rarely submit one without having a drop-in session.
So, you’ve submitted the application and have been fortunate enough to get an interview, then what? For most of the interviews I’ve had at university, I booked in for a mock interview. The careers service has a careers advisor dedicated to each school, who therefore provides a more specialised skill set through which to conduct your interview. Prior to the mock interview, you give more information about your application and the company, then the advisor will create a selection of questions which are likely to come up based on their research. This experience is great in terms of getting some practice, getting good feedback before it is too late and reducing your nerves on the day.
One of the best things about all this is the ease and accessibility of the service. You can find all the upcoming events on the Careers Portal, book appointments and see what other opportunities are out there. I strongly believe that every student at the university looking for employment or career direction should pay a visit to the careers service, it will be worth it!