Welcome to all of you who have arrived here at Warwick. You’ll be immersing yourself in the various activities taking place on campus for the first few days and getting used to your new environment, fellow students and your studies and wondering, as all new students do, how to pronounce ‘Xananas.’
Here are some tips from Warwick’s Careers team designed to encourage you to make the most of your first year.
1. Try new things out – have fun!
The time you’re here will fly past, and you’ll be tempted to throw yourself into lots of different things. The reality is there are only 24 hours in a day- joining more than 3 or 4 clubs and societies means you won’t have enough time for all of them. Our advice: have fun! You are a student after all. Follow your curiosity and choose the things you are genuinely enthusiastic about. Be guided by what you want to do, rather than what you feel you ‘ought’ to do.
2. Develop your unique self
If you’re engaged in clubs and societies you’re motivated by, you’re more likely to put yourself forward for positions of responsibility when these opportunities come round each year. These will help you to stand out later on when you’re making applications for internships, work experience or eventually, graduate jobs. Recruiters are interested in what you’ve done that makes you stand out, what’s enthused you and where you’ve developed your skills – the kinds of skills recruiters value such as leadership, managing a budget, marketing events, event or project management and dealing with challenging people or situations.
3. Take risks – build your resilience
Say ‘yes’ to opportunities that take you out of your comfort zone as these will build your confidence and self-belief. They provide a chance to learn through failure as much as success – which contributes to building character, persistence and grit. Failure provides many rich opportunities to learn. Successful people have been through many, many failures to get where they are. Grit and persistence along with a positive mindset are responsible for career success and progression rather than talent.
4. Know yourself
Get to know yourself before you start to explore where your degree might take you. What’s important to yo? What are your values? What motivates and interests you? What are your strengths? Career planning makes sense when you have a clearer understanding of your preferred direction of travel. N.B. You don’t need to know what you want to do when you graduate. If you do know yourself however, when you do start to consider your options it will be easier to decide what would suit you. Your first year is an ideal time to complete our Careers Moodle on Self-Awareness.
5. Follow your curiosity
Very often reading a book, watching a You Tube clip, starting a conversation with someone, can lead to all kinds of opportunities…be ready and willing to seize these when they come along.
6. Begin with the end in mind
You don’t have to have a clear career idea in order to see a Careers Consultant. Complete the Moodle Self-Awareness course and once you’ve done this, later on in Y1 or Y2 then consider whether you’d find it helpful to book an appointment to get started on thinking about your future career planning. Statistically, students who engage in career planning early in their University course find jobs sooner and which pay more than those who leave career planning until after they graduate.
7. How careers staff can help you
Our role is to help you achieve your next steps so you can graduate from Warwick with the skills you’ll need to navigate your future career path, whatever that might be. We don’t do the work for you – it’s your career. To use a driving analogy, we aren’t your taxi driver. A taxi driver simply picks you up and drops you off. Think of us as your driving instructor. You choose the car and the destination. Once you have acquired the skills you need to drive, you can drive anywhere.
8. It’s not what you do, it’s how you tell your story
As you go through your time at Warwick you’ll acquire a wealth of experiences and a good deal of learning. Take the time to capture your learning and learn how to describe and articulate your unique Warwick experience to graduate recruiters. They will be interested not in what you’ve done but in what you’ve learned through what you’ve done – in failures as well as triumphs