Welcome to what could be the three most exciting, challenging and enjoyable years of your life. A voyage of discovery awaits. Figuring out how a washing machine and dish-worker works. Understanding the tog rating system on a duvet. All valuable life skills.
As a fresher I’m sure thinking about your career doesn’t feature on your list of priorities. Deciding which societies to join is probably of more importance to you in the first weeks of term. But without wishing to put any pressure on you, ultimately one of the main reasons you are here is to develop your career. When are ready to start planning it, the Student Careers and Skills Service offers a variety of support to help you make a career decision and succeed in your studies.
Seven reasons why you should use the Careers & Skills Service…
1) Careers advice and guidance
The careers consultants are objective and the discussions are confidential. Their role is to provide the information and guidance to help you to make informed and realistic decisions. Don’t worry if you do not have a career plan or even know where to start, the discussion is your agenda and based on your needs. The appointments can take place in the University House Learning Grid or in your department and can be booked at the careers portal My Advantage
2) Job Search Advice
If you need feedback on an application or want to discuss how to prepare for an interview you can meet with Job Search Advisers on the first floor at the Oculus in our new venue, the ‘Nook.’ We hope to move into the cranny as well next year.
3) The Skills Team
If you would like advice on how to develop the academic study skills required to succeed at undergraduate level the Skills Team may be able to help. There are a variety of workshops on note-taking, speed reading and how to plan and manage projects, for example. You can also book individual appointments and have the option of accrediting your learning through the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award . Delivering presentations, for example, may be new for you and if this feels like an intimidating and challenging experience the Skills team also offer a series of personal development sessions and workshops.
4) Are you a budding entrepreneur?
A lot of Warwick alumni have successfully developed their own business. We all have the capacity to be entrepreneurial. If you are innovative, hard-working and a problem-solver this option may appeal to you at some point in your career. A good starting point may be the Warwick Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme
5) Employer events
There are hundreds of events, workshops and skills sessions organised by the Employer Connect team at Warwick. Careers Fairs and employer presentations are a valuable opportunity to find out more about recruitment, about what employers require and how you can develop the skills they ideally look for. Talking to recruiters will also help to develop your commercial awareness – knowledge & understanding that will inform your career decisions about the type of company and sector that will suit you.
6) Undergraduate Research support scheme
Are you considering a career in research or academia? You might only be in your first year but if you already have the passion to add original and significant knowledge in your subject you may want to pursue a PhD after graduation. An Undergraduate Research Support Scheme placement (typically in the summer of your 2nd or 3rd year of study) is a great way to experience the rewards and challenges of research. You will have the opportunity to participate in active research, working with an academic supervisor. Even if you ultimately decide postgraduate study isn’t for you, the skills and experiences gained on URSS can show a potential employer your transferable employability skills.
7) Get experience and develop your employability
Employability. Remember it. A word you will become very familiar with during your time at Warwick. Essentially it is the ability to demonstrate the ‘softer’ skills all employers require. A good academic record is obviously important but for a significant number of top graduate recruiters employability skills are just as important. You can convincingly demonstrate these skills by gaining experience. The Careers & Skills Internship Development Team work with employers to source placements for the summer internship programme – over 100 such opportunities were created in 2018. If you find your own short term work experience placement and it is unpaid you can apply for a bursary – if the placement is in a competitive, traditionally hard to access sector such as heritage or advertising, for example, these bursaries can be up to £60 per day.
Information on all of these services is available at My Advantage , the University of Warwick’s careers portal. It is your friend! Use it! There are hundreds of vacancies advertised on My Advantage and you can reserve a place at careers and employer events. You can also book an appointments with members of the Student Careers and Skills Service who are here to help you succeed, both in your studies and in your career.