December 16, 2008
I know it seems silly to be talking about summer now – given that it’s winter, we’ve not finished for Christmas yet, and it’s cold here in Manchester. However, summer isn’t really as far away as you think (it’s only about 25 weeks until the end of second semester!). So while you may be thinking of a few weeks in the sun or spending some time relaxing after the end of the academic year, you may want to think again!
Given the current economic situation, gaining some work experience or having a job over summer may be a real benefit to you. Not only financially but in terms of skills and experience to help you when you are applying for graduate jobs in the future. The Careers Service is still being sent internships and summer vacation jobs, so don’t forget to look at the vacancies section of our website.
Quite a few of them have closing dates over the Christmas vacation and exam period, so you may want to spend some of your time in between watching the Doctor Who Christmas special and celebrating with family and friends to complete a few applications! Others may have longer closing dates or may only be advertised after Christmas, so don’t worry if you don’t have time to start applications now… as long as you start to think about it before summer actually begins.
Here are a few examples of vacancies available on our website at the moment which may interest you. If you don’t see anything you like here, check the website or start to think about what you’d like to do:
- Internship with UK publisher – The organisation are offering internships in a number of areas including web development, marketing and editing. Closing date: 31st December 2008.
- Technology summer internship – The organisation are offering 10 week summer placements to students in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Maths or Physics. Closing date: 31st December 2008.
- Manufacturing summer internship in UK – The organisation are looking for Electrical, Mechanical and Chemical Engineers. Closing date: 1st January 2009.
- Summer internship with large financial organistion – The organisation are looking for students in their penultimate year. Roles are offered in a number of different areas of the business. Closing date: 4th January 2009.
With the weeks counting down, I’m off to plan my summer holiday! Enjoy your Christmas break!
December 12, 2008
It’s a question we get asked a lot. When you haven’t had previous experience, how do you get a job (possibly your first job) when employers are looking for skills and some relevant knowledge? This obstacle can appear not only when applying for full time jobs, but also for some placements and internships in competitive sectors, or even part-time work. This can seem an unreasonable stumbling block, but there are things you can do to bridge this gap. So where do you start?
With this post we will look at what to do if you have no previous work experience at all. In the next few weeks we will look at other kinds of situation so hopefully you will find something that applies to you.
- What have you done already?
Start building a CV from things you have done. If you have had positions of responsibility, at school or University, are involved in sports or other hobbies which you have invested considerable time and effort in, or have been involved in student societies, these are all great for showing skills. See our guide to making job applications for some advice on demonstrating your skills.
- Transferable skills from your degree
Show how you have developed transferable skills from your programme of study. These skills are useful even if your degree is not relevant to the job. If you have to work in Problem Based Learning or case study groups, that means team working and problem solving. If you have to do presentations, that develops communication skills. A dissertation project could show analytical ability and possibly even project management. But if you don’t mention them, the recruiter probably won’t guess that you have these.
- Apply for part-time work
Part-time jobs add experience to your CV as some part-time employers do not require previous experience. Even if the job is not related to the career you end up in, this kind of work can be great at building up transferable skills of team working, communication skills, organisation and time management, all of which are useful for nearly any job.
- Undertake voluntary work
Even a couple of hours a week can start building your CV, and again you normally won’t need to show you have previous experience. As with part-time work you can develop your skills and you can support a good cause at the same time. Our Manchester Student Volunteers service can help you find voluntary work, and also try www.do-it.org.
December 9, 2008
Working or studying abroad has many massive benefits (not least giving you a chance to escape the Manchester weather). It can:
- Help you to improve your language ability.
- Give you international experience, which is especially useful if you are looking to work for a multinational company, as well as a greater awareness of the culture of the country that you visit.
- Enable you to show employers that you have initiative and independence.
There are currently three programmes run by the Study Abroad Unit:
- Erasmus Work allows you to work in Europe for the industrial placement or work component of your degree and receive funding.
- Erasmus Study Exchange Programme allows you to study in Europe as part of your degree. A competency in language is usually required although some countries will teach in English and you will receive some funding. View the list of placements available.
- Worldwide Exchange Programme allows you to study outside of Europe as part of your degree. A competency in language is NOT usually required and there is no guaranteed funding. View the list of placements available.
If you would like more information and advice, visit the Study Abroad pages on the University website or visit the Study Abroad Library in Room 2.053, Rutherford Building. The library is open weekdays from 8.30 – 5 and you can also drop in and speak to an advisor 12 – 4.