This blog is moving

September 18, 2012

We have great news – the Undergrad blog has been upgraded to a new format and is now up and running!

Same great content PLUS you can see posts for our other blogs too.

So if you are an undergrad thinking about postgrad study, media careers or are also an international student you can find out everything in one place.

or just the undergrad posts on the undergrad tab

We hope you like it!


Are you going to be hot off the blocks like Oscar Pistorious? Summer internship schemes with graduate companies open from NOW!

September 11, 2012

If you want to work for a well known corporate employer, now is the time to research, plan ahead and apply. Some summer internship schemes are already opening applications for summer 2013.

With the start of the new academic year it is easy to forget to plan ahead for summer 2013. It may seem far off but NOW is the time that the big graduate employers advertise not only for graduates, but also for their summer internship schemes for 2013. If you want to work for a particular company or type of work, now is the time you should research their summer internship schemes and when they’re open for you to apply. Planning to get your application in early will avoid disappointment at a later stage when some companies may have filled their places before the closing date.


Accountancy, finance, banking, management consulting, IT and legal roles are being advertised now including on the CareersLink university website and also Top graduate employers advertising include: Barclays ( No.1 voted company for internships 2011), Morgan Stanley, KPMG, LEK Consulting, Saffery Champness and Standard Life.

Read the rest of this entry »

All change at the undergrad blog!

August 31, 2012

Just to let you know that we are giving all our blogs a facelift.

We are going to be using a new template where we can integrate all our blogs into one website.

You will have tabs for each blog and still get the same great content but it will be much easier to swap between blogs and to be able to find out about news stories of interest to you.

So watch this space for more updates soon

Get ahead in the graduate job market – choose career management skills

August 24, 2012

It’s that time of year again when many of you are choosing your modules for the next academic year.  Decisions, decisions, decisions….What will I enjoy?  What am I interested in? What am I good at?

Have you thought about how your module choice will help your future career?  Have you thought about choosing a career management skills (cms) module?

For a number of degree programmes – single honours maths, all BA(Econ) courses and many courses in the faculty of humanities, you can opt to study for a career management skills module. An excellent opportunity to gain academic credits and help your future career at the same time!

Here are 3 good reasons why taking a cms module is a great idea:
•    CMS courses are delivered by the careers service and key graduate employers.  It’s a great opportunity to find out first-hand what recruiters look for in their graduates and how to get-ahead in their recruitment processes and the graduate job market in general.
•    Employers look for a good degree, but also for key practical skills such as leadership, communication and team working. Have you thought about how you are going to provide evidence of these skills when applying for jobs in the future?
As part of the module, you may work on a group project for an outside organisation which will provide some real evidence of these practical skills to add to your CV. Previous projects have included: event management for a local charity, researching ‘user’ satisfaction for a community group, devising marketing materials for arts and sports organisations. CMS will also help you to sell these skills effectively on your CV or in application forms and in interviews or assessment centres
•    It’s assessed by 100% coursework so no exams!  You will get extensive feedback on your graduate level CV and cover letter and attend workshops on Interviews, Assessment Centres, Career Choice plus many more.

You will need to confirm your eligibility with your course administrator. Many final year as well as second year students have been given approval to take cms modules in the past.

Find out more about the courses today:
For Humanities Students
For Maths Students

Any don’t just take my word for it.  Here are some quotes from students who took cms last year….

“Career Management Skills surpassed my expectations and has been one of my most enjoyable, though challenging modules at University.”

“I was recently offered a job and I feel CMS contributed to this.”

Short term work experience over the summer

August 7, 2012

There are still some short term vacancies for over the summer, so if you don’t yet have any work experience sorted yet, then check out what is still available and apply before it is too late! Work experience of even a few weeks can give you an opportunity to develop your skills for both continuing your degree studies and preparing you for a job after your course.

Some companies offer up to four week placements or even part time work, which in some cases is longer term and could fit around your studies. Look through a variety of sources including local newspapers, job websites, through your own contacts or contacting employers direct, as well as firstly checking vacancies on the University’s CareersLink website.

One example of a current summer internship for undergraduates is:

Journalist Student Internship with the Red Army on CareersLink, Ref: 14089.

There are 10 part time Journalist positions available. This role needs interns who are inquisitive, excellent at writing for magazines and the web, relating with all kinds of different people, as well as having a cool head under pressure and absorbing information quickly. As the Red Army is a publication for Manchester United, it is important for this role to have an interest in the football club and football in general.

Read the rest of this entry »

July 27, 2012

Good stuff. It’s how you deal with the situation that is important!

Manchester Graduate Careers

Applying for jobs is stressful at the best of times but for people with a disability or health  concerns it can be even more worrying, with questions about discrimination and how and when to disclose top of the list.

However as someone who has suffered  serious health problems in the past I really believe that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, particularly when it comes to job hunting.  The key is to think about how your disability or health concern will make you a stronger candidate in the eyes of employers.

Here are my top 5 reasons why having a disability or health concern means you’ll have already developed a range of transferable skills employers are looking for:

Adaptability – Coping with a disability or health problem means that you will be adaptable, having worked out individual ways to overcome everyday problems.  Being adaptable will show employers you…

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What I Did On My Summer Holidays.

July 24, 2012

Nobody wants to think about summer coming to an end (although, with the weather we’ve had so far this year, you might feel like summer never got started)  However, the weeks tick by faster than we’d like and September will be here all too soon. So, what are you doing with your summer and how can you make the most of the opportunities it offers to fill up your CV and increase your career development skills?

 Working / Volunteering Over Summer

Whether undertaking a summer internship or you found yourself a vacation job, now is the time to maximise the value of that experience. Make a list of what your responsibilities are and identify the skills you’re using or developing in order to perform those duties well. Even if you think that what you’re doing isn’t relevant to the career you want to pursue, any type of work can equip you with excellent transferable skills that are required for most jobs i.e. team-working, problem-solving and communication. You are very likely going to have to demonstrate to a future employer that you have these types of skills. Start compiling your evidence and examples now rather than having to try later to remember everything you did.  When you’re putting your next application together, this will make the process much easier. Think your volunteering / part-time job isn’t giving you ‘proper’ work experience to draw on? Think again. See Jamie’s blog on the value of all types of experience and how they can boost the skills on your CV.

Has your work experience so far given you food-for-thought with regards to your career options? Whether you’re loving or hating what you’re doing, think clearly about the experience. Write down what you feel about that type of work and what are the elements that influence those feelings. Is it the people you work with or the environment you’re in? Are you feeling motivated by the objectives of your job or the skills you get to use?  If you can articulate exactly what you do and don’t like, it can help you identify the jobs you might want to consider in future (or avoid like the plague!). If you’re not sure what types of jobs contain the elements you find attractive in a role, book an appointment to talk to a Careers Consultant and we can help you identify options to explore. If you always thought you knew what you wanted to do but are feeling lost now that your work experience has convinced you otherwise, you’ll probably find a chat about your change of career direction beneficial too.

Think about the contacts you’re making while working including your boss, colleagues or contacts in other organisations.  If appropriate, keep in touch with as many of these people as possible.  Networking is a valuable skill and you never know when an opportunity might come your way because of someone you know.  If you’re doing a good job they might be able to recommend you if they hear of another opportunity opening up. They might welcome you back for more work in the future or provide a glowing reference for your next application.  Use sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to keep them updated on what you’re up to and what opportunities you’re looking for. Remember to keep it professional though, they don’t need to see your tweets about the great party on Saturday night or the accompanying photographs!


Employers won’t value time spent travelling, right? Wrong.  It all comes down to how you articulate what you’ve gained from the experience.  If you’re working while travelling, the above advice applies.  Even if you didn’t work and simply soaked up the culture, you’re probably gaining or developing more skills than you realise. First and foremost, language skills.  Languages are valued in a variety of roles. See Prospects for an overview of such roles. It takes self-confidence to pack up and immerse yourself in an unknown country for weeks at a time.  You’re getting experience of meeting and communicating with a variety of people and developing an appreciation of different lifestyles and cultures. Travelling alone means being independent and making friends quickly.  The key is to demonstrate to an employer that you came back from your travels with more than a tan and some great memories.

Do you know what you want to do in Summer 2013 It’s never too early to think about this, honestly

Whether you’ll be graduating or making plans for the next summer vacation, do you know what’s next for you? Maybe getting a job or summer internship, starting a Graduate Scheme or further study? If you know what you want to do, do you know how to get there? Firstly, identify the requirements to get what you want and make sure you can meet them. Maybe you don’t know the exact opportunity you’re going to apply for but start researching now (rather than at the end of the academic year when exams and studying will be your priority)  Get an understanding of what the jobs/schemes/courses in your chosen sector are asking for. You’ve got time now to start filling any gaps in your skills or experience. It’s also vital to find out the application dates and deadlines, especially for Graduate schemes and internships. Do you know some of the Graduate schemes will already be open? Do you appreciate that the opening date can be more important than the closing date? See Sarah’s recent post for more info on Grad schemes.  If further study is your choice, have you looked into the application process, which institutions offer your preferred subjects, funding requirements and what financial support may be available to you?

Whatever you choose to do, I can guarantee you will get asked “Why do you want to do this?”. It is vital you can answer this for two reasons.  Firstly, any employer /institution wants to know your motivation for applying for a job or course. Can you articulate what interests you and why, what you think you’ll get from the opportunity and how it fits into your career aspirations? From the employer’s perspective, if they’re going to invest time and money in developing you, are you going to be committed, keen and motivated to make the most of the role?

The second reason to be able to answer “Why do you want to do this?” is to be sure it’s the right choice for you.  Is a Graduate scheme the best way in to your chosen career sector?  Is Postgraduate study vital for the job you want and, if not vital, does it give you a competitive edge?  Picture yourself at the end of the scheme or course; what will you do now you’ve completed it?  If you don’t know what benefits you’ll get from whatever you plan to do next, is it right for you? If you’re undertaking Postgraduate study just because you don’t know what else to do, or applying for Graduate Schemes because it’s what all your friends are doing, it might not be the most useful next step for you.

No idea yet what Summer 2013 might look like for you? You’re far from being alone, trust me.  At the Careers Service we see plenty of students who are still figuring out what’s next for them and there’s lots we can do to help. Try Career KickStart to help you identify where you’re at now and what are the key areas you can take action in. Come into the Careers Resource Centre to look at the range of resources we have available and have a chat about the ways we can support you.

Well, as I finish writing this, the elusive sun has decided to put in an appearance. The theme of this blog was to encourage you to think about how what you’re doing now can help you in the future. There’s no reason you can’t do that thinking in the park with an ice-cream.

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