Category Archives: career ahead

A note from a Career Ahead Student











The Career Ahead Award offered at the University of Cumbria has been created for students to really think about the skills we have developed previously and what type of work we want to enter in to. It is there to make students think about their life after university. What job would you like to enter into and what do you need to do to achieve this? It has three tiers to it – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each one bounces off the previous and gives you an insight into the person you are and the things you have done in your life that have created transferable skills. Starting at Bronze, you just need to have a think about your skills in life and try your hand at some career planning, Silver is about creating a tailored CV for the job you wish to enter and Gold is you actually applying for this position! It is easily accessed through Blackboard and has tutorials guiding you though all three awards with the added benefit (which can be put on your CV!) of certificates to confirm completion of each. You can do this at any time and in any year, so give it a go!

Anna Mistry – Third Year English BA (Hons)


If you are interested in completing the Career Ahead award, you can find out more at

Extracurricular activities and why you should do them

extra curricular activities

In the Career Ahead award it asks you to participate in and reflect on extracurricular activities. They are important. Not just as part of student life but going forward. So… this is my huge list of why you should partake in them.

  • Getting out and trying new things is good for you, even if you decide that a particular activity isn’t for you!
  • Meet people and networking. You never know what sort of interesting people you might meet: a new friend, someone who you may end up working with, a date for your house mate
  • Self-development, you are showing people that you spend time on yourself – you’re independent, you’re willing to learn and you’re open minded
  • Developing employable attributes and strengths like leadership, self-motivation and perseverance
  • Evidence for your attributes and strengths that can be used on a CV or interview situations that will be different and more interesting to those who don’t do extracurricular activities
  • They can generate great anecdotes for social occasions or can be used in presentations and interviews
  • Gain more knowledge, you never know when it might come in useful – even if it is in a pub quiz
  • Keep fit/active with sports and learn key-skills like team work
  • A change from day to day life
  • See the world, travel
  • Getting creative, help your mind develop new ways of thinking
  • Improve yourself, if you can already do something do it better – like a different style of cuisine or become more proficient at a language
  • An outlet for stress
  • Keep your brain sharp – metal agility keeps you young
  • Campaign and have your say with political and action groups
  • Get the feel-good-factor by raising money for a charity/charities you feel passionate about
  • Getting to know people in your community and local neighbourhood
  • Volunteer – it’ll make you feel great about yourself and the things that can be achieved
  • Extracurricular activitiesRight, here is my favourite reason to do Extracurricular Activities… This is a reasonably old picture of Sergey Brine and Larry Page, who are two guys that meet at university because one of them was a Student Ambassador. They went on to found Google.



Written by Sarah Burrough, available for all your guest blogging needs!

TEDx is coming to the University of Cumbria!


TEDx, an independently organised TED event, is coming to Carlisle for one night only!

Tickets available on the UoC TEDx website here.


The Theme

For the first ever University of Cumbria TEDx event the theme ‘Progression’ has been chosen, this ties in nicely with university life and can have a broad interpretation. Expect talks on career progression, the progression of ideas and much more. The event speakers really have had some great ideas on what progression means to them and the world.


The Speakers:

  • Andy Beeforth – Chief Executive Cumbria Community foundation
  • Jacqui Filkins – Honoury Fellow, advisor to EU on health matters – Sustainability Strategies.
  • Brenda Crossley – Graduate – Aging & Adapting With Technology.
  • Nathan Roberts – Zoo Keeper – Conservation and Effective Communication.
  • Phillip Wilson – Musician. Making Music Accessible For All.
  • Annie Weir – Self-published creative writing graduate – Age Is Not A Barrier.

Developing a great line-up for this event has been tough, there are just so many talented people with great ideas! There will be something for everyone with six super talented speakers all with unique ideas to share from varied backgrounds. Be sure to check out the event blog here for updates on speakers with details about them and their talks.



Thursday 5th May 2016 at 18.30 until 21.30



The event will be held in the University of Cumbria’s Fusehill Street campus close to the centre of Carlisle in the Learning Gateway Lecture Theatre.

University of Cumbria, Fusehill Street, Carlisle, CA1 2HH



A ticket must be purchased to ensure attendance. Just to make it even harder to resist temptation you will get a free beer and a burger with each ticket. Now that’s food for thought…

Tickets are £8.49 per person (including booking fees)

Tickets available on the UoC TEDx website here.



About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

Find out more on the TED website.

New to TED? Here’s 11 must see TED talks.


This event is being organised by Ben Parker (University of Cumbria Events Management Student)


Career Ahead Showcase Week!

Next week is ‘Career Ahead Showcase Week’ in Lancaster, from 16th-20th March.

Don’t miss out on your chance to find out about teaching, nursing, volunteering, summer work and part-time jobs, as well as graduate internships and a range of other graduate employment opportunities! Check out our programme of events below!

The week timetable

An Introduction to Career Ahead

graduation - career ahead

What is Career Ahead?

It’s an employability award run by the University of Cumbria which enables you to develop your employability skills to get a good job when you graduate. You complete the award in your own time online through PebblePad, and it is a way to evidence your extra-curricular activity while at University.

Why should I complete the Career Ahead award?

Employers want graduates with good employability skills. They don’t just look at your degree; they want to find the candidate with the best skills for the job. According to High Flyers: “new graduates who’ve not had any work experience during their time at university have little or no chance of landing a well-paid job”. Career Ahead allows you to evidence the skills you already have, develop those skills that you want to develop, crate effective employability tools such as cv and cover letter writing skills, interview skills and allows access to free workshops, both face-to-face and online. In short, Career Ahead enables you to be job ready when you graduate.

So what do I have to do?

The award is broken down into three elements: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Bronze relates to personal development – completing a skills audit and a reflective diary to identify your career goals and skills gaps. Silver relates to skills development – you develop four employability skills, and undertake 100 hours of extra-curricular activity, as well as two online employability workshops. You also create a reflective diary of your progress in your web folio. Gold relates to career management and enables you to search for the job you want, create a targeted CV and cover letter or application form, and develop your web folio to evidence all your activity. Once you have completed and passed all 3 elements you will also have the chance to take part in a mock interview with an employer.

What workshops are available?

Some of the options include leadership, teambuilding, applications and CVs, interview skills, personal branding and mentoring.

What do I get at the end of the course?

Upon completion you will receive a University of Cumbria certificate, as well as having your web-folio evidencing your progress, skills and experience. Most importantly though you will have gained the skills you need to get the job you want!

What next?

Once you have completed the bronze silver and gold elements you can undertake the platinum award – you will complete and extra 50 hours of extra-curricular activity, mentor a bronze or silver student, as well as submitting a reflective diary of your progress. You will also get the chance to organise an event, share a skill, complete a placement or start up your own student enterprise!


If you would like to find out more you can take a look at the Career Ahead areas on Blackboard – the University’s BlackBoard site – click on Jobs & Careers at the top of the page when you log in, then click on the Career Ahead tab.
You can also email to ask advice, find out more and to register onto the award.


New Career Ahead templates now available!

graduation - career ahead

The Careers Team have launched a range of new templates which will allow you to easily access the Career Ahead Award.

In order to make sure that all students can easily access the Career Ahead Award and improve their career prospects, the Careers Team are creating a range of new templates which you can download and fill in in Microsoft Word. All you have to do once you have completed the relevant section of the award is to send your submission to

The Bronze Award is available to complete now – why not start your Career Ahead award today?

Be Career Ahead today for a brighter tomorrow!

The Career Ahead award is only available to current University of Cumbria students, please ensure you include your student number on your submission so we can verify your status as a student. It doesn’t matter what year you are currently in, you can work at a pace to suit you! Fit your award in around your studies and other commitments – or why not work on it over the summer?

The careers team are holding Q & A sessions on Tuesday 6 May in Carlisle and on Wednesday 7 May in Lancaster, so if you have any questions or need help completing any part of the award, come along and have a chat with the careers team!

More information about the Career Ahead Employability Award is available on the website.

U Stand Out – UCSU Event this week!


The Careers team will be at the U Stand Out event this week, offering workshops on CVs and Applications, and Personal Branding. There is also the opportunity to meet local employers, and to find out what employers look for in graduates. You could chat to them about graduate opportunities and placements as well!

The current job market is extremely competitive, and having a good degree is not necessarily enough to secure employment. Our U Stand Out conference is all about bringing you opportunities to think ahead, and build an impressive portfolio that will make you stand out in front of potential employers. We’re offering a variety of workshops which will allow you to meet employers, build your leadership skills, start thinking about personal branding and much more.

CARLISLE – Wednesday 26th February, Learning Gateway, Fusehill Street, 10am – 4pm.

View the full event line up HERE.

LANCASTER – Friday 28th February, Alexandra Building, 10am – 4pm.

View the full event line up HERE.

Please pre-book your desired workshop sessions HERE. This will secure a place as although spaces may still be available on the day, this cannot be guaranteed as rooms have limited capacity.

There will also be a variety of exhibitors offering you exciting opportunities which will help enhance your CV and boost your employability.


(This article is from the UCSU page here: