Category Archives: careers information

So your degree result was disappointing?

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If you’re reading this you may be feeling that your world has turned upside down because the degree result you were expecting didn’t happen. Maybe the result was a complete shock, or maybe you have known for a while that getting a 2:1 was not going to happen.

In this post I am going to signpost you to some useful advice on how to pick yourself up, take stock and get a game plan together.

Firstly, the University of Cumbria’s Careers and Employability service is open throughout the summer, so make an appointment with one of the careers advisors. This can be a face-to-face, telephone or skype meeting.  We can talk through your options, help you put together a plan and help you market yourself positively to a potential employer. To make an appointment email: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

Secondly, there are some really useful articles online which are definitely worth reading. ‘How to job hunt if you get a 2.2′ in Target Jobs  provides lots of information on a wide range of sectors and organisations who have a more flexible approach  to degree classification.

The Guardian suggests graduates target smaller companies and those who focus on extra-curricular skills. Smaller companies are often less bothered about degree grades and may, in fact, offer you the chance to gain a wider range of experience and responsibility more quickly.

Rozina Zazur writing in the Telegraph says graduates should ignore the 2.1 myth as many employers place a higher value of work experience. Remember you are more than your degree and many employers recognise that.

Finally, try and keep firmly in your mind the fact that there are many people who didn’t do particularly well at university but who have gone on to have highly successful careers. One of the most inspirational messages about the importance of failure was given by JK Rowling. Check out her speech to Harvard graduates. It’s definitely worth a watch and you’ll feel so much better.

 

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To teach or not to teach…

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I’ve been advising quite a few Primary Education students recently who are coming to the end of their initial teacher training and are now uncertain about whether to continue on a teaching career path.  Teaching is a hugely rewarding profession, but it can be tough and is not for everyone.  It’s also perfectly normal to have a change of heart and want to change direction.

The good news is that there are lots of alternatives career paths to consider and some very useful information online.  If you are reading this, and have doubts too about whether teaching is right for you, the following articles and guides may well give you some inspiration. Don’t forget too that you can come and talk to us in UoC Careers.  Email us on careers@cumbria.ac.uk to make an appointment.

In the meantime, here are some useful resources that we refer students to and which may give you some inspiration!

Education Alternatives. This AGCAS publication (the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) is probably the most comprehensive resource for students who are still interested in education generally, but don’t want to work in a school as a classroom teacher.  The guide has been written by a team of experienced university careers advisers and covers two main pathways:  roles which involve teaching, but not in mainstream education; and roles within the broader education sector.

For a lighter read, Target Jobs has a useful article called ‘Alternative careers in education’. Their options include training and development, careers and education guidance, family support and advocacy, and adult and community education.

You may of course need to boost your career chances with a further qualification at diploma or post graduate level. Some options for further training or postgraduate qualifications which you can add to your initial teacher training are covered on Target Jobs.

For general research, Prospects has a list of Job profiles which you can browse by sector or job title. Each job role is profiled and gives some useful factual information about the qualifications, skills and experience needed. The National Careers Service’s Job Profiles is a good resource too, and has interesting job market information.

Finally, remember you will have developed a whole range of useful transferable skills all of which will be relevant to other careers. If you need some help identifying these, don’t forget you can contact Careers at careers@cumbria.ac.uk

 

 

TEDx is coming to the University of Cumbria!

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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.

 

When

Thursday 5th May 2016 at 18.30 until 21.30

 

Where

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

 

Tickets

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)

 

Graduate spring fair

Looking for an exciting graduate position? Unsure of what you want to do after graduation?

Come to the Spring Graduate Fair at the University of London. The fair is a chance for students and graduates to meet with scores of prospective employers and postgraduate training providers from a wide range of sectors.

The Spring Graduate Fair is the only national graduate recruitment fair held in the spring term and will enable you to meet face-to-face with up to 70 top employers and recruiters from a wide range of sectors. You can network with their representatives, give them your CV and find out more about their graduate opportunities. Past exhibitors have included KPMG, Jaguar, British Airways and Sky. To find out who the exhibitors will be this year, click here for more information.

Remember to print out a few copies of your CV to have on hand!

As well fantastic networking opportunities, there will also be presentations by career Consultants on the essential topics to kickstart your graduate career. Previous topics have included ‘how to best answer difficult interview questions’ and ‘how to write a great CV’. Entry for these is free and will be operated on a first come first serve basis.

There will also be a CV surgery on offer, enabling you to check that you are marketing yourself appropriately and that your CV is on track. These will be delivered in blocks of fifteen minutes and will be run by Careers Consultants from the University of London.

The event is free and you can turn up on the day, but to save time it’s worth registering first online. Registering online also means you receive the latest updates and special information to help you get the most from the day.

 

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5 Tips for using your careers service at University

I found this really useful post over on the Enterprise blog, and thought it would be good to share with our readers. You can view the original post on the Enterprise blog here.
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Taking advantage of your university’s careers service is extremely important, but the reality is that a vast majority of students don’t even visit, and most of them don’t even think about making the most of what they offer until they are in the final year of university.

University is supposed to prepare you for a career, and one of the ways that they do this is to make sure that you get all the support during your degree to find a job. Many universities continue to offer this service to new graduates, sometimes up to two years later depending on where you studied.

Here are five great things that you can get help with when you visit your university career service.

Find a direction

Some people, like dentists, doctors or nurses, have a degree that normally leads into a specific job. But if you are still a little bit confused about all the options available to you, then it is worth booking a consultation with your career advisor well before you start your final year.

For your initial meeting, they will find out a little more about what you are up to and the things you enjoy. They can tell you more about different industries and types of roles you could explore. If you go early enough you can arrange placements and internships that could help you understand which career you should pursue after graduation.

Internships

Most companies and recruiters who are looking for students to take part in their internship programmes will ensure that they share opportunities with careers services around the country, so they are a great resource to help you find a summer internship or an industrial placement.

It’s certainly worth going to meet them. It might be that you haven’t yet developed the right skills or have not thought about other possibilities when it comes to where you could spend your internship. By sitting down with a careers advisor and telling them your career plans you can find something that suits your future plans.

Mentoring

One of the best ways to find your way in the career market is to speak to someone who’s already applied for graduate jobs and internships and has ‘inside’ knowledge about the kind of work you hope to do. Universities have access to a great pool of alumni who work in all different fields, and some of them offer to mentor graduates from their university.

Because you have a shared connection, it makes it easier to be invited to networking opportunities and to help you make those connections that you’ll need once you start looking for a job. It’s also a great way to find out more about the recruitment process at companies that you want to work for.

Interview and CV skills

Writing a resume isn’t a skill that you’re born with, but something you develop. Some universities will offer one-to one sessions for CVs, whilst others will arrange classes so that you can work in a group and find out more about presentation skills, what to include and how to pen the perfect cover letter.

Interview technique is also an important skill to develop. If you can, book a mock interview session –  this is a great way of getting some practice in before the big day, and especially important for those who haven’t had a lot of interview experience.

Starting your own business

The career service might look like it focuses on finding graduate trainee positions for students, but they offer some more alternative services too. If you’ve got a great idea to start your own company or want to find out more about loans, business planning and how to start out in general, then the team will be happy to help you with that as well.

Don’t forget that you can find plenty of careers and employability advice on Enterprise’s website, from job application tips to interview techniques. Make sure you also visit the Enterprise website if you’re looking for internship opportunities or graduate management trainee roles.

Building a Portfolio Career

Today’s guest post is from Sam Curran, an alumni of the University of Cumbria. Today Sam is talking about portfolio careers. Take it away, Sam!

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When you graduate, it can be quite a tough thing to consider what you want to do with your life. There are numerous routes and avenues which graduates explore. Some want to head for the stars and travel, whilst others may even go into a field that their degree is not to do with. Then there are people like me who want a portfolio career.

A portfolio career is where you do not have one fixed job, instead carrying out a number of roles, which could be completely unrelated to each other. It could be 2 or 3 things or for some people their repertoire can stretch to doing more than 5 jobs, which is quite astounding. Quite different from the normal 9 till 5 grind, which can put people into a routine which may not be good for them, although there is a clear division between work and play, which a portfolio career does not really allow for.

I think I have always known that I wanted to do different things in life although it is something that may take me a little time to get the correct balance. Building a portfolio career initially can be pretty tough as you try and put things in place but it does get easier over time. Some people may have the impression that a portfolio career involves doing all freelance work, but this is not strictly true. I think in the future it will probably involve a mixture of freelance and part time work hopefully in a school for me or maybe somewhere else. Things take time to come to fruition and all great things are worth waiting for I suppose.

You have to build up your skills in certain areas first and learn the ropes as well. It also involves having the ability to work on your own, something which I found hard at first, but not anymore as I actually enjoy the quiet and relaxation and I feel a lot better about things now. Hopefully I will enjoy all the things in my burgeoning portfolio career which are at the moment: proofreading, writing, tutoring (maybe some teaching), casual youth work and maybe being a counselor in the future. I think a mixture of things in life keeps things interesting – at least it does for me! Even within the things that I do I like variety – such as writing: I write essays, blog posts and I am even writing my own book at the moment about how I got free from a mental illness. At least at the start having a portfolio career is quite tough as you start to build your life and put things in place. However, things get easier over time as your abilities improve. You learn new skills and you get more opportunities as well.

I have definitely become more resilient as well in building my portfolio career as I have finally learned to work on my own, which is something I have struggled with in the past. It can be quite a solitary pursuit with some of the work I do although I imagine that as I build more things into my life that involve people and get a balance of being on my own and with people then things will improve. Actually I am comfortable being on my own now and quite like that. That said, it is nice to get out of the house though. Sometimes I wish I had the opportunity to go and work somewhere else. When I lived in Lancaster I frequently used the twenty four hour library and it was great, I could just go there whenever I felt like it and quite enjoyed myself, regardless of whether people were there or not. It gave me somewhere to go, a definitive place to go each day where I knew I could get out of the house.

I now live in Darlington in the North East and there is nowhere here that quite has the facilities that the library in Lancaster does, but I am going to move somewhere different in the future, hopefully with a place to go to do my work and plenty of other opportunities as well.

The key to a good life is balance, variety and eradicating all the negative thoughts that you get. I have even started practicing mindfulness which means you stay in the present moment more, something which has allowed me to enjoy life more. I would recommend a portfolio career to anyone. It might be hard at first, but it certainly is going to be worth it in the end.

By Sam Curran

Sam has his own proofreading business. He charges from £3.00 per 1,000 words. He can help with style and content as well as grammatical and formatting issues. Sam has proofread for 6 years and has proofread pieces of work from Undergraduate to PHD level as well as editing CVs, job applications and personal statements. The business has its own Facebook page ‘Efficient Editing’ which you can contact Sam through. You can also get in touch with Sam by emailing him at samcurran@live.co.uk

 

 

 

The Careers Team are going to be famous!

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Well, OK, so Anna from the careers team is appearing on the Money Talks programme tonight on BBC Radio Cumbria – so I suppose you could say the careers team will be famous, for an hour at least!

Anna has been invited onto the programme tonight by Adam Powell, who will be interviewing her for his recruitment special. It’s timely given that the academic year is drawing to an end and students are now looking for employment. It’s a great opportunity for the University to be represented on the programme and gives us a chance to talk about all of the opportunities available for graduates, especially those opportunities that are right here in Cumbria!

Some of the areas we hope to cover include: What are the skills needed to secure that job once you have your qualifications? How competitive is the jobs market for graduates at the moment? Where are University of Cumbria graduates finding employment?

If you want to hear Anna talk about recruitment and graduate prospects (and probably ramble off on a tangent about toast or something) then you can tune in to BBC Radio Cumbria at 6.00 pm tonight! You can listen live at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiocumbria

P.S. Anna will be tweeting from the Careers account tonight as well, so for lots of behind the scenes photos and tweets follow us @UoCCareers – if there is anything you want us to ask Adam, please feel free to tweet us a question!!