Category Archives: careers

5 Benefits an Internship Will Give You

 

To intern or not to intern? That is the question many soon-to-be or recent graduates keep asking themselves. With repeated media coverage suggesting that internships are exploitive, many may be tempted to skip the temping.

But when done right, internships are a hugely valuable experience for young career starters. Here’s why:

1. Money

Unless you’re working for a charity or doing a placement year as part of your degree, UK companies must pay interns at least the minimum wage. Ergo, interning through your university holidays will boost your CV and your bank account.

2. Experience

58% of employers say past work experience is the most important thing they look for when hiring graduates. Just 16% cared more about degree grades. Internships are a great way to start learning these key skills in related industries.

3. Contacts

Networking is super important for your career – some studies suggest up to 85% of employees are hired through contacts. Internships will introduce you to key people in your chosen industry and give you access to great references, invaluable mentors and helpful informational interviews.

4. Try Before You Buy

Sometimes, working the job you thought you wanted may reveal that it’s not actually right for you. But quitting several permanent roles in a short space of time will make you look like a job hopper – a characteristic 40% of hiring managers mark as the biggest obstacle for job-hunters.

Internships, however, are understood to be temporary placements. That means you can get a feel for whether an industry suits you before having to commit long-term.

5. A Full-Time Job

Graduate jobs are competitive. But almost three-quarters of students with paid internships under their belt receive a job offer before graduation.

 

Beth Leslie is a career and lifestyle writer. She is also the editor of the Inspiring Interns blog, which gives graduate careers advice to career starters.

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How do I book an appointment?

 

Q: How do I book an appointment with the Careers & Employability Service?

A: First ask yourself – do I really need an appointment? We have a range of information and resources on our website and on Blackboard to help with things like CVs, personal statements, interview skills and finding work. We also have a page full of frequently asked questions which – you guessed it – answers the common queries we receive from students.

If you would still like to book an appointment, you will need to complete the questionnaire here: https://cumbria.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/appointmentrequest and a member of the team will get back to you. This is usually within 2 days, but may be up to 5 working days during busy periods.

 

 

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Visit our website for more.

Friday’s Featured Opportunity: Graduate Opportunities with Civil Service Fast Stream

 

 

Realise your potential in a place where talented people do brilliant things. The Civil Service supports the government of the day to implement its policies and deliver the public services that we all rely on. Our Fast Stream graduate programme develops people from all kinds of backgrounds, to be our leaders of the future.

We’re looking for visionaries. People with the imagination to see things not just as they are, but how they could be. Creative thinkers who can flex and adapt to a limitless range of situations. Innovative people who want to be challenged. Those with the intellect and the emotional intelligence to motivate and inspire. People who want to make a real difference to the world.

Whatever your talent, Fast Stream offers a dynamic career path, with a variety of opportunities in 15 schemes across the UK. Wherever you join us, you’ll thrive in a supportive environment, with excellent training, flexible working arrangements to ensure work/life balance and real responsibility from day one. Whoever you are, whatever your background, you’ll help to shape the decisions that touch everyone’s lives.

We’re changing along with British society, to reflect the communities we serve. In the Fast Stream, talented individuals living with a disability or health condition are supported during our assessment process, and throughout their Civil Service career.

In addition, we operate a Guaranteed Interview Scheme. If you have a disability and meet the minimum qualifying criteria for your chosen scheme, you may choose to skip part of the first stage of the assessment process.

To learn more and apply, visit www.faststream.gov.uk
Closing date: 26 October 2017.
Where will you lead?

 

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.22

Where’s Gary? Welcome Week 2017 Competition

Gary-suitcase

Gary is the Careers and Employability  Service’s gorilla mascot, and he’s been on another trip around the world – can you identify which landmarks he visited this summer?

Follow Gary around the world as he visits famous landmarks for a chance to win a £40 book token!

How to enter: Gary visited five famous landmarks on his round-the-world trip – all you have to do is identify which landmarks Gary visited from the postcards he sent home. Simply complete the form below and click submit to enter the competition.

Keep up to date with all of the latest careers news and job vacancies by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

This competition closes at midnight on Friday 29 September and is open to students at the University of Cumbria ONLY.  Terms and Conditions apply.

Summer Career Fix: Participate in your community

What are you doing this summer to help you stand out from the crowd?

Gary’s bags are packed and he’s ready to jet off to places far sunnier than Cumbria. But he’s not off for a lazy beach holiday – he’s going to be doing one small thing each week that will help in his future career. He doesn’t know what that career is just yet, but that’s ok – most of these things can be done even if you aren’t 100% sure what you want to do. And if you need some help finding your path, you can always email the Careers & Employability service for some advice and guidance: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

So what’s Gary doing this week?

It’s the last week of the Summer Career Fix, so by now you should be well on the way to improving your career!

This week, Gary is participating in conversations on social media with his network.

LinkedIn is a great place to build up your network and develop those relationships that you already have. Following companies and professional bodies on social media is one thing, but you will really begin to see the benefit once you start participating in the conversations happening on there.

We hope you enjoyed this #SummerCareerFix series. Remember that support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.

Summer Career Fix: Search jobs to identify skills

What are you doing this summer to help you stand out from the crowd?

Gary’s bags are packed and he’s ready to jet off to places far sunnier than Cumbria. But he’s not off for a lazy beach holiday – he’s going to be doing one small thing each week that will help in his future career. He doesn’t know what that career is just yet, but that’s ok – most of these things can be done even if you aren’t 100% sure what you want to do. And if you need some help finding your path, you can always email the Careers & Employability service for some advice and guidance: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

So what’s Gary doing this week?

This week, Gary is searching for graduate jobs that are similar to what he wants to do, and then using the information in the job description to identify skills and experience that he will need to develop.

This is a great way of identifying real-world skills that employers look for in your chosen career sector. It also gives you an idea of the kind of roles that are out there, what employers want, 09and will help you to understand more about the sector.

If you are doing the Career Ahead award, you can also use this role for the ‘Gold’ part of the award – find out more here.

Come back next week for the last instalment in this year’s #SummerCareerFix series.

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.

Graduate Destinations – Thomas Hanley, Reporter

Today we’ve been speaking with Thomas Hanley who graduated from the BA (Hons) English course in 2016. We asked him about getting his first graduate job as a Reporter.


Thomas Hanley – BA (Hons) English graduate, University of Cumbria

 

Where are you from originally?

I’m originally from Dumfries, Scotland.

 

What made you choose the University of Cumbria?

I was offered places at both the University of Glasgow and the University of Cumbria. I opted for Cumbria as I received a personal email from Dr. Stephen Longstaffe which detailed the strengths of my application and how he felt the course could help with my personal development.

 

Which course did you do?

BA (Hons) English

 

Why did you choose your course?

I’ve held a passion for reading and writing ever since I was a child, and felt that the English course could help me turn my passion into a future form of employment.

 

What did you like most about your course?

My favourite part of the course was engaging with peers and lecturers who held a similar passion to me. The varying forms of assessment also ensured that the course was challenging yet enjoyable, while helping me to develop into a proficient and well-rounded communicator.

 

What is your current job title?

Reporter

 

Which company do you work for?

I work for DNG Media, the largest independent publisher in Dumfries and Galloway which has four weekly newspapers, a website, and a range of specialist publications.

 

What does your role involve?

I research and write on local events and human interest stories, reporting on a wide range of subjects including politics, business, sport, entertainment, and arts and culture. I interview people in a range of different circumstances, and attend council meetings, court proceedings, and sports matches.

 

What was the application process for your job like?

I had to attach a cover letter and CV that I targeted specifically for the role I was applying for. I was then invited for my first interview.

 

How did you prepare for your interview? Any tips for others?

To prepare for the first interview, I ensured that I was aware of what DNG Media offers as a company, as well as having a strong knowledge of the areas it reaches and covers. I took time to read some of the companies’ print and online product in order to gauge what I felt its strengths were, and if I could identify any areas where I could bring fresh ideas or perspective. I also made sure I understood and could adapt the writing style DNG Media employs, as it varied greatly from the style used for academic assignments.

 

What was the interview process like?

The interview process saw me attend a first interview. I was then asked back and tasked with rewriting a police press release in house style. Finally, I was invited for a second interview, where I was subsequently offered the role.

 

Were there any surprises?

In hindsight, I feel that my knowledge of politics within the region could have been greater. Although confident in my knowledge of national politics, I should have recognised that I was applying for a role reporting on local news and therefore knowledge of politics at a local level would have been more valuable and relevant.

 

If you had to say one thing to someone aiming to get a job like yours what would it be?

I would stress the importance of taking on work experience and extracurricular activities. With the job market being as competitive as it is, especially in an occupation like journalism, a degree alone is no longer a guarantee of employment. I would also advise that being a good writer does not always equate to being a good reporter. You need to be confident and tenacious to make sure you get the story you are after, while holding the capacity to step over the line and ask the questions that many people can’t or won’t, but would love the answers to.

Want to find a job like Thomas’?

Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk for advice and support.

Find out more about your Careers and Employability Service here.