Category Archives: volunteering

The value of transferable skills by UoC English and Creative Writing student Holly Morrow

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Whether you’re building up your cv or trying your best to sell yourself at a job interview, it’s important to keep in mind what your future employer wants to hear from you. You might not necessarily have experience in the specific job your applying for, but that does not necessarily mean that you’re not capable for the role. Transferable skills are a great way of showcasing your strengths and abilities in a number of ways regardless of experience, and are most definitly something important to remember when it comes to applying for jobs.

So what are transferable skills? Reed.co.uk says: “Transferable skills are a core set of skills and abilities, which can be applied to a wide range of different jobs and industries” These can come from a range of experiences, from volunteering you may have done in the past or hobbies which require a certain level of ability.

How do these skills relate to my time at university? From participating in lectures to taking part in societies, university can play a vital role in building up your skill set and getting you some good talking points at an interview. Working as part of a team is something many employers are looking for, and is something you can definitely tie in to your time at university. Group work, though it can be something students dread at the time, is a great example you can give to employers about your ability to work together with others. Perhaps certain members couldn’t make certain meetings or didn’t pull their weight? You can reflect on how you worked around these difficulties and adapted to working with a group. You can also highlight your communication skills: maybe you decided to delegate various roles within your group, you can talk about how you were able to discuss the roles and decide on who was best for each position. The end result of some group work can be presentations, and in this case you can impress your future employers by reflecting on your verbal communication, or how you used your organisational skills to put together slides in a specific order to make sure you communicated your points clearly. You can also mention how you balanced your argument with counter points, showing your employer that you have research skills and the ability to express yourself clearly.

Another example could be participating in a university society. Maybe you were delegated a health and safety role. You can show responsibility by reflecting on how you had to do prior checks on venues for events, making sure they are accessible and a safe meeting place for students. You can show teamwork in meetings when discussing events you may planned to create. Here we can see a number of elements coming into play: creativity, events management, organisation, teamwork. All these are transferable skills which can put to work in various job roles. By reflecting on these skills in an interview you are able to show a number of attributes contributing to your working identity. Just talking about these skills will in turn showcase your ability to communicate points clearly and it will become evident that you are a good candidate for the job.

If you’re a bit stuck on finding what transferable skills you may have, you can also research online based on your previous work experiences, or even specific to your particular degree. There is also the Careers and Employability department which are there to help you and get you started in your working life. Make use of the services the university can provide, from mock interviews to personalised appointments, the careers department is a great stepping stone in your career development.

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Friday Featured Vacancy: Volunteer Mentor at Shelter

shleter

Would you like to be a Mentor for a Large National Charity working with Offenders on a brand new project?

Do you have an interest in supporting offenders or the Criminal Justice Sector?

Do you want to use your skills and experience to help others?

If so get in touch! Shelter is currently recruiting mentors in Cumbria and Lancashire to provide clients with an offending history with practical assistance around a variety of issues and to act as a positive role model. The aim of the service is to assist people who want to improve their life skills and create positive opportunities for their development.

Benefits of Mentoring

  • Experience working within the Criminal Justice Sector
  • Enhances your CV, we can help you to update this and will provide references if you leave
  • Opportunities to progress into paid employment

Full training and support will be offered to all Volunteer Mentors. If you are interested, please contact Leanne Fretwell 07580 140450

TTGvolunteering@shelter.org.uk

This is a voluntary position that supports the work of our services and is not replacing the work of a paid member of staff.

 

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – People First

People First Vacancy of the week

People First have a variety of vacancies closing on 10 June for advocacy and other related posts.

People First is an independent customer-led organisation that has worked in Cumbria for over 25 years. They have a deep understanding of the area, the communities and the unique challenges.

They are the largest provider of Advocacy in Cumbria, supporting thousands of people every year to have their voices heard and helping them to live their best lives. Their independence is very important to them, they are not run or controlled by any other service.

People First are a passionate organisation which dedicates itself to representing people’s views, they are dynamic and courageous and not afraid to stand up and be counted.

Fundraising Officer – Carlisle/Workington

Book Keeper – Workington

Bank Sessional Researchers

Board Member – Voluntary

Volunteer Receptionist – Carlisle/Barrow/Workington

Volunteer Independent Advocates – Carlisle/Barrow/Workington

Volunteer Self Advocacy Support Workers – Carlisle/Barrow/Workington

 

For more information and to apply for these roles please visit http://www.peoplefirstcumbria.org.uk/our-vacancies

#UoCMedia Industry Day: Why Work Experience is Important and How to Get It

 

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There are many ways to gain relevant work experience in the media industry and they don’t all involve traveling to London!

I recently represented the University of Cumbria at a BBC Digital and Creative Careers Day at Media City in Salford. One of the biggest things I took from the day is the need for graduates applying for training schemes, jobs and freelance work to have relevant work experience.

 

How much experience should I have?

As a current student or recent graduate you are not expected to have years of experience in the sector you want to work in. Instead, you need to demonstrate that you are committed and interested in working in your intended field. You can do this by attending relevant work experience, reflecting on what you have learned and asking for a letter of recommendation from the employers you work for.

Work experience opportunities can range for a day’s shadowing, a week or two, a few months or a longer-term internship. With such a wide variety of opportunities available it is important to focus on the quality and relevance of a work experience placement rather than the amount of placements you do.

 

How to get relevant work experience:

  • Send a CV and covering letter to companies and ask for shadowing/work experience
  • Make your own content
  • Volunteer for university or community radio and TV
  • Apply for advertised work experience

 

It’s all about the money…

Some work experience opportunities will be paid, others may not be. If you are planning to take part in unpaid work experience I suggest deciding (before you apply) under what circumstances you will work for free and for how long.

Think about: what benefits you will receive, what skills and experiences you will gain, if you have done the same thing or something similar already, how much it will cost you, when you are available, if you can get funding and how it will benefit your career.

When thinking about if you should take part in an unpaid placement consider:

  • Are you being asked to do work that you would usually be paid for?
  • When you are on placement are you doing the same work as paid staff members and are you being given responsibility for work?
  • Are you being asked to take on an unpaid placement for more than 6 weeks?

If the answer to any of the above is yes the placement offered should be a paid one.

Note – we know it can sometimes be difficult to judge whether a work experience placement should be paid or not. If you are unsure you can e-mail careers@cumbria.ac.uk for advice.

 

I have included a list of work experience opportunities below and some information on the upcoming Media Industry Day on Wednesday 13 April 2016.

 

Good Luck!

Kathryn Jones

Careers and Employability Coordinator

University of Cumbria

Careers and Employability Service

 

 

#UoCMedia Industry Day

Wednesday 13 April 2016 – 9am to 4.15pm – Brampton Road Campus (registration at main reception)

Find more information here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/media-industry-day-tickets-23238632375?platform=hootsuite

Registration has now closed but UoC students are welcome to just come along on the day.

 

 

Media Careers – Work Experience Opportunities:

 

BBC Work Experience

There are four application windows every year and each one will last two weeks.

Various Locations

www.bbc.co.uk/careers

 

ITV Insight

There are four windows of opportunity to apply each year, with the Insight Programme open in January, April, July and October.

Various locations

www.itvjobs.com

 

Discover Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife welcomes work experience students for a period of one week throughout the year.

www.discoverwildlife.com/work-experience

 

C4 Pop Up Events

C4 Pop Up is a day of industry talks, creative workshops and down to earth careers advice and support from Channel 4. Dates for the London, Belfast and Cardiff events are already up with more to follow.

http://4talent.channel4.com/4talent-days

 

Event Volunteer Quays Festival 2016

Quays Culture – North West England

Deadline – 30 June 2016

www.artsjobs.org.uk

 

Volunteer Venue Assistants and Festival Runners

Bradford Literature Festival – Yorkshire

Deadline – 6 May 2016

www.artsjobs.org.uk

 

Event Steward

Wild Rumpus – Staffordshire

Deadline – 18 April 2016

www.artsjobs.org.uk

 

Treasurer

Lake District Summer Music – Cumbria

Deadline 25 May 2016

www.artsjobs.org.uk

 

Volunteer media opportunities at the Animal Refuge and Carlisle Youth Zone

Cumbria

Contact Max Evans-Kirkman – mekmedia@outlook.com

 

Mullholland Media

Cumbria

Contact David Mulholland (Company Director) for potential work experience opportunities

david@mulhollandmedia.co.uk

07770 676766 / 07879 444443

www.mulhollandmedia.co.uk

www.monsteraerial.com

 

Cloudscape Studios

Cumbria

Contact Lou Kneath Gibson (Company Director) to find out more

lou@cloudscapestudios.com

07521 295534

www.cloudscapestudios.com

 

 

Useful Contacts

 

Careers and Employability Service

Contact us for CV, application and personal statement feedback, careers appointments, career planning, help finding placements and graduate jobs.

www.cumbria.ac.uk/careers

careers@cumbria.ac.uk

 

Student Enterprise

If you are thinking about starting your own business, whether it’s for profit or not, we can help and support you all the way.

01228 888734

Sylvia.grainger@cumbria.ac.uk

www.cumbria.ac.uk/studententerprise

 

5 Common Regrets of University Graduates

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When a major life chapter comes to an end we often find ourselves in a state of reflection. What went well? What would I do differently, if I had the chance?

Ideally, we would soak up wisdom from those who have been there, done it and got the t-shirt and do things differently as a consequence.

This post by Francesca Turner is about just that! If you are a prospective or current university student then read on to find out what graduates are saying they would do differently if they could do it all over again.

1) Network more; we are all potential work colleagues

This is simply about getting to know the people you are studying with. They are quite possibly entering the same field of work as you and could help in the future by;

  • Introducing you to employers and job openings
  • giving you a personal recommendation on Linked In

That guy you don’t speak to in your Global Business module might be the CEO of that company you really want to work for in 10 years’ time. They won’t have a great impression of you if you blanked them for 3 years!

Plus, getting to know new people is actually fun! University is a chance to mix with people you might not normally meet and this often leads to lifelong friendships.

2) Spend more time with peers sharing good practice and learning from those with experience

 Many tasks in the real world require team-work so university is a great chance to learn about your strengths and developmental points in this area.

We all process information differently and a classmate might be able to describe Contemporary Social Theory to you perfectly in a way you understand, whilst you pick out holes in the arguments in their Human Rights essay.

Maybe one of your peers has relevant real life work experience in the field you are studying and could add a lot to your understanding of a topic area.

3) Get stuck into some voluntary work

Research shows that students are more engaged with their studies if they are applying knowledge alongside academic work.

Don’t worry if your course doesn’t include work experience as there are loads of volunteer opportunities out there (try www.do-it.org) and local companies are often happy to hear from students willing to offer their skills.

Even if you are unsure what you want to do in the future then any work experience which interests you can build your transferable skills, open you up to new career areas and provide you with a bank of examples for interview situations.

4) Realise what a privilege it is to be able to study a subject you love

Many students report they feel that they rushed through their degree’s and wished they had taken more time enjoying their subject.

Only once the experience was over did they wish they had viewed their degree as a chance to read a subject they loved rather than a means to an end.

Think about the following (avoiding career/ salary related reasons) and write down your thoughts;

  • why did you choose your subject?
  • what do you love about it?

Pin it up somewhere you can see it every day. This can help you re-connect with your subject and reignite your passion.

5) Find out which support services are available

Many students report they discovered these when it was too late but recognised thier value.

Services usually on offer are;

  • careers and enterprise
  • disability
  • study skills
  • health and wellbeing
  • counselling

A search online on your university website will provide you with further information and contact details.

 Reflections

  • If you are a graduate what would you do differently if you could have your time again?
  • Current students- has this changed your perspective in any way?

UoCCareers

5 Common Regrets of University Graduates

You are probably a lot more employable than you realise

As well as gaining lots of academic knowledge during your time at university, you will also be developing  highly relevant employability skills that can be transferred to the workplace. Do you know how to unpick the ones that matter most to employers, and demonstrate the necessary proof?

This blog highlights two employability skills that employers consider are  particularly important, and shows some of the occasions during your time at university where you will have demonstrated and developed transferable skills. You can use these examples in your CV, supporting statement or a job interview, to show your employability skill.

Verbal communications skills: speaking clearly and fluently; being persuasive and empathetic.

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  • Delivering formal and informal presentations in classes and seminars
  • Acting as a student ambassador or peer mentor
  • Part-time or voluntary jobs that involve dealing with the public
  • Campaigning or organising events
  • Debating
  • Teaching or training someone to do something
  • Leading a team eg a sports team
  • Working with others on a project
  • Committee member
  • Charity work or events

Team working skills: being able to work effectively with other people to achieve an agreed outcome.

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These days there are very few job roles that don’t involve working with others, so a prospective employer will want the reassurance that you have what it takes to work effectively with other people and achieve results, meet deadlines!  Good examples might be:

  • Academic group work eg projects, joint presentations
  • Part-time jobs
  • Volunteering
  • Being a member of a committee
  • Representing your department/faculty at meetings
  • Being actively involved in sports, drama, music clubs and societies
  • Running and organising an event
  • Assisting with the running or organising of an event

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Communication and team working skills are essential to most jobs, but there are many others too which I will discuss in future blogs. In the meantime, have a look at the  UoC Career Ahead programme. Career Ahead will help you recognise and develop your talents, and help you make your job applications stand out.

 

Winter Break Volunteer Opportunities

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The holiday season is just around the corner. Get out of the cold and spend your winter break doing good on a volunteer adventure that makes a difference. Experience the true meaning of “it is better to give then receive” by joining one of GoEco’s volunteer projects. We have selected some great projects that will take your winter break from ho-hum to life-changing!

 

Provide much needed medical assistance or care for orphans in Zimbabwe, teach disadvantaged youths to surf in Cape Town, give back to communities and orphanages in Sri Lanka, or cage dive with Great White sharks in South Africa. Whether working for wildlife and environmental conservation or humanitarian aid, there is no better way to spend this holiday season than with a unique volunteering expedition. Discover the world from a new perspective in a challenging and inspiring environment.

For more information and to see the full list of opportunities, visit: http://www.goeco.org/