Category Archives: work experience

Paid Placements: Eco Innovation Internships

Paid internships with local businesses

The Enterprise & Business Development team at the University of Cumbria are running two business support programmes that are recruiting students to work with local businesses on innovation research projects.

Opportunities

  • We are recruiting for short term internships – 20 days (140 hrs) maximum
  • You will be paid @ £7.90/hr

The type of project will depend on the individual businesses and will give you the opportunity to focus on a new idea or particular issue that a company has. You will be supported by an academic and someone in the business.

Benefits

  • Get paid for conducting a research based project with business
  • Link it to your dissertation
  • Apply your learning and demonstrate your creativity
  • Gain insights into business challenges and how to respond
  • Enhance your business skills working alongside and learning from colleagues in the workplace
  • Further develop your employability skills such as communication, team working and organisational skills in the workplace
  • Develop your network and get connected by collaborating with local businesses

How to apply

Current Opportunities: 

Undergraduate Internship with Modular Build Solutions (MBS) – closes midnight, Monday 15 January 2018. Download the MBS Application Pack which includes advert, job description and application form.

Undergraduate Internship with Twoey Educational Resources – closes midnight, Friday 26 January 2018. Download the Twoey Application Pack which includes advert, job description and application form.

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Change 100 – Open for applications now!

 

Change100 brings together the UK’s top employers and talented students and graduates to offer three months of paid work experience.

Change100 is for talented students and graduates with disabilities or long-term health conditions — including physical, visual or hearing impairments, mental health conditions and learning disabilities and difficulties like dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Since its launch in 2014, Change100 has partnered with over 90 employers across the UK to host interns including Barclays, the BBC, Skanska, Lloyds and Taylor Wimpey.

Website – https://www.leonardcheshire.org/support-and-information/life-and-work-skills-development/employment-programmes/change100

Online information sessions:

There are some online information and support sessions being held on Tuesday 12 December and Wednesday 17 January. Find out more here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/change100-digital-information-support-sessions-tickets-38933215295

How to apply:

The deadline for applications to the scheme is 24 January 2018 at midday. More information for applicants can be found here – https://www.leonardcheshire.org/support-and-information/life-and-work-skills-development/employment-programmes/change100/students

Why you need to start thinking about work experience

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Work experience may no longer be compulsory for school-goers in England, but it is essential for the new job seeker. So dire is the recent situation, with increasing numbers of students emerging from university inexperienced, the Scottish Funding Council have set out new guidelines to ensure grads are prepared for the workplace. But why bother with an internship, when you could be sinking pints with the rest of your friends?

Truth is, if you want to get a job straight out of uni, you have to have some kind of work history behind you. Research from Highfliers shows that almost half of recruiters expect previous work experience in a serious candidate. Those without must go without. And it makes sense; why would you hire someone untried and untested, when you’ve got a more proven candidate applying for the same position?

Forget applications: experience itself can be the best route to a full-time role. Up to 80% of today’s jobs are filled through networking, and where are you going to find useful connections working in your field? In a company you’re already employed at, of course.

Finally, it’s much easier to succeed at job interview if you’re already in a temporary position elsewhere. Fact is, job hunts are easier for people who already have jobs. Counterintuitive it may seem, but who are you going to bet on: somebody who is currently employed, and thus must be capable to some degree, or the down-and-out whom nobody else has gone for?

So don’t be the last kid picked for the netball team. Get an internship or some work experience today, and maximise your potential.

Susanna Quirke writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment firm which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse internship London, visit our website.

 

Career interview: how I became a Copywriter?

This week Careers have been talking again to staff at The Entertainer to find out how their career journeys began, and what advice they would give to graduates interested in pursuing a similar path. This is what we found out from Alex Magee, copywriter at The Entertainer.Alex Magee

What did you study at university and what impact did it have on your career path?

I studied English Literature and Journalism. Both subjects rely heavily on writing, punctuation and sticking to deadlines – things that provide a good foundation for a career in copywriting.

What work experience did you undertake per landing a permanent position?

I did placements at various newspapers whilst completing my journalism degree.

Did you take part in any societies while at university, and if so, did you learn any valuable skills from your time?

I used to write for the student newspaper. It’s something I’d definitely recommend if you’re interested in a career that involves a lot of creative writing.

What advice do you have for those who are just starting university right now?

Do a subject you will enjoy. It sounds obvious but you’ll be amazed at the number of people who drop out because they chose something they hated. Also, try not to procrastinate too much. The last thing you want is starting a 15,000 word essay the day before a deadline when you’ve had all term to do it!

How important is a brand’s culture when choosing positions to apply for?

Very important. You spend more time at work than with family and friends so it’s got to be an environment that will get the best out of you.

 What is the most challenging part of your current role?

Juggling all the different projects and making sure everything’s done before the deadlines.

Don’t forget to contact Careers on careers@cumbria.ac.uk if you want some help with your career planning and job seeking. Alex mentioned how important it is to get experience, and we can help with this too.

Career interview with the Head of Online and Digital at The Entertainer

This week we have been talking to Rob Wood, Head of Online and Digital at The Entertainer to find out about his career journey and what tips he would give to students who are keen to develop careers in ecommerce.Rob Wood

What did you study at university and what impact did it have on your career path?

English. I started my ecommerce career focussing on online content so it gave me a good grounding in how audiences respond to language.

What work experience did you undertake per landing a permanent position?

I did lots of odd jobs – silver service waiting, accounts payable, reporting on non-league football matches. I didn’t have a master plan for what I wanted to do but it gave me a good flavour of different workplaces and cured me of any interest in working in accountancy.

Did you take part in any societies while at university, and if so, did you learn any valuable skills from your time?

I played a lot of sport which develops great skills for most career paths – teamwork, communication, competitiveness.

What advice do you have for those who are just starting university right now?

You’ll never have so much spare time again so make the most of it. And enjoy yourself.

How important is a brand’s culture when choosing positions to apply for?

Really important and it’s definitely worth asking lots of questions about it when you interview. There are advantages and disadvantages of working everywhere – understanding what they are and adapting to them is the key to succeeding. So ask the person interviewing to talk you through the culture as it will help you decide whether it’s a place you will do well.

What is the most challenging part of your current role?

Deciding where the priorities are. There are 1000s of possible ways to grow our online sales and my job is to decide which ones are the most time and cost-effective. Because technology is changing so quickly it’s impossible to predict how customers will shop in a couple of years’ time, so our strategy is to find low risk projects that keep us up to date with the latest trends in online shopping and communication but allow us to react quickly if things change.

Has your role changed, or have your responsibilities evolved, as you’ve worked for The Entertainer?

My role has changed a lot. When I joined The Entertainer I was running a small online content team. Over the last five years I’ve gradually taken on responsibility for user experience, commercial performance and online marketing and I now lead a team of 15.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting career interviews with some of Rob’s colleagues: a  Copywriters, an Online Merchandiser, and a Content and Social Media Assistant. The interviews are all about what they learned at university, the impact it had on their careers and their advice for current students. Watch this space!

 

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.

 

Looking for a part-time casual job? Does your CV fit the bill?

2 bar work Are you looking for a part-time job in a shop, bar or restaurant? Dropping off your CV in person and asking to speak to the manager can be an effective strategy.  First impressions really count, particularly if you are dressed appropriately and you come across as confident, personable and enthusiastic.  A prospective employer will be impressed by your initiative and motivation too.

It’s a good idea to have a CV that you can leave with them. Even if they don’t have a vacancy at the time, you can always ask to be kept on file and you may well find that you get a phone call out of the blue.

However, don’t leave them your main graduate CV. Create a different shorter version that fits the type of employer you are targeting.

Here are some tips about what to leave out and what you should be emphasising instead.

  • Make sure your CV is easy to follow and looks professional. Don’t overcrowd with too much text and don’t make it any longer than one or two sides of A4.
  • Make sure your contact details are obvious. Your contact telephone numbers and email need to be clearly stated at the top of your CV.
  • Remember what you want your CV to do for you! Make it obvious who you are eg a reliable and hard-working student seeking a part-time job in a customer facing role. Write a short personal profile (no more than 50 words) that states clearly what you can offer and what you want.
  • Put your work experience section before your academic one. It’s always a good idea on a CV to position each section in order of importance for the type of job you want. So after a short personal profile, a section describing your work experience will be of more interest to a pub manager for example than details about your degree subject. For graduate jobs, the order will be different, as your academic background is likely to be your ‘main selling point’.
  • Make sure your relevant work experience is clearly stated and easy to find. If you have relevant experience, mention this in your profile, and then expand on it more fully in a section called ‘work experience’.
  • What does a prospective employer want from a student seeking a part-time job in a bar/shop/café etc? Use phrases and words that resonate with the hospitality and retail sector. A prospective employer will want to know that you ‘enjoy dealing with customers’ or ‘know how to create a welcoming friendly atmosphere’, or ‘have the tact and diplomacy to deal with demanding customers’, ‘have a flexible approach to work’ etc
  • Only include relevant information. Reduce or even leave out completely complex detail about your degree course and subject specialisms. A busy shop manager doesn’t have the time to read about your dissertation choice or course modules for example. It may even put them off! You can mention what you are studying and where (eg Accounting and Finance student) but give this less prominence than you would give to it on your graduate CV.
  • Demonstrate that you have the skills needed to work in a shop/bar etc. Position your ‘employment section’ after your ‘personal profile’ and expand on any part-time paid or voluntary jobs you have had previously. Use bullet points to describe duties and responsibilities such as handling money, preparing and serving food/drinks, helping customers find the goods they want. This shows that you could potentially hit the ground running.
  • Promoting your transferable skills and personal qualities. If you have no previous work experience, then promote your transferable skills and personal attributes that demonstrate your suitability and employability. For example, that you get on well with people and can work well in a team; that you are reliable and responsible, confident and articulate. Mention extra-curricular activities that might show off your people and team-working skills.

If you haven’t had a part-time job before, then taking the plunge and making a speculative visit really could pay off. People respond to people, and if you are charming, friendly and smart, you could just be what they are looking for.

Finally don’t forget the careers team can support you with CV writing and looking for jobs. Contact us on  careers@cumbria.ac.uk