Careers for Undergrads: What To Do In Your First Year
- Follow your interests: become an active member of a QMUL society. Look for a position on the committee in your 2nd/3rd year.
- Get skills on-campus building experience through QProjects or QMSU volunteering. See our work experience hub for ideas.
- Try to get 100 hours of work experience by the end of your first year (that is approx. 3 weeks). This could be paid or voluntary, part-time in term time or holiday work. It might be related to your course or it might not, but will still be building you some great transferable skills.
- Write a CV and use it to secure that 100 hours of work experience.
- If you think you might be interested in business/finance/banking/law – as early as autumn & spring, look out for First Year Insight Weeks run by many of the big name firms.
Careers for Undergrads: What To Do In Your Second Year
- Be curious – look around & ask lots of questions about jobs you see around you or read about.
- Become more self-aware… What interests you? What do you enjoy; What are you good at? What do you not enjoy?
- Continue to build work experience whether on campus or off… even if not directly relevant to a future career, it will definitely give you transferable skills
- Networking – start to think about your network & how to use it and expand it
- Explore job options by attending careers events & skills workshops.
- Take on extra roles - sit on a committee, be a course rep or QMUL student ambassador.
- Use your summer to get an advertised internship, or write to companies and try to set up your own. www.studentladder.co.uk has a useful list of companies offering internships in diverse sectors from publishing to banking - remember to start looking in the early autumn of your 2nd year.
Careers for Undergrads: What To Do In Your Final Year
- Identify graduate scheme vacancies and apply as early as possible. Many open in August/September and some close in November! Pick up a copy of The Guardian UK300 from Careers & Enterprise in WG3, for 300 UK companies offering grad schemes across many disciplines.
- Not sure what to do? Get thinking with Prospects Planner
- Visit the Careers & Enterprise Centre for one to one advice & guidance, CV/application form checks and mock interviews
- Visit the Careers & Enterprise website for practice psychometric tests, mock interview simulator and assessment centre workshops and information.
- Identify opportunities with smaller companies offering graduate level jobs rather than schemes.
- Apply for postgraduate courses if you are interested in an academic career or your career of choice requires further study.
Masters Students: Get Your Career on Track
If you want to get a graduate job at the end of your Masters (as opposed to continuing in academia), your campaign should start at the beginning of your MA programme.
Large Organisations Graduate Schemes
- A good place to start your research is with a hard copy of The Guardian UK300 (does not exist online – collect from Careers & Enterprise in Queens Building WG3), which highlights the top 300 UK employers, their different schemes & the all important deadlines - many of which will be before Christmas.
- Remember big corporates need people in all disciplines – so a tech company still needs great staff to work in HR, Marketing, Business Management etc. Explore beyond the obvious…
- Read Applications Advice
Law & Teaching
- Look out for events early in the autumn term to help start your campaign, such as ‘Law Careers for Non-Law Students’ on October 13th and activities run by Teach First, Ark & other teaching organisations.
Interesting areas, often without formal graduate schemes…
- Read our Getting Into… guides. Careers covered include Publishing & Journalism; Marketing, Advertising, PR & Events; Charities, Development & Human Rights; and Politics, Think Tanks & Government.
- Fine tune your CV and draft an outline COVER LETTER
- Build a long TARGET LIST of organisations that work in the area you are interested in, prioritise the list and 1) check website regularly for opportunities and 2) approach them directly even if no roles advertised.
- Earlier in the academic year, look to still build experience/contacts: use the fact that you are still a student - it is a fantastic opportunity to write & ask for work experience, work shadowing, even the chance to come in & discuss what their job involves
- Later in the academic year, approach them for a graduate role: always do your research, find something that the organisation is doing & show how that relates to your interests; don’t forget to describe your motivation for getting in touch.
- Use an organisation’s website and/or LinkedIn, to always find a named person to write to.
- Don’t be surprised if you have to write 50-100 letters to get a useful response!
- Be persistent, follow up an approach with an email after 2 weeks.
Still not sure what to do?
- Try Prospects Planner … it will give you food for thought & some areas to go off & research
- Think as widely as possible – research job areas you know about, but also research companies/organisations that attract/inspire you and look at what roles for graduates exist in those organisations… there will be many jobs out there that you probably don’t know exist.
- Book a 1:1 guidance appointment with a Careers Consultant to kickstart your thinking, book an appointment by calling us on 020 7882 8533 or drop into WG3, Queens’ Building.
Know what you want to do, but concerned your CV experience is weak?
- Even in your MA year, it is not too late to build your CV if you are prepared to work hard, whether through regular part-time work, an internship, or QProjects, which offers a fantastic opportunity to volunteer for a charity to solve a particular organisational need.
- Book a 1:1 guidance appointment with a Careers Consultant to help identify gaps & craft a plan of action…
Finally, the Basics:
- Always personalise your CV & Cover letter to maximise relevance to each organisation. Consider mailing old-fashioned paper copies, more unusual and harder to ignore than an email!
- Get CVs, Cover letters & Applications checked with an Applications Advisor in the Careers & Enterprise team, call us on 020 7882 8533 or drop in to WG3, Queen’s Building to book an appointment.
- INTERVIEWS… visit Careers & Enterprise on QMPlus for an interactive interview simulator, visit QMUL Careers for more interview resources AND book a Mock Interview with a Careers Consultant by calling us on 020 7882 8533 or drop into WG3, Queens’ Building.
English graduates can go into a huge variety of jobs, as you have a range of skills developed through your degree such as persuasive communications skills, creativity, presentation skills & critical analysis. Jobs that previous English QM students have gone on to do include:
Junior Producer ITN Script Reader Writers Avenue Editorial Assistant Dazed & Confused Magazine Research Assistant Tatler Programme Compiler Channel 4 Global Mobility Project Assistant Diageo Marketing Coordinator News Quest Ltd Online News Reporter The Independent Radio Presenter Vibe FM Training Intern Historic Royal Palaces
QM Getting into... Guides