My summer research placements were cancelled- what I did next…

Sakina Amin, a second-year Biological Sciences student at the University of Leeds lost two exciting summer research placements at the University of Cambridge due to Covid-19. Since then, she has been engaging in online courses, working on her mental health and researching her academic areas of interest.

The cancellation of my placements made me feel really disappointed as I had worked hard to achieve them. However, I am motivated to spend  summer pursuing my research interests in molecular biology and developing computing skills as I know they will be useful in my degree studies and beyond.

After my undergraduate studies, I plan on pursuing a PhD and entering academia, so summer research experience would have benefited me tremendously. However, during these uncertain times, I have realised the importance of mental health and optimising available resources to make the most out of the situation and remain positive.

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Career concerns? We’re here to help you

Here to help

Are you worried about getting a work placement? Or maybe you’re a final year concerned about graduate jobs? If you’re worried about what the covid-19 outbreak means for your future, we can help.

We’re here to help with your queries, even at a distance!

Our experts are available for online appointments Monday-Friday 9-5 (note that we’ll be closed for the bank holiday on 25th and 26th May 2020) – so if you’ve got a question, just get in touch. It’s easy to book an appointment, just head to MyCareer.

Check out our new webpage for advice on appointments, and some links to useful resources you can use from home.

Follow @leedsunicareers on Instagram and Twitter for daily content, from Instagram Stories takeovers to our weekly opportunities thread every Monday on Twitter.

If you’re due to graduate this year, we have dedicated information and resources for you on our Class of 2020 webpages, along with a range of online events. Continue reading

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Resilience and adaptability in changing times

Road change ahead

In these constantly changing times how are we adapting?  Marc Steward, Careers Consultant gives his thoughts on the challenges faced by students for personal and professional development in these uncertain times and the support the University continues to offer.

Key skills in 2020

In what seems a lifetime ago, but was only semester one of this current academic year, I often quoted a TARGETjobs article to students in my workshops, teaching classes and guidance appointments, about what TARGETjobs predicted the key skills for 2020 would be. Included in this list were adaptability and the need to understand transferable skills.

These skills were key back then in an ever-changing world of work, dictated to by the speed of change brought about by technology. Move forward to the present day and never have those skills looked more pertinent and valuable.

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Class of 2020: Faculty of Biological Sciences finalists – what are my options?

Explore your career and study options as an FBS final year student with the help of Alison Kusinska, Employability Assistant in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

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Research so far under lockdown shows graduate hiring is down but has not ceased. The full effects are still uncertain in many areas. Effects on big graduate recruiters may be less, however, already competitive recruitment processes may be difficult to conquer. You may find opportunities in smaller companies more accessible and somewhere you are able to grow in confidence and gain experience.

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An introduction to virtual internships

Virtual internship

You may have heard of them- but what exactly are virtual internships and how do you find them?   

If you’re feeling in the dark about virtual internships this blog compiled by University of Leeds colleagues Suzie Bullock, Careers Adviser Team Leader and Alison Kusinska, Employability Assistant is a great starting point to boost your understanding.

We know the internship, placement and recruitment world has changed significantly over the last few weeks, and this may have altered or paused your plans to undertake a placement this summer and beyond. At a time when it may feel like the world is coming to a bit of a stand-still due to COVID-19, it is important to remember that many organisations are continuing to recruit, albeit slightly differently.

After an initial pause in recruitment, many internship and placement programmes are still planned to go ahead this year in the form of a virtual internship or remote working opportunity. Read on to find out more about virtual internships, how they can boost your employability and where you can begin your search for your next opportunity.

What is a virtual internship?

A virtual internship is a fixed period of online work experience (project work/tasks) or work-based training offered by an organisation lasting typically anywhere between a week and three months but could be less than a day. You should have regular meetings and support from the organisation.

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Commercial Awareness and COVID-19

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Photo by Julia M Cameron on

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the UK and global economy meaning major shifts across industry and the labour market. Jade Rogan, Careers Consultant at University of Leeds has some tips on how you can keep commercially aware to inform your career planning in these uncertain times.

There are a few different words I could use to describe the current situation COVID-19 has put us all in. Most of which I couldn’t write here. When we look at the reports of the economic impact of COVID-19 we see buzz words, ‘Economic crisis’, ‘economic fallout’, ‘recession’ bandied about by the media.

Some recent news headlines from the BBC include ‘Chancellor warns of ‘tough times’ for UK economy’, ‘South Asia faces worst economic growth in 40 years’, and, to add insult to injury, ‘’Up to 50m’ pints going to waste in empty pubs’. It’s intimidating and it’s uncertain.  No one knows for sure what will happen in the next week, three months or in twelve months time.

But the wheels keep turning for students and graduates still looking for work experience, graduate roles or to pursue further study. So amongst all of the uncertainty and the media’s worrying headlines, how can you keep up to date and stay commercially aware? Why is this more important than ever? And how can you use this to your advantage when making applications or thinking about your career plans?

We’ve got some ideas, take a look…

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Class of 2020: How might COVID-19 affect my life post-graduation?

During this challenging time, you may be feeling uncertain about what life after graduation holds. In this piece, Aaliyah Farr, Employability and Progression Assistant, reflects on recruitment trends and how you can prepare for your future.

With uncertain times ahead, this graduation season seems challenging. The idea of entering the working world with the rising anxiety surrounding COVID-19 may have left you feeling slightly lost and concerned about how to navigate the graduate job hunt.

Here are a few tips to get you thinking about how you can prepare for your next steps:

Feeling lost or demotivated?

Start by reflecting on your strengths and brainstorming your skills. Do some research to explore areas you might be interested in – Prospects and Bright Network are good starting points. You can also refer to the LeedsforLifeskillsmap- this is a useful platform that can help you to articulate your unique skillset.

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