Monthly Archives: September 2014

How I got my job in PR

Jessie Powell

Jessie Powell recently graduated with a degree in Politics, and is now a PR Account Executive with KOR Communications. Here she explains how getting involved in a range of things at university helped her explore different career ideas and land her current job.

Working and earning my own money had been important to me since a young age, so when I began studying for my degree in Politics, I continued to work as a sales assistant at Paperchase, as I had done whilst at school. I was keen to develop a strong body of real work experience alongside my academic profile and this was a positive starting point for doing so.

Gaining experience to complement my studies

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How I got my placement: STEM Public Engagement Intern

TayTay-Yibah Aziz is undertaking a placement year at the University of Leeds as a Public Engagement Intern, a placement she secured through the Leeds Internship Programme. During her placement she will be working with the STEM@Leeds team in Educational Engagement in partnership with WYSTEM, coordinators of the STEM Ambassadors voluntary programme in West Yorkshire.  In this first post, she shares her experiences of securing the placement, and her learning points and advice for other students seeking placements.

Hi everyone, I’m Tay.  I’ve just finished my 2nd year doing Human Physiology and I worked very hard to gain a placement year. I knew I wanted to do a placement year as soon as the opportunity arose; I felt as though I needed some extra experience and development before graduation. I’m still unsure as to future plans after my degree and this year will give me the opportunity to become accustomed to a professional working environment and hopefully help me in the decision making process.

Do I want to get a graduate job or pursue further study?

Would I enjoy an office environment over being in labs?

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Careers advice for Masters students – start now!

Professional Development Tutor in Leeds University Business School, Marianne Savory discusses why Masters students can’t afford to wait to start planning their career.

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You arrived in Leeds a few weeks ago and are anxiously excited about the beginning of your programme.  A few people have mentioned careers and job applications but you don’t need to worry about that yet, you’ve got loads of time – right?  Wrong!

To ensure the best outcome after you finish your programme, you really need to start thinking about your career options now.

Start to think about how you might develop the skills and attributes required for your chosen career.  This will allow you to make a plan and access the most appropriate resources and opportunities whilst here in Leeds, and there will be loads available so you need to be selective and target your time accordingly. You can search for opportunities which will develop specific skills on the Leeds for Life website and check out the ‘how to develop your skills’ section of the Careers Centre website.

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You don’t have to look so far afield to find a summer internship

Sean McGibney

Sean McGibney, studying Chinese & Spanish, undertook a placement with Leeds Empties this summer through the Leeds Internship Programme. In this post, written earlier this summer, he shares his experiences of looking for and ultimately securing, a placement.  He has now completed his internship; you may also be interested in the post he wrote for Leeds Empties reflecting on his placement with them.

It was the beginning of my second year in Leeds and I was only just coming to terms with a reading list that was longer than the receipt my friend John once got when he spent £150 in Aldi. A lazy summer spent achieving not a lot had long since blown the cobwebs back on to my unproductivity and the Chinese newspaper awaiting my attention in my first lecture looked less than appealing. Had I applied for any internships yet? I most certainly had not.

Starting to think about internships

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My work placement with the Student Opportunity and Enhancement team

Helen Davies

Helen Davies, a Sports and Exercise Science student, is undertaking an industrial placement with the Student Opportunity and Enhancement team here at Leeds.  In this, her first post, she gives a summary of her role and the work of the team. This post is part of our mini-series  of themed posts about placements and work experience that we are running throughout September.

11 weeks down (already!); 41 to go. I don’t know where this summer has gone, time goes so quickly, before I know it it’s Friday again. But it really is true that you learn something new every day, even if it’s just that I need to press 9 on the phone before calling an external number!

So what have I been up to?

Well where do I start… I suppose from the beginning would be best: I’m Helen and this year I am the Student Opportunity and Enhancement (SOE) Intern here at Uni, which I secured through the Leeds Internship Programme.

What do the Student Opportunity & Enhancement team do?

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How I got my placement at a Geotechnical and Environment Consultancy

Alex Edward

Alex Edward, studying Geological Sciences, has recently started an industrial placement at Sirius Geotechnical and Environmental in Leeds.  He will be writing a number of posts for this blog during the course of his placement. In this first post he gives his advice, based on his experience of looking for placements last year, to other students seeking placements.

For the vast majority of my 2nd year, my main focus wasn’t on my university studies. It wasn’t on going out  every night. It wasn’t on one of the various societies I was a member of. It was on trying to secure myself a  placement for a year in industry (although the first and third points did help with the latter). I was mainly  motivated by the fact that I know that work experience, not necessarily degree qualifications, are key to  getting a good graduate position.

I am by no means suggesting don’t bother working hard at uni: Most places require you to have a good  degree, especially in a technical field, but getting experience in your desired field before you graduate I think Continue reading

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Industrial Work Placements: Why Bigger isn’t Better

Are you starting to think about your options for a placement next year? In this post, Leeds student Erin Lovett, who is coming to the ended of a placement year with Engage Comms Ltd., outlines the benefits she’s gained from working for a smaller company. The post was originally published on LinkedIn

It’s no secret that work experience makes graduates entering the job market more employable. The time spent learning about the industry and essentially ‘practising’ for a role can be invaluable, and it’s great that schools and universities are throwing their weight behind this and giving students more opportunities to undertake work placements. However, within universities I think there’s a myth being perpetuated: the bigger the company you can get work experience with, the better. It probably has a lot to do with the potential for progression and travel, which of course might well be deal-breakers later on in your career – but are they really relevant when you’re looking for work experience? Continue reading

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