Professional Development Tutor in Leeds University Business School, Marianne Savory discusses why Masters students can’t afford to wait to start planning their career.
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.
Here at Leeds you do have a bit of a head start though. We have included ‘employability’ in your programme so some of the ‘employer sought’ skills have been built into your studies. This means you can develop these alongside your discipline knowledge. You will be involved in team working, presentations, critical analysis, communication and reflection activities. Make the most of these opportunities – you may be required to talk about them at interview in the not too distant future and they will certainly provide useful evidence for your CV.
Even better, studying at Leeds will give you a truly international student experience with over 100 countries represented in our student body. Make the effort to expand your friendship networks and develop your cross cultural awareness, this will serve you well in the global jobs market.
Monisha Bhatia graduated last year and now recognises the significance of her experiences in developing these skills:
Throughout the course I was kept on my toes with essays, exams and social events, so it would have been easy to lose sight of my overall objective; pursuing a career in Human Resource Management. But I approached the University’s Career Centre in the first semester and the insights they provided were very useful. They helped me draft an effective resume and I attended mock interviews to become more confident and gain practice in this area.
As a result I was successful at an interview for a part time job at the University where I was able to develop my skills in customer services, time management and communication – I knew this would look great on my CV! I also undertook a lot of team tasks as part of my course, building positive relations with my colleagues and this gave me the confidence to become part of a team of student volunteers which further enriched my experience in this area.
As an international student at Leeds, I knew I had to make the most of my time and looking back, I really think I used my time well to build up my skill set to prepare me for a role in Human Resource Management. I am currently working as a Client Relationship Manager in India.
The skills Monisha took time to develop related directly to her chosen area of study. What skills will you need? In between the fun and study of the coming months, start to think about this question so you can make the absolute most of your time here at Leeds.
For more information on employability skills and how to develop them, check out the employability skills section of our website.