One recurring theme (or worry) of job applications and interviews is how do I stand out? In the competitive world of job hunting, what is it that sets apart one graduate from another? Luckily, as a University of Leeds student, you are endowed with a range of schemes and opportunities that can make you uniquely employable – or at least grant a singular experience of personal development that you will cherish forever. Here’s a full breakdown of what’s on offer just for Leeds students.
NB During the current COVID-19 period, university programmes are subject to change. All information is correct at the time of publication, but check the websites for each programme you’re interested in for up-to-date information.
Leeds Internship Programme
The Leeds Internship Programme is an opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience at local Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), charities and multi-national organisations. The experience can be conducted as a placement year, summer internship or even part-time term-time work. All of the opportunities organised by the LIP team in the Careers Centre are paid, located in the West Yorkshire area and (best of all) only offered to students at the University of Leeds! Sign up to their weekly newsletter via MyCareer.
Included in this scheme are Campus Internships. There are several part-time jobs available by the university every year, which intend to give you valuable experience of working for a large organization like UoL while earning some money on the side. There are vacancies in Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, Building Surveying, Student Ambassadorships and more. Check the University of Leeds vacancies page, where the positions will be clearly marked, and read a blog from Natalie who is currently participating in one of them.
Did you know that around a third of students intend to start their own business? The SPARK team can help you grow the seed of a business idea, and nurture your entrepreneurial spirit. They provide; access to grants and funding to help you get started; events and modules to help you learn about setting up and running a business; careers advice to help you make business decisions and mentoring from alumni. The team are also run a Business Plan Competition each year, which gives you the chance to win a £2000 grant towards establishing your innovative enterprise.
For info on how to get involved, visit their page.
LinkedIn Learning access
All Careers Centre staff would recommend setting up a LinkedIn Account. It allows you to reflect on your experiences and skills, as well as discover job opportunities and connect with people in industry. (We’d recommend using the site’s alumni feature, where you can search for University of Leeds graduates and track their career path post-graduation).
But another great feature recently introduced is LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 15,000 short courses across business, creative and technical specialties. All students and staff have access to LinkedIn Learning through our institutional subscription. You do not need to have a LinkedIn account to access the content, but you can connect it to your own LinkedIn Account.
If your department cannot offer you a work placement module in your third year, then this module (delivered by experienced staff at the Careers Centre) is set up for you. A work placement year is a great way to develop your skills and stand out to a graduate recruiter.
More info can be found on CareerWeb.
Mentoring Hub Schemes and The Leeds Network
The Careers Centre staff work tirelessly to establish connections with previous UoL students who have gone into interesting careers in a variety of industries. We then invite these alumni to participate in our eMentoring scheme; open to all undergraduates, the scheme pairs students with industry experts who can impart valuable knowledge and advice about professional post-university life.
Many of these alumni are also listed on the Leeds Network, accessible via Leeds For Life. This is a searchable directory of alumni from across the job market spectrum. You can specify result based on the subject you study, or the industry you would like to break into. Then, you can request to contact the alumnus to ask them questions and receive advice. This is a kind of unofficial eMentoring scheme.
Look out for other Mentoring schemes such as the PwC Female Mentoring Scheme for female students, the PwC Diversity Mentoring Scheme for BAME students (applications for both open in October 2020) and the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme, which features very high profile and senior mentors. Applications for this open in March.