Author Archives: LeedsUniCareers

About LeedsUniCareers

The place to keep you up-to-date with the University of Leeds Careers Centre’s latest news and events. For more information, visit our website: http://careerweb.leeds.ac.uk

Resilience – the art of bouncing back

Jo Horton joined the university as a Careers Adviser in May 2019, having completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance Studies the previous year. Prior to this, she worked in a diverse range of roles, including university administration, publishing and as an English Language Teacher in Japan.

It’s 2002 and I’m sitting in Leicester railway station, crying my eyes out on the phone to my mum. Earlier that day I’d had an interview for my dream job as a Research Assistant in the History Department at Leicester University. The interview had gone well but I’d just received a phone call to tell me that I hadn’t been successful. They liked me and would have given me the job, except one of the other candidates had a PhD while I only had an MA.

Over the next few weeks I spend a lot of time thinking things like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m never going to get a graduate job’, ‘What’s the point in applying for anything else?’, ‘Life is so hard – it’s not fair’. I briefly look into applying for PhDs but to get funding I’d have to teach undergraduates alongside my research, which I convince myself I am not capable of doing.  I drink a lot of wine and eat a giant bar of chocolate to console myself.  I stop searching for graduate roles and resign myself to a life of unfulfilling temp jobs.

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How I got my job: Graduate Recruiter & University Partnership Consultant at FDM

Lara Senhen  graduated from the University of Leeds with an MSc in International Business with distinction in 2017.

Here she talks about her own career path and gives insight into her current position at FDM.

During my studies, I applied for various graduate and entry-level jobs and it was frustrating receiving multiple rejections. I decided to visit a local careers fair where I signed up with a recruitment agency who called me a couple of weeks later for a job in Germany. I sent over my CV and I was invited to an Assessment Centre before receiving the job offer a couple of days later. Straight after handing in my dissertation, I moved to Hamburg where I started working for a programmatic advertising company as a Client Service Executive. Despite enjoying the job, I realised that I was not happy in Germany so I started applying for jobs again.

Applying to FDM

After sending my CV and cover letter to FDM, I attended various interviews as well as visiting the office itself. I received a job offer from FDM to work as Graduate Recruiter & University Partnership Consultant, starting in Summer 2018 so I relocated back to the UK.

Who is FDM?

FDM recruits, trains and deploys talent around the world through our renowned Careers Programme. With centres across the UK, mainland Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, we are a leading graduate employer, working with an impressive list of worldwide clients across multiple sectors. FDM provides industry recognised IT and business training, as well as invaluable commercial experience and the opportunity for rewarding professional development. We recruit all year round from any degree background, seeking those with a drive to succeed within the technology industry.

What is my role?

I recruit for FDM’s Graduate Programme which involves helping graduates find their preferred career pathway which is a fulfilling job in itself. I get the chance to go out to different universities, attend careers fairs and deliver workshops on video interviews, assessment centres and other employability skills. I also work closely with societies and support employability modules on different courses through delivering presentations. It is quite a diverse role where I split my time between the office and visiting various university campuses. It’s always great to be back as an alumna or visit different universities.

Hints and tips

Reflecting upon my experience, I think it is really important to have an open mind regarding what you want to do in life. When I started applying for jobs, I only applied for certain positions in specific industries but I realised that there so many other jobs out there which I never considered exploring. I would advise you to make use of the resources at your university, whether this involves going to careers fairs, popping into the careers centre for a one-on-one appointment or simply speaking to lecturers.
Finally, it is important to stay positive.

The Careers Centre is here to help whether you are a University of Leeds graduate or still studying.  So, if you’d like to chat about career ideas or get some feedback on your applications get in touch.   Careers Fairs and Events are a great way to meet employers so plan ahead, there will be lots of opportunities to network with employers in the coming year.

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Assessment Centres- presentation tips

 

 

Pablo Costa is a Careers Adviser here at the University of Leeds. Prior to working in HE he was a graduate recruiter running assessment centres- giving him an insider view of what it takes to succeed.  Around 89% of major graduate employers use assessment centres to evaluate graduate candidates (Institute of Student Employers, 2018), so, it is crucial to understand the variety of activities you may face in an assessment centre.

One common example is presenting yourself to a panel of recruiters. Here are Pablo’s tips on how to approach this exercise.

Assessment Centre: Presenting Yourself

It’s the day of your assessment centre and they have asked you to talk about yourself for 5 minutes in front of a panel of assessors.

If you’re like most people, talking about yourself in front of an audience isn’t the easiest thing to do. But, maybe you like it. If so, that’s great. If you don’t, then we need to look at ways to make this a more comfortable experience.

Why have they asked me to do this?

Well, it’s to see how well you tailor communication and engage with an audience (if they hire you for the role).

OK, what do you mean by tailoring communication?

This would mean understanding what your future colleagues and/or clients want to hear when you are delivering information to them. In other words, communicating what they want to hear and not rambling, waffling or going off-subject.

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Love Leeds? How a career in the health sector could be good for you

NHS jobs Suzie BlogSo you’ve loved your time here, want to stay but don’t know what to do? The health sector in Leeds is thriving and, spoiler alert, there are plenty of roles where you don’t need a medical or science degree. In this blog, Careers Adviser, Suzie Bullock, explores options in the health sector in Leeds for graduates from non-science subjects.

Healthy outlook for the city

Leeds is home to some big players in the healthcare sector, including National Health Service (NHS) Trust hospitals, NHS England and NHS Digital.

Leeds has the third largest number of healthcare jobs outside London, with a turnover of £4.3 billion and employing around 13,000 people.

Moreover, Leeds City Council (LCC) aims to become the best city for health and wellbeing, where the poorest people improve their health the fastest. Consequently, the council is actively working to attract investment and the city is a major hub for health innovation.

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Class of 2019 – How can I continue to access Careers Support?

Hopefully you’ve managed to find us around campus over the last couple of months of the Class of 2019 campaign, and heard about how you can continue to access all of our services after graduation. But what can you access, and more importantly how?

So, what can I access?

The short answer is, everything! There’s nothing that you’ve had access to as a student here that you won’t be able to get as a graduate. So whether it’s talking though career options and receiving application advice in appointments, attending career events and fairs, or browsing online graduate-level vacancies, we’re still here for you.  Sounds good!

What do I need to do?

You’ll need to register as a graduate on our online system MyCareer, but it doesn’t take more than a minute! To do this, go to the login screen of MyCareer as usual. Up to your graduation you’ll be able to login to the system as usual using your single sign-in on the student login tab.

To use the system after you graduate you just need to select “Graduate login and registration”

Register as a new user with a personal email address, and within a couple of working days you’ll be able to use the system as before. You can sign up as a graduate at any point, including before graduation!

Is there anything else I should know about?

Whilst you can continue to access to MyCareer, your university email address will be closed around the time of your graduation, so it’s worth making sure you retrieve anything you need from there over the next couple of weeks before it’s too late!

You’ll also have access to the Leeds Network for 5 years after graduation, this is an online database of Leeds Alumni who have provided career profiles or have agreed to answer career-related questions.  To access the Leeds Network you will need to use your old student (not graduate) login username and password.

Read more about what is available to you as a member of the University of Leeds Class of 2019

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Class of 2019: Experiences in graduate job hunting

Luke Bird completed his MA Communication & Media Studies at the University of Leeds in 2018, after a number of false starts he began to realise he was making some fundamental mistakes with his approach to jobsearch.  Read how his more targeted approach led to him securing a graduate job.

My overriding feelings of being a graduate without employment were  frustration and disappointment, but it is worth noting that for many graduates this is par for the course. Some of the reasons for these feelings were out of my control, in that I was eager to secure employment in a field where there just weren’t many jobs in Leeds, but along the way I realised most of the reasons were in my control.

Detail is everything

Firstly, it is important to remember that detail is everything when applying for a graduate job. Most big companies receive hundreds if not thousands of applications every year, and in order to stand out you must pay attention to detail. After three months of taking the scattergun approach to job searching, where I had been sending my CV out left, right and centre through jobsites without much research about the companies I was applying for, I realised the CV I had uploaded to loads of jobsites made no sense. Because I hadn’t converted the document into a PDF, when I uploaded it online every single part of my CV had been jumbled into a nonsensical, seven page document that read more like code than a piece of work I had spent hours on.

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Class of 2019: I had no idea what I wanted to do, but this is how I found out!

Lewis Bailey studied Religion, Politics & Society at the University of Leeds, graduating in 2018.

With a love for Leeds but not many ideas of what to do next he pursued jobs where he could earn big money, however the reality of these roles led him in a different direction.

When I finished university my frame of mind was probably very similar to a lot of yours. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to stay in Leeds and carry on living with friends, and I wanted enough money to live comfortably by paying all my bills, but also being able to carry on having fun outside of work.

Money, money, money…

I’d done well in my social sciences degree, so I felt confident I could secure any entry level job I applied for in no time. I quickly found out that this wasn’t necessarily the case, and I learned I had to tune in better to what my prospective employers were looking for, which wasn’t simply a good grade on paper and a confident interview.

My primary motivation when applying for jobs was money, but this quickly changed. I applied for numerous roles in a sector which I had no interest in whatsoever, just because the salary was high and I had the chance to earn uncapped commission. I’ve always been told I have the gift of the gab, so I figured I could fake it ‘til I make it just to make a bit of extra coin. The feedback for every interview I did- and I did a lot of interviews- was almost identical. I was confident and approachable with great people skills, but the passion for the business just wasn’t there and employers were concerned I’d leave after a few months.

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