Category Archives: Develop your employability

Advice, insights and inspiration on ways to develop your employability whilst at university.

Volunteering with… Skelton Grange

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Ruth Trainor studies Sustainability and Environmental Management, and has been volunteering with TCV at Skelton Grange during her second year.

I am the proud owner of a badge that says ‘Ruth – Volunteer Leader’. I wear this every Wednesday – when lectures don’t get in the way – and spend that day in the woods and grounds of TCV Skelton Grange.

My Role

It’s a fairly awesome day, to be honest. I arrive at 9am, having cycled for about 40 minutes along the canal. The first order of business at Skelton is always a cup of tea, accompanied by a short catch up with the other volunteers and staff at the centre. Once the mugs are empty, we start setting up for the day.

Wednesdays are education days, so the activities run from around 11 to 2. These education days vary according to the season and the needs of the school, but all of them are essentially about familiarising the children with being outdoors and piquing their curiosity about the natural world.

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Advice on getting your first tech job – from an IT recruitment agency

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This guest post was created in collaboration with Venturi Group – one of the UK’s top IT recruitment agencies.

As an IT recruitment agency, we work with recent graduates every day. For many students, getting that first foot on the career ladder after finishing university is a daunting prospect. While some nerves are unavoidable, there are things you can do to give yourself a headstart in today’s competitive job market. Below we have outlined some advice on what to do before beginning your search for your first role in the tech industry.

Get involved in projects outside university

You’ve probably heard this one a few time before. Employers look fondly upon students who are engaged in technical projects outside university. After all, it’s a clear indication of a genuine passion for technology. In a market saturated by graduates, having that extra something on your CV will inevitably make you stand out from the crowd. For example, being able to list coding projects you have worked on, hack-a-thons you have entered, or internships you have undertaken are all major advantages when it comes to applying for jobs.
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Graduate Profile: Laura Nash, Blackstone Solicitors

STAFF17-4956Laura Nash is a graduate in LLB Law, and graduated from the University of Leeds in 2004. She now practises as a Solicitor with Blackstone Solicitors, and has shared her story and advice for students also pursuing law careers.

My background

As a teenager, I had no real idea what road to go down with my A-levels and beyond. The advice from my older (and maybe wiser) cousin was to study the subjects I would perform the best in, as good grades would open the most doors. At A-level I chose to study English Literature, Classical Civilisation and Sociology, and thankfully achieved three A grades. I applied to read Law as I could not go wrong – a degree in Law, and possibly a career in Law too!

I studied LLB Law at the University of Leeds. Leeds is a city I knew well as a child. My Dad grew up in Woodhouse Park, and I have memories of my Dad driving me around the streets showing me his homes and schools whilst recounting tales. Leeds was the natural choice for me; a fantastic red brick University only an hour from my home town of Manchester. It was close enough that I could pop home for the night but far enough away that I didn’t have to!

My second year at Leeds was all about the vacation schemes! Days were spent in the computer clusters (I’m sure they look very different now!) drafting applications and frantically checking emails. I was delighted to secure vacation schemes at Eversheds and Hammonds in 2003 and I enjoyed them both thoroughly. I chose to train at Eversheds and qualified there in 2007 after a successful training contract, being offered jobs in 3 departments (in a recession), and coming first in the national trainee cohort at Eversheds in the Finance and Business Skills module.
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How I got my job: PR Account Executive, Cream Consultancy

Joseph Scott

Joseph Scott graduated from the University of Leeds in 2017 with a degree in English Language and Literature. After attending a couple of appointments at the Careers Centre he applied for a role as PR Intern at Cream Consultancy, a listing he spotted on the Careers Centre vacancy website.

My Role

I am a PR Account Executive for a small PR, digital and communication agency called Cream Consultancy which operates out of an office in the Leeming Building on Vicar Lane, Leeds. I have been working in this role for six months in addition to my initial paid internship in August. My role has a lot of responsibilities and diverse tasks which aim to support the Directors and Account Manager in their work with clients. The role of Account Executive exercises many skills and I am developing my writing, communication and customer service on a daily basis.

My Path to PR

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How I got my job: Data Support Officer at the NHS

ZachZach completed a Masters in Management at Leeds in 2015, following an undergraduate degree at another university and now works as a Data Support Officer at  the NHS in Leeds.  In this post he shares his experiences of finding his way in a challenging graduate job market, developing self-confidence,  and how he benefitted from accessing careers support.

The modern, conventional graduate is an interesting, enviable breed to behold. They flood the job market every July; they are the peak of their game, usually at a time before mortgages and child bearing clamp in: Usually, their experience is at rock bottom, but their enthusiasm and sheer innovation is sky high. And pre-2008, employers would have awarded contracts to many on the basis of this enthusiasm and innovation alone. Continue reading

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5 Ways To Show Employers You’re Ready For The World Of Work

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‘Career Clock – Flazingo

This week, Susanna from Inspiring Interns gives some useful tips for students and grads on how to prepare for the world of work, and demonstrate this to employers.

We’re in the middle of a graduate shortage. That’s right: while grads complain about how hard it is to find a job, employers are moaning about the lack of good candidates. Seems weird, right? But the problem isn’t necessarily the quality of graduates; it’s their readiness to enter the world of work.

The reality is that most students have never known real employment – a fact that many recruiters can tell from fifty paces. From STEM to arts subjects, from Russell Group to poly, graduates find the real world hard. These days, the movement from childhood to adulthood occurs not at sixteen or eighteen but with the end of university. As a result, many employers think of graduates, however much they claim otherwise, as too immature to be trusted with a job.

Here’s how you can assuage an employer’s fears and prove you’re ready to enter their world. Continue reading

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Looking for a placement or internship? Here’s what you need to know

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Source: Giphy.com

Are you looking for a placement or internship for next year? This post outlines a few key points to be aware of and is equally relevant for those of you looking for any type of work experience.

By far the most common questions I’ve had from students in the first few weeks of this term have been about placements and internships. This is fantastic to see – work experience is so valuable – but a lot of the students I’ve seen have been really stressed out about this.  As such, I thought a quick post on the things you need to know if you’re looking for placements or internships for next year might help. Continue reading

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