Steph Wright graduated from the University of Leeds in 2018 with a degree in Philosophy. She now works as a Talent Executive for THG, attracting and retaining the best graduate talent.
Here is her insight and advice on making the transition from university to the workplace. So, whether you are an undergraduate hoping to do an internship or a graduate who has secured or is seeking their first job, there are lots of great tips to make you more effective as you enter the workplace.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a step-by-step guide which will tell you how to be ‘successful’ or have ‘an impact’ in your first graduate job, but there’s definitely a few things you can do to make the transition from university to professional work a little easier.
Manage your time
It’s an obvious one, but managing your time is the key to making your job easier. Although it’s important at university, it’s even more important at work because your ability to manage your time doesn’t just impact you anymore; it also impacts everyone you work with.
In June 2017 Abigail Heffer graduated from the University of Leeds with a 2:1 in BSc Biological Sciences (Ind), she now works at ApotheCom as a Senior Account Executive. Abigail secured a placement year at Roche during her studies- with CV support from the Careers Centre. Follow Abigail’s journey from University of Leeds student to the rewarding, dynamic, fast paced world of Medical Communications.
Applying for a placement year
From relatively early on in my degree, I knew a lab-based career wouldn’t be for me. I wanted the buzz of an office, and to have a role that necessitated communicating with a wide range of different people and personalities. An office-based role in the pharmaceutical industry seemed like it might be a good fit, and so at the beginning of my second year at University I applied for industrial placements with the major players – Pfizer; GSK; AstraZeneca; Johnson & Johnson – but with no success.
Careers Centre support
I hadn’t previously considered visiting the University Careers Centre, but as something in my applications wasn’t hitting the mark, I turned to them for support. The Career Advisers were incredibly helpful, making some key tweaks to my CV and covering letters that would help me stand out from other candidates. Multiple applications and many mock interviews later, I was very happy to find out that I had been offered a placement with Roche in their Clinical Operations department, Welwyn Garden City.
Final year English & Philosophy student Annie Moss just completed a placement year with the global recruitment consultancy, Hays. Here she shares her tips for fellow students and graduates on why taking care of your LinkedIn profile can really pay off.
Would you arrive at an interview late, with a scruffy attire, and little to no preparation?
No, of course not, and I’m not about to bless you with words of wisdom regarding interview techniques like some employment guru. I do, however, have some insight and a few tips as to how we can make that killer first impression.
I’m not talking about interviews, or even our CVs. I’m referring to LinkedIn. Continue reading
Rhiann (2nd from right in second row) during her ICS placement in Senegal.
Rhiann has just completed her English & Sociology degree at Leeds and is now undertaking a graduate internship with Leonard Cheshire Disability. In this post she discusses the value of taking a placement year and what she’s learnt about managing a health condition and choosing if and when to disclose a health condition or disability to an employer.
My current role
I work at the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability as a Corporate Partnerships Assistant. I am part of their Change100 internship scheme, which partners disabled students/graduates with top employers around the country. My job involves leading a proposal for £150,000 worth of funding to develop gardening programmes for the disabled people we support. I recently finished my English and Sociology degree at Leeds, which I combined with a placement year through the Careers Centre. I would really encourage students to make the most of the careers support available at Leeds. The range of opportunities they offer is fantastic, and this was how I discovered Change 100. Continue reading
Careers Fairs provide a fantastic opportunity for you to meet – and learn more about – a whole range of employers, and further study opportunities, all in one place.
Our Spring Graduate Jobs & Internships Fair is taking place on 3rd May. Full details available on the fair website.
This post provides tips to help you get the most from the fair.
Before the fair
Consider what you want from the fair: This should form the foundations of your planning and will shape how you approach the fair. Giving this some consideration beforehand means you are much more likely to find the fair useful. For example, are you hoping to
- Get answers to specific questions about a particular organisation?
- Get advice on their selection processes?
- Learn more about the organisation’s culture, or what their different opportunities involve?
- Find out more about potential opportunities for the future?
- Meet people doing the job roles in which you’re interested to get further insights?
- Get inspiration about different types of opportunities or companies in which you may be interested (either now or in the future)?
- Or something else?
Find out which organisations are going to be there: And plan which you want to Continue reading
Katie Timms is undertaking a PhD in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Leeds’ Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering, following her undergraduate degree in Medical Sciences (2015), also from the University of Leeds. In this post she explains why she chose to do a secondment during her PhD and how networking and her proactive approach helped her to secure it.
Why did I decide to undertake a secondment?
Browsing through twitter one afternoon I came across a poster describing alternative careers for scientists, based on the Science Council’s ’10 type of scientists’. In case you were wondering, there’s a quiz on the Science Council’s website! I have always been interested in science and research, but was curious about the alternative careers available following my PhD. Continue reading
Jeremy Brooks – “ABC“
This week, Beth from Inspiring Interns talks about a topic that has become increasingly important for job seekers today – networking. She gives lots of useful tips on how to make networking easier, and how to be more confident at networking events.
A = Attendance
The first thing you need to do to be a networker? Show up at networking events. Just being in the room is half the battle won – people may even come talk to you!
B = Body Language
Always look someone in the eye when you’re talking to them. Don’t cross your arms – it looks standoffish. And smile!
C = Confidence
Fake it till you make it actually works – stand tall and act confident, and people will believe it. Remember the absolute worst thing that can happen is that someone will say they don’t want to talk to you. And that makes them rude.
If you’re about to start your final year at university, it can be an exciting – and potentially daunting – time. However you feel about it, the year is likely to fly by. Here are 3 key things we would encourage you to do this year to ensure a successful future – whatever you want that to be!
Getting some clarity in your interests and goals is really valuable. You do not need to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life – in all likelihood this will change throughout your working life – focus instead on what next after university.
Talk to people, attend events, explore what’s out there. Our Autumn Fair is a fantastic opportunity to do this, but keep an eye out for all the other events – university-wide as well as things happening in your school or faculty. These can give you invaluable insights into a whole range of careers.
Do nerves get the better of you in interviews?
Does the thought of networking or giving a presentation fill you with dread?
These are essential elements of job search and selection processes but are things which many of us find terrifying at worst, or simply uncomfortable at best. Confidence – or at least being able to fake it ‘til you make it – will help you excel in these. In this post I share tips for improving your confidence, through the lens of behaviour expert and author Olivia Fox Cabane’s work on charisma.
As a Careers Consultant, confidence – or lack of it – is one of the things I most often see holding people back. Whether this be a general lack of self-confidence, or more specific issues around situations like interviews and presentations; how we feel, think about and talk to ourselves are, in my opinion, the biggest influences on confidence. Continue reading