Tag Archives: Politics

Why take a Careers module? My experience with ‘Career Planning for POLIS Students’

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This blog post was written by POLIS student Sam Greet about his experience on the module Career Planning for POLIS Students.

When I was looking at my module choices for second semester, I wasn’t sure I had made the right choices back in September. My first lecture for one of my choices really didn’t suit me and I knew I had to think of something else to move onto, but amongst the array of discovery and optional modules I really struggled to narrow down exactly onto something I wanted to do.

Finding the right module

A module that I had originally glanced over (but not given much thought to) was the Career Planning for POLIS Students module. When it was getting closer to deadline for changing modules, I still had yet to find anything that really spoke to me from the traditional module list and I revisited the careers module in more depth. What I found was a comprehensive programme of teaching, with extended seminar sessions and no lectures that looked to develop all manner of skills and employability. However, I remained unsure about what this would really amount to in practice.

I’ll admit that I was at first concerned with academic rigour, as I very much enjoyed traditional subjects and essays, and was performing well with these. I decided to seek out lecturers and staff members to discuss the POLIS Careers module, and I was immediately reassured of the module’s immense value. Ultimately this convinced me to take the plunge and switch – and I can say that this was one of the best decisions I have made in my second semester.

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How I got a training contract as a non-law student

Rebecca Dilks

Rebecca Dilks graduated from Philosophy and Politics at the University of Leeds in 2014 and is nearing completion of her training contract with Gateley Plc.  In this post she shares her experiences of pursuing law from a non-law undergraduate degree and her tips for other students seeking training contracts.

As any law student will know Training Contracts are like gold dust. A privileged few will be lucky enough to secure the dream of a training contract during their academic studies but for a non-law student this is not always possible as you may decide to embark on a career in law later or you may not be aware of the urgency of applying!

I studied a degree in Philosophy and Politics at the University of Leeds and graduated in 2014. I had decided that I wanted to be a lawyer after 2 weeks spent working at the Sheffield Combined Courts when I was 16 but had studied Philosophy and Politics to gain different experiences and develop broader skills beyond law. Continue reading

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Getting into Parliamentary and Public Affairs: Summary of Panel Event

'Parliament' by Rajan Manickavasagam on Flickr

‘Parliament’ by Rajan Manickavasagam on Flickr

This post, by Careers Consultant Steve Carter, is the fifth post in our mini-series summarising the Public Affairs and Community Engagement Panel Event on 11th March 2015.  Other posts in the series can be viewed by clicking the ‘PACE Event’ tag at the bottom of this post.

The panel consisted of: a prospective MP for the Green Party, a political journalist, a public affairs consultant for a political consultancy and a campaign manager for a mainstream political party. Continue reading

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How I got my job in PR

Jessie Powell

Jessie Powell recently graduated with a degree in Politics, and is now a PR Account Executive with KOR Communications. Here she explains how getting involved in a range of things at university helped her explore different career ideas and land her current job.

Working and earning my own money had been important to me since a young age, so when I began studying for my degree in Politics, I continued to work as a sales assistant at Paperchase, as I had done whilst at school. I was keen to develop a strong body of real work experience alongside my academic profile and this was a positive starting point for doing so.

Gaining experience to complement my studies

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How I got my job: A little bit of everything

Joseph Barnsley studied Politics and Parliamentary studies at the University of Leeds and is now the Deputy Web Editor at NCUB. Here he explains how getting involved in a range of things at university – and beyond – led to his current role.

Jospeh Barnsley

When I was in my final year at Leeds, I was very focused on getting a job – singular. That meant I sometimes found myself dispirited about the competition – every time I wrote about my skills or experience I could imagine someone with more of the same. In the four years since, I’ve learnt how a range of experiences creates a unique overlap that makes you valuable to employers Continue reading

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Leeds teams compete in national business competition

This year, the Careers Centre is sponsoring 3 teams from the University of Leeds to participate in UK-wide IBM Universities Business Challenge.

Universities Business Challenge (UBC) is an annual competition in which teams from universities throughout the UK compete against each other for the honour of becoming overall winner (not to mention pocketing a tidy cash sum).  In addition to this, UBC  helps participants improve their knowledge of the business world, put theory into practice and develop team-working, leadership and employability skills. The challenge – and it’s called a ‘challenge’ for good reason –  gives participants the chance to work as a board of directors in a series of realistic, simulated companies, making all the critical business decisions that affect the company’s performance.

We had a great response to our advertisement back in September for teams interested in representing the University of Leeds and, after a number of selection events, we whittled it down to the final 3 teams.  The teams are well into Round 1 of the competition having just completed their fourth trading period and are all doing fantastically well, so we thought it high time to introduce them to you!

“The Invisible Hands”

The Invisible Hands

“The Invisible Hands” – whose team name is inspired by Adam Smith’s invisible hand theory in economics – are a team newly formed for this competition.  Their mission for the business challenge is to become the Apple of the food world (the simulated business which teams are managing for this round of UBC is a food manufacturing business).  They hope that their varied subjects of study will give their team a unique perspective during the challenge.  They are (left to right);

Josh Walker – 3rd year Business & Financial Economics

Tom Beard (Team Leader)  – 3rd year Business Ecomonomics

Kelly Wood – 1st year Business Management with Marketing

Will Higgins – 2nd year Geological Sciences

Vanessa Karsah – 3rd year Psychology

“Team FAMAS”

Team FAMAS

Team Famas have previously worked well together, having narrowly missed out on first place in the 2012 Leeds Enterprise Business Challenge.  Their team mission is to utilise their diverse experience and skill-set to achieve success.  They are (left to right)

Freddie Fitz-Gibbon – 2nd year Design Management.  He recently started his own company at University, in which he  designed, developed and distributed merchandise to sell at the London Olympic Games.

Olivia Strong – 2nd year Politics & Sociology. Was this year elected as the director of the Leeds University RAG fashion show. During her school career she was acknowledged as the Managing Director of the Year in the Scottish Young Enterprise team. Clearly she will be able to lead, delegate and structure our team effectively throughout this task.

Benjamin Alldis (Team Leader) 2nd year Geography and Economics, and he demonstrates his interest for Business innovation through his participation in the Enterprise Society. His Enterprise skill was acknowledged when he came second in the Big Business Challenge 2011.

Megan Armour – 2nd year Management and Economics. As the head of one of the Leeds Cheerleading teams, she highlights her creativity through music and dance. Megan’s internship with DDB China this Summer has given her an insight into how different economies operate and how to successfully brand and market different business ventures. Her work with clients such as Unilever and Adidas will enable us to strategically plan solid marketing concepts.

Eddie Cummings – 2nd year Spanish and has a central role in the Leeds Student Newspaper. He will enhance the team’s structuring of reports and communication of ideas. Moreover, Eddie has undertaken two marketing placements and was also involved with a Young Enterprise team in London during sixth form.

The Engineers

3/5s of the Engineers team

“The Engineers” are five second-year students studying Mechanical, Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering.  They have previous experience of working well together as a team, notably last year when they designed a glider, which after competitive testing was ranked second in their year.  In addition to their technical skills they have a shared interest in business and business strategy.

Pictured above are three of the five team members. They are (left to right)

Matthew Clarke – 2nd year Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering

David Penny – 2nd year Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering

Saad Ali (Team Leader) – 2nd year Mechanical Engineering

Not pictured are;

Alistair Rodgers – 2nd year Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering

Robert Tuton – 2nd year Mechanical Engineering

With only one more trading period remaining in round 1, we are looking forward to seeing if the Leeds teams can maintain their form and make it through to the semi-finals!

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