Kelsie Root graduated with a Masters in History of Health, Medicine & Society at the University of Leeds in December 2018, having put off jobsearch until completing her studies she found it difficult to find the right job with the right organisation straight away. Read how Kelsie learnt the importance of understanding what she could bring to an employer and finding a role that fitted with her skills, motivations and values.
Focusing on my studies
When I graduated in December, I was excited, relieved and deeply anxious. I had spent the year with my nose to the grindstone working on my MA and the various side jobs that paid the bills during the previous year. The demands of MA study and juggling paid work made it so difficult to spend time finding opportunities, drafting applications and getting feedback that eventually I gave in and decided I would start looking for a full-time job after I had handed in my dissertation. This felt like a good idea, and I now think it was the right choice for me at the time. Once I’d finished, however, I immediately felt like it had been a mistake. I had no idea what I was going to do next.
Applying for any job…my misplaced efforts
I quickly realised my first step had to be figuring out how to showcase my skills. Using the resources from the Careers Centre website I looked over all my work experience to date and put together a skills-based CV. This helped me to match my skills to job descriptions and work out what I could do. I started applying to any job that matched my skills-based CV and secured a variety of interviews. As soon as I started going to interviews, it became clear that I was doing something wrong. I just wasn’t gelling with the teams, the places or the work itself. I soon became stressed, questioning how I could keep motivated when all my efforts seemed to be misplaced.
Jamie Gayya is a recent University of Leeds graduate, currently working as an Employability and Progression Assistant based in the University of Leeds Careers Centre.
Here she talks about how immediately after graduation she felt the pressure of being left behind as friends secured graduate jobs or further study. However, by reflecting on her skills and values and undertaking volunteering she found a career path she is very much engaged in.
The benefits of University
In many ways, university has been more than just a place to gain an academic qualification. It has been a place that has exposed me to various opportunities and challenges – all of which have significantly contributed to both my career and personal development. Beyond the accomplishment of graduating, my time at university has been significantly rewarding and memorable, as I have taken part in various opportunities. I have been involved in supporting a candidate campaign during the student executive elections, was a committee member for the Leeds Filipino society, and worked as a Leeds Loves Ambassador to promote the study of Arts and Humanities to secondary school students.
Where to start?
Having these experiences enabled me to gain a range of transferable skills that were useful for the world of work. Furthermore, these opportunities were very helpful in distinguishing what I enjoyed and disliked. Despite acquiring all these skills, finding where to start after graduation continued to be a challenging and nerve-wracking phase. With my friends securing places for further study, graduate jobs and employment, I felt a lot of pressure that I had to get my career rolling to make sure that I wasn’t left behind. “But where do I start?” was a constant question and thought.
Bethany Temple studies BSc Psychology (Industrial), and has been on her placement with Fieldhead Hospital’s Bretton Centre in Wakefield for eight months.
Getting my placement
To be honest, I was completing application after application in the hope of finding some kind of experience within psychology, but at times they can feel like gold dust! I applied for this forensic psychology placement, not really knowing at all what forensic psychology was. I thought I was going to be some sort of criminal profiler; clearly I’ve watched too many crime series! I filled in their application, which I received through the psychology department, and sure enough got my first ever interview. I researched the hospital I would be based at before the interview, and came up with some questions about the types of therapy that are offered to service users. I also went to a mock interview at the careers centre, which I’d highly recommend. In the real interview, my enthusiasm for psychology clearly outshined my lack of knowledge on what clinical/ forensic psychology is, and I got a call the next day saying I’d been accepted!
Dan Rhodes is studying BA Digital Media at Leeds and is currently undertaking a placement year as a Digital Marketing Assistant within the University’s Facilities Directorate. He found his placement through the Leeds Internship Programme, and if you’re interested in doing his role next year, it’s currently being advertised here. Closing date is 25th March.
I am currently on placement as a Digital Marketing Assistant within the Facilities Directorate at the University. The directorate is responsible for areas of the University that you don’t often think about as a student – Estates, Residences, Sustainability Services and the Commercial and Campus Support Services which include the sports facilities (SPA and The Edge), the catering team Great Food at Leeds (GFaL), conferencing (MEETinLEEDS), print (PCB), cleaning and security.
My role includes a wide range of exciting responsibilities for all of these areas. 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
We were at Freshers fair today and loved speaking to so many of you – at all stages of your studies! We thought it might be useful to answer some of the most common questions we were asked today on the blog, so here they are.
We will also tweet ongoing common questions and advice at #UoLCareerQs and if you’ve got a careers-related question, just tweet us using the hashtag.
Q: What does the Careers Centre do?
We are here to help ALL University of Leeds students with their careers and next steps after university. Whether you’re an undergraduate, a postgraduate or a PhD student; whether you know exactly what you want to do or if you have no idea, we are here to help you. You can find out more about our services on our website. Continue reading
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.