CAREERS BLOG: First years – time to get involved

Now you’ve had a term to settle in to Uni life here at York, it might be time to get involved with some new experiences. You might already have joined some student societies or got a part-time job, but why not consider what else you might do outside of your studies?

Whether it’s finding a temporary job, doing some volunteering, trying out new activities, gaining new skills – you can be having fun, making new friends, earning some money or preparing for your future. Your time at university offers you the chance to try things you might never get the opportunity to do again.

Why not try…?


Students in Communities offers project-based team opportunities throughout the year. Past projects have included, Healthy eating guide with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust; Making local papers pay with York Press; York Children’s University chocolate module!

York Students in Schools gives you a 10-week placement in a local school, where you can be a student tutor, offering support to children in the classroom.

Skills development courses

The York Award runs a wide range of skills courses throughout the academic year, everything from project management to team development, presentations to counselling skills. Courses are open to any current student and can also count towards the overall York Award, which undergraduates can apply for in the Spring Term of their final year.


Work experience is a vital addition to your university qualifications – graduate employers will expect you to have worked at some point while at university.  The Student Internship Bureau, in conjunction with employers, offers interesting and challenging project-based paid opportunities. All vacancies are advertised through the Interactive Careers Service.

Part-time work

Most students value part-time work, as a means to earn some money and gain work experience. Vacancies on and off campus are advertised via the Interactive Careers Service and you can find more vacancies sources and tips about getting a part-time job in our information sheet, Finding part-time and temporary work in the UK.

Enterprise skills and activities

You might want to establish your own business or you might just want to enhance your enterprise skills (which are important to lots of employers). If so, check out what’s on offer through Enterprise – there’s start-up support, competitions, social enterprise opportunities, and skills development.

Other training courses

Don’t forget the other skills you could gain through courses, such as learning a new language, IT skills, first aid, and more.

Student societies

If you’re not already involved in a student society, why not check out what’s on offer? They’re a great way of meeting new people, trying out something new, and they give you skills too.

These are only a few suggestions – for more ideas, visit the Make the most of your time at university web pages. You can search for ideas by looking at opportunities/activities or at the skills you want to develop and enhance.

You can also follow our Careers Spotlight campaign on skills.

So, what are you waiting for?

Blog written by Irena Zientek, Information Resources Manager, Careers