Careers blog written by Isabella Simms, Graduate Intern, Careers
With it being only the first week of term, you’ll be forgiven if you’ve not thought further ahead than your first few weeks in York – enjoying Freshers’ week, getting settled into your new home and making new friends can be a lot to think about it!
We know that it can be difficult to start thinking about your future, or to even know when you need to be, so using our handy Careers Timeline* tool, we’ve put together a list of ideas to get you started on working towards your future, whatever year you’re in.
If you’re a first year, you could:
- Join new clubs and societies. Not only are they a great way of making new friends, they’ll also help you to develop the soft skills that employers look for. You could potentially end up on a society committee by second year – something that’ll really set you apart from the crowd and show employers that you’re business-minded.
- Find a part-time job. Earn money whilst gaining skills and experiencing the world of work. You’ll learn how to effectively balance your time, and you’ll be bringing in extra money, too! Many people struggle to find work due to lack of experience; don’t let yourself be one of them! You can search for jobs using the Careers Gateway.
- Volunteer! Volunteering is a great way of getting experience. It also allows you to give something back to the community. Opportunities through Careers include York Students in Schools (YSIS), York Students in Communities and the @Work programme.
- Take part in skills courses that you can put towards the York Award in your final year.
- Try a new language – your first LFA course is free!
During your second/penultimate year, you might:
- Work towards finding a summer internship. A good place to start is with the Student Internship Bureau, based in Careers, which provides paid internships solely for York students, with local employers. Internships are snapped up quickly, so make sure you’re on the ball and are ready for application deadlines.
- Think about what other forms of work experience you could undertake during the year. Work shadowing, part-time work and placements can all add value to your CV, whilst letting you experience different job sectors that you might be interested in!
- Start to research graduate jobs or further study – this will help you to think about your final year/post-graduation plans.
- Try some more volunteering: YSIS and York Students in Communities offer the opportunity to run a community project, giving you the chance to develop your leadership skills.
- Attend different networking and employer events. Talking to people who work in area you are interested in is a great way to find out about the sector, and you might also get tips on work experience and the type of candidates recruiters look for.
- Continue taking part in skills courses to further develop your personal and professional skills. Your penultimate year is the time to make the most of experiences that you may be too busy for in final year.
As a finalist, you can:
- Apply for graduates jobs or further study. Some deadlines are a lot earlier than others, so you need to be prepared. Our Applications and Interviews webpage is a good place to start for tips on application techniques.
- Check out the Careers fairs in October to talk to loads of different graduate recruiters and find out about the range of graduate schemes on offer.
- Get ready to apply for the York Award in January – this is a fab opportunity to reflect on everything that you’ve done during your time at York, which will also help you to prepare for job interviews!
- Try different internships and work experience; it’s never too late to try new things, especially if you’re not sure what you want to do after graduation.
- Update your Employability Plan via the Employability Tutorial. This will make it easier for your supervisor to write you’re a reference, if needed, as your experiences and aspirations will be shared with them from an early stage.
Above all, make sure that during your time at York you make use of Careers! We’re here to help you get to where you want to be by graduation, so whether that’s careers advice, volunteering information, internships, enterprise funding, interview practice or just somewhere to study, we can help. The Careers Timeline is a great tool to help you plan your time and give you ideas of different things to get stuck into, so make the most of this resource.
* There’s also a version of the Timeline specifically for students on taught postgraduate programmes too.
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