I’m now well and truly on the “home straight” of my degree (which I cannot believe as I’m writing this!) and in the last year I’ve been thinking a lot about work and what I’m doing next.
Where is my degree going to get me?
What have I achieved in the last three years?
What jobs should I go for?
To begin with I never thought too much about how I could enhance my employability at university besides simply doing my academic work and getting a degree.
Naivety right there ^^^ ….
The degree work is one part of it, but the School of PEP and York offers masses of other chances to help get you where you want to be in the professional world.
BUT you do have to take them!
Here’s a super quick run-down of what’s on offer which you should look at. Oh, and please forgive my Rihanna-inspired title (I couldn’t resist).
1. Opportunities to Network
It is often about who you know. Knowing the right person can result in unique opportunities.
The School of PEP keeps in touch with alumni who are in all sorts of fields and they are happy to be contacted and take questions from current students. Have a look here…
Personally it’s always reassuring to know that people in your position not so long ago are now successful and doing well.
Also, the Careers Service invite guest speakers to explain to students how to get into certain lines of work, I found the civil service event particularly helpful (I also remember an investment banking one!).
Networking within the Club of PEP and societies is also really helpful. Often societies are in touch with their former students who now specialise in certain things.
This term I’ve been involved with York Community Consulting (which offers real world consultancy experience for students) and they’ve put me in contact with some professional consultants who act as external mentors for the group – a great chance to pick up some insider knowledge.
2. Help getting work experience and jobs
Getting experience and (later on) full-time grad jobs is also something the School of PEP and the Careers Service help with.
The Careers online services advertises a whole host of job and internship opportunities to explore.
The School of PEP also has their own member in the York Careers Service who can help you find experience and develop your skills. This year alone I’ve had my CV looked over, a full mock interview, and even gone over feedback from job interviews, with a member of the Careers team.
It’s all been key in making the small changes that make you stand out in what is quite a competitive job market right now.
3. Developing your key skills through academic work
Working hard at your degree is certainly handy too. While PEP graduates aren’t exactly “specialists”, they can be an incredibly versatile and adaptable proposition to employers.
The variety of subjects has allowed me to develop my critical thinking, concise and clear writing skills, and numerical skills (particularly sought after by a lot of employers!). For less ‘technical’ roles, all of these general but often rare qualities are key and are religiously tested in lots of application processes for jobs.
All in all there’s plenty of support offered at York to help you get the career you’re after, you’ll be onto a winner for sure.