The end of your time as an undergraduate may still seem far in the distance, but it will have come to an end before you know it. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get organised for life after being an undergraduate student. Here’s what you should be starting to think about:
Which industry/area of employment would you like to work in?
It’s important you have an idea of what area you’d like to work in as this will probably inform your next step, whether that’s applying for postgraduate study, a graduate scheme, or finding more experience and building your skill set. If you’d like some more information on what life in different industries is like, it’s a good idea to go along to careers fairs, such as The Big Careers Fair. Even if you aren’t actively applying for vacancies, going along and asking lots of questions will make you much more informed about different roles and application processes.
Have you considered doing a masters?
If you’re considering a career in academia or want to study even further to specialise, then doing a masters is something you need to look into. You must have considered it carefully, as postgraduate study is a big commitment. If it’s something you’d like to think about, keep an eye out for information on the upcoming Postgraduate Open Day and the Postgraduate Study Fair this year.
Do you need any additional qualifications?
Depending on the career you’d like, you may have to continue your studies to achieve another qualification that’s relevant to the job. For example, to work in the legal sector you may need a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or to teach you’ll need a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Make sure you know clearly what’s required so you can take the necessary steps.
Do you want to go straight into employment?
If continuing to study isn’t for you, then chances are you’ll want to find employment for after your degree. Many organisations can advertise their competitive graduate positions as early as September/October, so it’s important to get organised and prepared for this. Make the most of any careers events, such as the Big Careers Fair, for an insight into different roles and applications processes and also The Careers Service for support with your CV, interviews, and psychometric testing. To search for open vacancies, CareersLink is a useful tool as well as the Manchester Graduate Talent Programme for internships.
Do you need to develop your skills and CV before you take the next step?
Before you apply for any vacancies, or even work experience, it’s important that your CV is up-to-date and that it’s the best it can be. Use all the resources you can to get feedback and help with your CV. You could book an appointment with The Careers Service or use their online resources. It’s also a good idea to look at job profiles for vacancies that you’re interested in applying for in the near future. Look at the skills and experience that are required for these roles and look at whether you have them. If there are gaps, focus on gaining the relevant skills and experience in the remaining time you have. Again, you can visit The Careers Service in The Atrium on the 1st floor of University Place if you need some advice on guidance on the best way to go about this.