Gain work experience
Undertaking work experience in your first and second years will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study. Work experience develops valuable skills and qualities that employers are looking for and is essential for many roles. It can also help you to confirm or rule out career choices. Furthermore, experience in the workplace can bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career.
You will want to acquire experiences that immerse you within commercial environments where you are exposed to business functions and operations. With so many businesses to choose from, decide which industry/sector you want to work in and then find a relatable business to acquire experience from. This could be through a part time role whilst studying, or you could apply for a placement year. Alternatively, you could approach organisations directly to negotiate short periods of work experience. Some organisations offer paid internships over the summer or for one year’s duration.
Clubs and Societies
Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members can develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society/club promotion.
You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to your degree or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.
Tutor and academic support
Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.