Research tells us that that the three factors contributing to graduates’ success are:
- getting work experience whilst at University
- having a career plan on leaving University
- making focussed applications while studying.
Think about your career options from the outset and reflect on your new experiences as you progress – what are you enjoying? What isn’t quite what you thought? Get involved with clubs and volunteer with local conservation projects and organisations – you will meet interesting people and start to shape your ideas about where you might like your degree to take you.
Gain work experience
While your degree might be the key to unlocking employment doors, work experiences will help to push those doors open.
Work experience such as placements can boost employment prospects as well as providing a unique opportunity to get involved with different projects or get behind the scenes of some fascinating research facilities, meeting new people and building professional contacts for life. Some of the employers that our Marine Biologists have secured placements with include:
- Argans Ltd. Plymouth
- Australian Institute of Marine Science
- Cornish Seal Sanctuary
- Gili Shark Conservation
- Latin American Sea Turtle Association
- Marine Biological Association
- Ocean Giants Trust
- Polzeath Marine Conservation Group
- Scripps Institute of Oceanography
- Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
- University of Plymouth (Marine Litter Unit)
Volunteering in local projects will build up your field skills and hands-on experience while potentially creating future opportunities via the people you meet. Take a look at the University of Plymouth Students’ Union who offer a massive range of voluntary opportunities.
Part-time work will bring in much-needed money while you study and will also enhance your professional and transferrable skills such as teamwork, time keeping, flexibility and customer service skills as well as increasing commercial awareness. Consider applying to become a Student Ambassador and get experience of events, public speaking and enjoy showcasing your subject to members of the public at community and university outreach events.
Don’t leave it until the end!
Many employers advertise roles of interest before you have completed your degree – some as early as the autumn of your final year. Aim to be at least be ready to make applications, with your CV and LinkedIn profile up-to-date and employer-friendly and ready to go by the beginning of your final year.
Clubs & Societies
Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities as well as enhancing your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion
You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to marine biology such as MBS 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 tutors and other academic staff have had extensive experience and across this work sector and within academia and are extremely knowledgeable. They will be fully supportive of your career development and are will-connected, 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.