How to Leverage Careers Services at UK Universities for Internships and Jobs

As per studies, students who use University’s Careers Services, are more likely to obtain full-time jobs than their peers who do not use this service (67% vs 59%). In fact, students who had good career-services experiences were also more likely to have good jobs waiting for them upon graduation. In this article, we have provided a brief guide on how to leverage careers services to get internships and jobs.

Getting Jobs in the UK as an International Student

University students need to carefully ponder over their next engagement after completing the course they are pursuing. It could be continuing their academic pursuit or stepping into their professional life.

Universities in the UK render career services to guide students plan their next step. It may just be a suggestion to learn a new skill, an internship that will help in gaining experience, providing guidance for immigration to the UK, assistance in writing CVs and cover letters. International students will find these services from their place of study of immense help in their pursuit of achieving career goals.

International students, in general, prefer getting into a job after completing their first degree than continuing to study further on. Two major drivers for seeking jobs immediately after completion of the course are (a) the high cost of living and studying in the UK and (b) gaining professional experience after the first international degree prepares you better for the next level of academic qualification when one wants to continue with academics.

Related Article: Best Courses to Study in UK to Get Jobs as International Students

Careers Services (aka Career Centers) at UK Universities

The career service of a university provides counselling to the students. It is important to plan the interaction session with the counsellor and be ready with a list to seek suggestions. Giving below a few such points:

  1. Identify the professional strength you have and seek guidance on how can you build on the same. Some of the examples of professional strengths are research skills, communication, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, interpersonal skills and technical skills. Likewise, identify your weakness and the steps to be taken to improve on them. In job interview these two are most commonly asked questions and having ready answers improves your chance of getting selected.
  2. Seek advice on the type of career the specialization of your study prepares you for. Joining leadership programs, getting short-duration skill enhancement certification or taking on an internship can help you build important skills while you are still in school. Get guidance from the counsellor in this regard.
  3. Your career counselor can help you choose the activities and programs that build on the specific skills that you will need in your intended career choice. They can connect you to these opportunities so you can get the most out of your education.
  4. Get feedback and areas to improve on your resume and cover letter. Career counselors have viewed many resumes and often know what things employers are looking for when reviewing them. Ask your career counselor to review your resume and to give you feedback. They can also give you recommendations for additional skills or experiences to include.
  5. Preparation for a job interview career counselors can be an excellent resource for improving your interview techniques. They can help you rehearse answers to common questions. They can also provide feedback on ways to improve your interview answers. By conducting mock interviews, you can go through the steps of a traditional interview, boosting your confidence and helping you practice things like your handshake and posture.

Importance of Internships

The most important step forward to get a suitable job after completion of the course is to take every opportunity of internship that comes your way during graduation and/or post-graduation. Doing an internship will give several benefits apart from earning. Given here under a few important advantages of internship:

  • Facilitate transition from study to work;
  • Improve the understanding of a particular job or industry;
  • Helps in gaining an insight into the way organizations operate and the challenges they face;
  • Gives contact in the industry and an opportunity to get absorbed as an employee post completion of the course;
  • Prepares you to face job interviews and showcase real work examples

Related Articles:

How to make the most out of an internship

Masters in UK with Internships and Industrial Placements

Career Fairs / Job Fairs

Some universities also put on Jobs fairs just for minority students which some employers attend (but not the majority) to increase the number of non-white employees in their organization. Indian students studying in the UK must take this opportunity whenever it comes their way.

You can also attend recruitment events at other universities if an employer you are interested in isn’t visiting your university. the Career’s service at all universities stocks a directory called GET (Graduate Employment and Training). It lists most graduate employers with vacancies.

The Careers Service may also publish a weekly or fortnightly bulletin of employers with vacancies. Make use of these resources to apply for a job, particularly during the last couple of months of the final semester.

UK Universities with Best Careers Services

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) is a UK company specializing in the analysis of higher education institutions around the world. Their Graduate Employability Rankings of 2022 feature 54 universities from the UK in the global top 500.

The ranking is based on the score each university gets in five important parameters of employability viz., (i) employer reputation, (ii) alumni outcomes, (iii) partnerships with employers, (iv) employer/student connections, and (v) graduate employment rate.

Best Universities for Careers Services in the UK

Here is a list of the top ten universities of the UK on this ranking (global rank given in parenthesis):

  1. University of Oxford (07)
  2. University of Cambridge (11)
  3. University College London – UCL (20)
  4. Imperial College London (30)
  5. University of Manchester (42)
  6. London School of Economics and Political Science (48)
  7. University of Edinburgh (49)
  8. University of Bristol (49)
  9. University of Leeds (52)
  10. University of Nottingham (66)

Other Top UK Universities for Careers Services and Employability Support

  • University of Warwick
  • Loughborough University
  • University of Sheffield
  • Bangor University
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Portsmouth
  • Brunel University London
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow

Featured Image Source: Royal Holloway University of London

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