August

Careers support

Student Communications Ambassador Chiara Luongo shares her experience of accessing support from the University’s Careers team.

The Careers team are able to help you get a head start – whether it’s exploring your career goals, getting work experience or applying for graduate opportunities. They offer guidance on how to structure your CV and job applications, run mock interviews and provide start-up and enterprise support, too.

The Careers team have personally helped me secure a placement, gain part-time work, and have given me dedicated CV support during my three years of study at Bath Spa. In this blog post, I'll be sharing my experience of using the Careers service and why I think everyone at Bath Spa should use this service to their advantage.

Part-time work

Many students attempt to secure a part-time job alongside their study during university, commonly in retail, hospitality or bar work. However, what many students don't consider is working for their university while also studying there!

During my three years at Bath Spa, I've had two different jobs at the University: Student Ambassador and Student Communications Ambassador. Although the titles sound very similar, the roles are very different and I'll go into them in more detail later.

"A major benefit of working for the University is that they're more likely to be understanding than most part-time employers about being flexible with your shifts and workload – whether you have a deadline for an assignment or are revising for an upcoming exam."

I discovered both jobs on MyCareer, the University’s job search database which is managed by the Careers team. The process of applying was really easy – I didn’t even need to upload my CV. I filled out a short application form stating why I'd be an appropriate candidate for the role and my availability.

As a Student Ambassador...

I took part in the University’s Open Days, where prospective students came to visit the campus. I represented the Media Communications course, and took part in a short Q+A at the end of the presentation given by one of the academic staff about my course. I'd also sit at a stall and answer questions for people who couldn’t make it to the course talk.

"My job was essentially to talk about the course I was studying and my experience of it – yes, I got paid to do that!"

This was such a manageable job to obtain while studying, and it didn’t eat up much of my time, as Open Days only occur a handful of times throughout the year.

As a Student Communications Ambassador...

My role has hands-down been my favourite job I’ve had to date! Similar to my Student Ambassador job, I talked about my experience as a student at Bath Spa – except this time I was blogging about it and creating content in relation to it, including Instagram takeovers.

"This was a great remote job that I could carry out alongside my studies – even during the current circumstances."

I'd highly recommend working for the University as I've found these roles very flexible and manageable to do while studying. However, if you'd prefer to work elsewhere, the Careers team can provide you with guidance on how to apply for those positions and help you tailor your CV.

Placements

In my second year, I took a module called the ‘Placement Module’ where I undertook 70 hours of work experience on placement. Although I chose this module as a part of my credits for that year, it was up to me to secure that placement and have it approved by the Careers team. However, the Careers team were very hands-on in the process as they frequently uploaded potential placements on MyCareer – specifically for that module, which was stated in the description of the job role.

They were also very helpful with guiding me on how to tailor my CV and cover letters for placement applications during one-to-one meetings with staff from the Careers team. These meetings are still available to book via appointments on the Careers site and will be carried out on Google Meet via video call (all students have access to G Suite when they join the University). You can also submit a query on the Careers site where you can include an attachment, and I have frequently used this feature to ask for feedback on my CV.

"I found the placement that I went on to secure on MyCareer. My role was Social Media Assistant at Languages United, a local English language school in Bath. I created such a good relationship with the Managing Director that I was actually asked to come back and work for the company part-time – now paid!"

My experience on placement highlights the benefits of actively seeking out work experience opportunities during your time at university, as I now have nearly a year of experience in a role I hope to go into full-time after I graduate.

Setting yourself up for graduating and career prospects

As previously mentioned, my placement has definitely aided my future career prospects. Additionally, my role as a Student Communications Ambassador has developed my communication and content creation skills; these are specific skills that I'll need for the sector I hope to work in.

At the end of June, the Careers and Employability team organised two weeks of events and workshops designed to build students' career and business skills. Some of the workshops on offer included:

  • Get Graduate Ready: Graduate MOT
  • Choosing a Career
  • Video Interviewing with Confidence
  • Ask The Boss: Future Publishing.

This is just a handful of events out of the 24 that were offered. I took part in the ‘Get Graduate Ready: Graduate MOT’ workshop and found it very useful. I learned useful CV tips, how to tailor a cover letter to a specific company, and LinkedIn networking.

I'd encourage students to take part in as many workshops and events that the University has to offer as they’re free and usually only take up an hour of your time. In that hour, you'll likely learn something new but will also have the opportunity to network with potential employers and connect with them via LinkedIn. Definitely sign up for workshops!

The team

As you can probably tell, I have become very familiar with the Careers team and their services, meaning that I can share from experience that they'e very friendly and approachable people.

The idea of trying to figure out what you want to do after university can be daunting, but the Careers team make that experience much easier and are always happy to help out. I advise accessing the support of the Careers service as they have contacts with local employers and are experienced in helping students secure work experience and job opportunities.

"I've had a really positive experience with the Careers team and greatly encourage you to make use of their resources."

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.

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