Preparing for the time after graduation

by Jeanette Sakel

I’ve seen a few of my personal tutees this week – and have more lined up over the coming weeks. While most students at levels 1 and 2 still feel quite relaxed about ‘what comes after graduation’, many level 3 students feel the end of TB2 looming – only another 9 weeks of lectures before ‘the end of uni’.

If you are a level 3 student, you may ask yourself if there is anything you can do now to make a difference to your job prospects. Surely, it is too late to gain further work experience at this stage? I know that many students feel under a lot of pressure to prepare for the final assessments at level 3. While part time work or volunteering may be too much at this stage, there are still things you can do to improve your prospects of gaining employment after graduation:

1) Check out the UWE Careers Service. The university has invested a lot of money into this service, which has won a number of awards. It’s a service for you to make use of – now, as well as after graduation. It’s a good idea to start now – to be prepared. They can help you with:

– Graduate internships (these are brilliant ways of gaining experience as well as trying out an area of work that looks interesting, and is supported by UWE to get you started. Take a look at the opportunities, and find out what you can do!)

– Teach English abroad (quite a few of our students want to teach English abroad. Careers have information about a wide range of schemes)

– Work experience over the summer (you may want to improve some skills before you apply for your dream job – for example if you want to go into Speech and Language Therapy or Writing. UWE Careers – and UWE Volunteering – can help you with that).

– Find graduate employment (there are a lot of jobs on InfoHub – if you haven’t signed up yet, I urge you to do so, so that you don’t miss out!)

– Help you with your CV and cover letter (you can book personal sessions with a careers consultant to go over them)

– and so on…!

2) Talk to our graduates. Many of our former students are still on the LING/EL Facebook group and on this blog. They may be able to help you, because they’ve just gone through the same process! I encourage our graduates to write about their experiences on here – check the older posts on this blog for some of these stories. Yet, even just an informal chat with a graduate can help a lot. If you don’t want to send a generic message out on the Facebook group, ask me or any of the other members of staff for help – we keep in touch with many of our graduates and may be able to help you find someone who is doing something you are interested in!

3) Talk to your personal tutor. We’re here to help!

4) Look around – there’s more out there. Sometimes opportunities arise by chance – you come across a poster advertising a job or you meet someone who knows someone who can help you – or you find something online that looks interesting and worth pursuing. Networking – both in person and online – is a great way to hear about opportunities and to find out more.

Good luck with the last bit of the course – you’re almost there.

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