Careers Fair Top Tips

With the University of Kent Employability Festival Careers Fair fast approaching (Tuesday 16th October 10am-4pm), I have compiled a list of top tips just for students. As a student myself I have attended the Careers Fair, and can therefore honestly recommend taking a couple of minutes to do some preparation, as it will really help to get the most out of what can seem like a very daunting experience.

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Proposed Access Hour by Careers and Employability Service – © University of Kent

 

1.Do you find the prospect of a busy, noisy room full of people daunting? Please consider our Access Hour (10-11am). No booking or prior disclosure is required. Click here for more information on the access hour. 

2. The careers fair is not just for 3rd years looking for graduate jobs. Any student has got to start somewhere, and there are also many employers offering undergraduate opportunities. 

3. What do you want from the careers fair?

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Your Future | by Free For Commercial Use (FFC)

a. If you haven’t got a clue when someone asks ‘what do you want to do when you leave uni?’, the careers fair is the perfect place to start to figure out this out. This link shows the companies that will employ students from any subject. You should also have received an email from the Careers and Employability Service with the list of employers related to your subject.

 

b. If you know what career you would like to pursue and the relevant companies,  you can look up the employers that will be at the careers fair using this link to make sure you don’t miss anyone on the day and can use your time more wisely.

4. Research some of these employers beforehand if you really want to impress them on the day. It is also extremely useful as you can approach employers with specific questions that you need answering – they will probably be very busy!

5. Prepare a brief introduction about yourself to start a conversation with an employer. This will help them know what information is relevant to you, and how they can help. e.g.  “Hi I’m Grace, and I’ve just started my second year in Politics and International Relations here at the university. I have enjoyed my work experience in the charity sector and I am looking to develop my skills further in the field of politics. I noticed from your

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Book a quick advice session through ‘find appointments’ on Target Connect

website that you take on students within your company. Can you tell me more about your scheme and what it involves?”

6. Take a few printed copies of your updated CV or business cards, but remember that not all employers will be willing to take them – why not get your CV checked at the CES beforehand? Book an appointment here.

 

7. Bring a pen and notebook to take notes when talking to employers – not only does this help you when you get home from a long day, but shows employers that you are organised and care.

8. Bring something to put all your leaflets and business cards in so you don’t drop them everywhere! (definitely not talking from experience…)

9. Smart casual is the safest bet dress wise – clean and tidy is essential 

 

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Careers Fair by Careers and Employability Service – © University of Kent

10. Start the application of any companies you would look to apply for so that you can
get any questions you have about the process answered in person

 

11. Smile! Employers at the festival won’t bite, they are there to help you

12. Visit your top priority employer once you’ve talked to a couple of others, this gives you a chance to warm up and build your confidence

13. If you can handle it without a friend, visit employer stands on your own. It is unlikely you will both be looking at the same companies so you can use your time better, and it shows that you are an independent and capable individual.

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Sticky note – you can do that! | by http://tvorbaweb-

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Building bridges

My work experience in ANT YAPI UK in London was a great opportunity to experience the construction part of my job since I studied architecture. I think it is important to see the different types of industries you could work in before deciding on what you want to do in the future. This experience showed me how construction companies work and I had the opportunity to compare a design office to a construction office.

I was expected to help the quantity surveyors in the company, ask for material samples which helped me to improve my experience in the use of materiality. I did AutoCAD drafting on the construction details and also on the floor plans of their new projects.  Also I worked in the procurement department organising the invoices and the delivery notes on an online platform.

I improved my skills on understanding the construction details better by analysing all the layers in the building and while I did that I saw most of the materials in reality as well. I got to know how to communicate with people by email in a formal way which will help me a lot for my future work experiences.

I think having a summer internship is very important since you need to commit waking up very early in the morning and also commute in my case but making use of the time you have free during the summer is very satisfying. Also it is a great experience to see different types of departments in the offices or even different industries.

– Alara Asya Gogus is a recent graduate of the University of Kent, in Architecture. She benefitted from the Bursary, and so can you! Find out more here.

Making the most of your time at University to increase your employability

When you start University the world of employment seems a long way off, and it’s easy to put getting a job to the back of your mind whilst you focus on your education and having fun. However, with the market for graduate jobs becoming ever more competitive it can really be useful to make the most of your time at university to give yourself a head start. Let’s look at some of the things you can do at university to increase your employability.

  1. Find out about different career options

A lot of people put off thinking seriously thinking about careers until quite late in their degree, and even then they often give it too little consideration. Deciding to join a graduate scheme can seem like the best option when you lack experience, but in reality they are the best option for relatively few people. Knowing what you ultimately want to do really helps you tailor your experiences to increase your chances of success. Here are some suggestions to help increase your awareness of potential jobs:

  • Visit your Careers Advice Centre – I know this seems obviously but a surprisingly high percentage of people don’t do so. Careers Advisors can help you understand what sorts of careers are likely to match your personality preferences, or provide advice around the sorts of things that people who complete your course tend to do afterwards.
  • Ask others what career they can see you doing, or even what career they wish that they had pursued. This can be really useful for opening up different ideas you hadn’t even considered.
  • Take a look at the websites of organisations and professional bodies in the areas you are interested in. Look at the types of jobs they are advertising, and the experience and qualifications they are asking for. It’s easy to say that I want to work for an energy corporation, but understanding what types of roles they might have available increases your chances of achieving this.
  • Think about the type of lifestyle you might want to have. Do you want to work internationally? Do you want to run your own business? Different career options require different experiences.

Continue reading

Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car

I had a very warm welcome from the Enterprise Rent-A-Car team who made me feel at home in just a couple of minutes. This is what you can expect from a company whose priority is good customer service above all. I had the opportunity to have a close look at the graduate applicant selection process. On the second day, I was lucky enough to be able to shadow interviewers in the different tasks which comprised the assessment centre.

Enterprise have their selection done in-house, so I was able to network and meet not only with the incredible Talent Acquisition team but also the Area Managers. I have most definitely improved my networking and communication skills. However, the nature of shadowing is one of patient observation and analysis. From the various applicants’ performances and analyses from the assessment centre interviewers, I had a much better idea of what employers look for from applicants. Therefore, I can confidently say that I have gained very valuable analytical and employability skills.

Understanding the graduate selection process and seeing how an assessment centre is run gave me an insight in the field of recruitment. Since I wish to further my studies in Organisational Psychology, thiswas the perfect opportunity to delve into this field.

– Teshan S. Bunwaree is a final year Psychology and Law student at the University of Kent.

Self-employment abroad and tax rates!

Hi, it’s Amy here, a careers adviser from the Medway campus. I’m currently on a career break for a year but I thought I’d keep in touch by sending blogs of careers-type-things I learn on my way!

After staying with some couch-surfers in Spain (one Spanish wedding photographer and one English expat), I was shocked to hear about the differences in self-employment taxes. I used to be a wedding photographer and would only have to pay tax after making a certain amount of money, however, this wedding photographer said he has to pay around 300 euros every month regardless of how much money he makes in addition to 40% tax. I believe tax rates vary, but even if a self-employed person makes no money one month, they still have that set monthly fee. For a lot of people, this means they cannot afford to be self-employed, especially as it takes time to build up a client base.

Paying taxes has an effect on benefits too, for example, the amount someone can claim for unemployment benefit is directly related to how much they have paid in (and for how long).

If you’re looking at being self-employed abroad, make sure you check the tax rates and payments first. But also weigh this up with the cost of living. Yes, the self-employed photographer I met had to pay a lot more tax than I did, but the fuel and the wine are so much cheaper than in the UK (two of my main expenditures on this trip so far!) As long as I manage to keep spending more of my euros on fuel than wine, I’ll send more blogs from other countries!

Please note, this information is based on informal conversations so figures may not be completely accurate and may differ depending on circumstances. Make sure you do your own research if you are looking at self-employment abroad.

– Amy Wiggins, Careers Adviser @ Kent (currently on a career break)

Doing unpaid work experience?

Have you heard about our bursary?

These students did, and look what they achieved!

My internship at Kent Enterprise Trust was amazing. It was a great learning experience and I had the chance to meet many wonderful people who I got to learn from. – Micaela Digennaro

 

With the help of The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary, I was able to not only get the amazing opportunity to experience a variety of mini-pupilages, but it also allowed me to witness and experience the working environment in which I am considering as a career. – Maria Deguara

 

Thanks to the University of Kent Work Experience Bursary I had peace of mind knowing that my travel expenses would be covered by the University. All I had to do was plan out my travel to the workplace and make sure I kept the receipts for them. – Teshan S. Bunwaree

Find out more, and apply online at www.kent.ac.uk/ces/bursarykew.html

Working with the head sports therapist at Gravesend RFC

Over the course of the year, I have been working alongside the head sports therapist at Gravesend RFC. During my time there I was required to perform specific special tests to help diagnose a client’s injury.

Throughout the early stages of my placement, there were times where I was asked to perform special tests for the hip and at the time, I had no knowledge of what to do. This made me feel embarrassed and took a toll on my confidence as a sports therapist. I felt that because I had to ask my supervisor how to perform a certain special test, I would lose respect from the players and the staff.

On a positive note, after my supervisor told me which special test to perform, I was able to provide the correct treatment and also develop a suitable rehabilitation programme. At that moment in time, I felt like the supervisor and players expected me to know all the special tests even though I haven’t even been taught them yet by the university. This encouraged me to research special tests independently so that I have the required knowledge if this scenario ever happened again. I would research journal articles and use YouTube videos for further guidance.

After revising all the special tests fully, I was able to perform any special test required during the latter stages of the season which boosted my confidence and I felt that I earnt the respect that I fought hard to get.

– Harry Morrell is a 3rd year Sports Therapy student

Have you found some unpaid work experience? You could be entitled to the BKEW bursary – apply today!