Student case study – It’s my life…it’s now or never

Currently as a second year American Studies student going into my third year I can say that I have fully utilised the Careers and Employability Service (CES). It has allowed me to appreciate the university and how it supplies helpful advice for our present and future ideals. Most undergraduates starting now pay £9000 a year. I believe that our £9000 is worth it because of the services offered to us.

In many regards, CES is worth visiting day one of Freshers week. If you want to go out every night, you know the maintenance loan won’t cover you forever. Therefore a part-time job would suit you perfectly. Whilst the CES cannot give you a job (this would be way too easy for our competitive world) it can help massively in perfecting your CV. Appointments are easy to get and if you put the effort in, that one “coal-looking” CV will look like an employable diamond!

In my first year just before the Kent Union recruitment day I fixed my CV through some wonderful advice and now nearly two years on, I’m working and enjoying life in Essentials! You can even have an advice session about which career suits you best and get advice for upcoming interviews and future covering letters. All of these services are completely free and go a long way whilst progressing through your degree. The service also holds a careers fair during first term so there is no excuse to be locked in your room all day!

In the long term you will become even more employable to your future employer. Each CV drop in session you attend and every society you join, you are able to gain Employability Points, which is a programme which supports students going that extra mile! This means that in graduate interviews you will stand out and the competition will hopefully drop to their knees! Points are also fairly easy to gain if you have a passionate university lifestyle and they will last throughout your time in Kent. It’s just quite sad that many students don’t even know that they exist, instead they moan about costs when their fees are being used to help them! These Employability Points can additionally be used at the end of the year on a variety of opportunities, ranging from internships with companies like the Kent County Council or shadowing a senior at Santander.

For many it is not ideal when you’re soaking up the summer sun, but the CES can be of additional help. The Careers and Employability Module is a yearlong module dealing with CVs and job interviews, and has helped me gain and revaluate my skills to help me on my future career path. Most of these tasks, from a student point of view are easy to complete. You do not have to waste hours looking through paragraphs of notes. Most of them are interactive and there is even a few jokes noted in so you can remember the task in hand. It makes the whole ‘looking for job’ aspect come alive with colour and it gives you a wonderful insight to what the future can bring. If you have Wi-Fi on that Italian beach treat yourself to some of the tasks and assignments – they are all simple, quick and easy, but so helpful and informative. There is even a section (my personal favourite) called Work to Live or Live to Work that can make you feel deep about your choices and is something I would love to use in a future interview.

For us students, the world is becoming increasingly competitive. One should make the most of the time, have a few nights off from time to time, but work and craft your future using all of the services offered to you. In your first year, gain that important part-time job. In your second year, work and research that future career which you have always dreamed of. Therefore by your final year (which I hope will happen to myself), put all of those skills together and create a gleaming future that will make that £9000 a year so worth it!

– Jasper Gogol-Sicklen is a second year student studying American Studies (BAhons) at the University of Kent.

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