Paint your palette blue and gray

The University of Kent work experience bursary allowed me to afford to go to an Introduction to Art therapy day at the Claremont Project in London. The bursary allowed for me to afford both the ticket for the day, and the cost of my train ticket there and back. Without the bursary I don’t know how I would have been able to afford this valuable experience.

Going to the introduction to Art Therapy day was incredibly valuable. I had and still do have an interest in art therapy, I love art, and I want to be able to help other young LGBT+ people, and art therapy seemed like the perfect way to merge my interests and make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people. However, I didn’t know much about what art therapy, or the training to become an art therapist entailed. Also, becoming an art therapist after graduation would be a major change of direction from my current course, and I felt unconfident about whether I had the skills I needed.

The day was both eye opening and reassuring. In a way the introduction day was the bumpy landing into reality I needed. Becoming an art therapist is a very difficult and lengthy process, usually only recommended to people who already have a stable job, a secure support network and a wealth of experience in the mental health field. BAAT (the British association of art therapists) recommended having a substantial amount of money saved up before you begin the training. Even when the cost of the course tuition is covered by student loan, there are still some very expensive hidden course costs like compulsory private therapy for the duration of the course. It is also essential to have experience in the mental health field before becoming an art therapist. I attended the training day believing I could gain the relevant experience by volunteering alongside my degree, however as I would need at least 1,500 hours of work experience in the mental health centre, it would be a better idea to take a year out and work in the relevant field before doing an art psychotherapy MA.

However, whilst the reality of becoming an art therapist was more difficult than I had been expecting the day also reassured me that I had what I needed to pursue a career using art, and taught me that it was more valuable to have a living breathing portfolio, than perfect but stiff pieces. Through exploring real life case studies, the convenors of the introduction day also demonstrated how art therapy is able to make a real difference to real people’s lives. The question and answer session at the end of the day, answered many of my questions and concerns both about the course, and about employability as an art therapist, as well as exploring the pros and cons between working in the public sector and working privately.

Having learnt a lot more about art therapy, I realised I need to carefully consider my options. If art therapy remains something that I want to do, I need to take the time to build up the relevant work experience and safety net before embarking on the course, it’s not something I can rush straight into after graduation. Having realised both the hidden costs of becoming an art therapist, and the fairly low employability rates, as well as having learnt how little of your own art work you actually get to make, I am considering other careers in the arts such as illustration, that I shied away from before. I am still very interested in helping young people, and whilst I’m still considering becoming an art therapist, I am also opening up to other ways in which I can do that whilst having an artistic career.

The introduction to art therapy day was incredibly valuable as it gave me a more rounded picture of what being an art therapist actually means, and allowed me to consider my options with complete information before committing myself to an expensive MA. It also gave me more information about what I need to become an art therapist, meaning that If I do decide that this is still the path for me, I can go forward and gain the proper experience I need to succeed. Without the University of Kent work experience bursary, I would not have been able to afford going on this introduction day, which meant I’d therefore have been making less informed decisions about my future, and be lacking in vital experience.

– Judith Allen is a 3rd year Social Anthropology student


Work experience at the BBC

Every Journalist’s dream is to work for the BBC. I always thought the journalists were superhuman or overly talented. Don’t get me wrong they are exceptional but I never put a human face to them. To interact with them and know what they go through – the daily struggles and they followed their passion to be where they are – has encouraged me to keep working hard to achieve my goal of being a broadcast journalist. Lessons from my trip were, be creative, believe in my diversity because it’s  my biggest asset, and network! I am extremely grateful to the Centre for Journalism for organising the trip. It was a great morale booster and I got to see the studios and Gallery, the team from the world service, Radio 4, weather, and the General Manager for the Broadcasting service. They were all amazing and very encouraging.

– Ama Nunoo studied International Multimedia Journalism at the University of Kent

It was a great experience to witness the behind the scenes of the work at BBC. We found out so much about what actually goes on in the industry and how much work is done before the end product (news) comes to us. We also got an opportunity to try our hand at some technical aspects of the news gallery, and weather forecast presentation room. I would like to thank the University of Kent for giving us this exposure as it was an amazing learning experience.

– Surbhi Modi studied International Multimedia Journalism at the University of Kent

Good morning, Judge

As an aspiring London barrister, it is important that I attend mini-pupillages at barristers’ chambers in London. However, the train fare to London can be very expensive when travelling at peak times for a week. I am therefore very grateful to the work experience bursary for removing the stress and worry of having to pay for this, allowing me to have a valuable and essential work experience placement in London.

Attending a mini pupillage allowed me to see what life as a pupil or junior barrister is like, and to gauge the type of cases that a property barrister will start off doing. It allowed me to ask all the questions I had about how to get to the bar and what its like, which will help me to make sure that I’m on the right track.

I was given an unassessed task while I was there in which I had to come up with arguments for a client to have their claim reinstated, which used material from a real case that the chambers had took on, meaning that I got to experience what I felt like to work through the bundle for a case and formulate arguments using the Civil Procedure Rules, just like a real junior barrister. The task was very interesting and the barrister who set it was very impressed with what I came up with. This experience will be very useful for when I apply for pupillage as there will be similar tasks as assessments, and it was an excellent introduction to the Civil Procedure Rules which will help me with my Bar Professional Training Course.

I’ve realised how essential mini-pupillages are, as all chambers are so different, and it is important to find one where I feel like I’ll fit in. However, the two main lessons I learnt on this placement were: 1. That barristers do a LOT of reading; and 2. Barristers do a LOT of waiting. But that it is all worth it for that time in court where you are affecting real lives, doing the best you can for your client. This placement really made the law feel real for me, as opposed to just subject matter. As a barrister, you put the law into action.

– Cara Hall is a recent Law graduate

Win £100 to spend on Amazon and help us at the same time!

Everyone at the University of Kent Careers & Employability Service needs your feedback to continue to give you excellent careers support. This year we’re taking part in the trendence survey, one of the UK’s largest student surveys, and their reports will tell us how satisfied you are with your careers support and the wider university experience, as well as which employers you aspire to work for. Take the survey and you’ll be giving us valuable feedback.

In return for your help, trendence are giving away…

  • a £100 Amazon gift card (given away every week – 14 to give away!)
  • an iPad Pro (two given away at close of survey)

Click here to enter the competition!

Tell us what you think of your university course, which employers you like, and how you’re feeling about your future career. trendence will continue to use the results to put together research reports to help universities and employers across the UK, so that they know what kind of job you want.

It only takes 15 minutes (and you can take it on your mobile!) Take the survey now:

Would you like to know more about trendence? Here’s some extra information:

The trendence Graduate study is the UK’s most comprehensive piece of research into students’ views on graduate careers and recruitment: over 62,000 UK students took part last year. trendence also powers The Guardian UK 300, so ranking your favourite employers is a great way to influence their status in the publication.

trendence is an excellent tool for helping students to think about graduate careers: the questions require you to rank employers in a variety of ways, helping you to think laterally about your career options and why you like, or don’t like, certain companies.

Your answers are completely anonymous. You are welcome to read our data protection policytrendence abides by all MRS codes, ESOMAR codes and ISO 20252. We are conducting this survey in partnership with your Careers Service.

Graduate schemes vs graduate jobs

When graduation looms, so does the big question of what the next step to take is. Do you walk straight into a job? Go wandering on a gap year? Or even plan to start your own business? Most students choose the former, and for that reason we want to share the difference between graduate schemes, & graduate jobs so it’s clear for ever and eva.

What is a graduate scheme

Graduate schemes are offered by most large employers and consist of a very structured training period within a company that can last for 1 to possibly 3 years depending on the specific organisation. During this time, you will learn and gain experience working in various sectors of the business allowing you the opportunity to see where you shine. Probably the best thing about grad schemes is they also involve a series of placements – allowing you to improve your skills in different areas. Employers are known to use graduate schemes for finding & recruiting future manager positions.

What is a graduate job

graduate job on the other hand is the entry-level role that requires people with graduate level education. This usually means you begin from the word go in the position you apply for, and the training may not be as varied & structured to that offered on a grad scheme. You will probably have more control over your own development & progression.

Graduate schemes:

  • Allow graduates to experience many aspects of the role and organisation as a whole.
  • Intense training, development and support.
  • Access to various departments and issues faced by each function

Graduate jobs:

  • Training provided, but graduate is expected to be pretty knowledgeable & ready for chosen position.
  • ‘Learn on the job’ approach.
  • Faster progression in role and within the organisation

So there you have it! Both have their perks, the important thing is what works for you.

If you want to have experience in various areas of an organisation with more structure, then a grad scheme is the way to go. Instead if you’d prefer to jump straight into the job and get stuck-in and learn as you work a graduate job is what you are looking for. Check out which companies are currently offering graduate schemes or which companies are currently offering graduate jobs in the UK.

– Originally posted by at

Is this the real life. Is this just fantasy?

The past two weeks working at the BBC South East Today has been an absolutely amazing experience. From the beginning, everyone was so welcoming and willing to show me the ropes. Whilst at the BBC, I did an array of jobs and worked with different departments.

First, I worked with the planning department. There I learned how the team go about finding and assigning stories. Also, how they set up stories for the week. I found this very helpful because it showed the process of story selection and figuring what stories pertain to your patch, and ones that your audience will be interested in.

Secondly, I teamed with the online and social media journalists. I really quite enjoyed this because it gave me a chance to edit video and write short stories, which ended up on the BBC website and Twitter.

My favorite part was when I got to shadow two reporters. One day I went to Eastbourne with Robin Gibson to do a story on modern-day beach huts. It was absolutely amazing! He has been in the game for so long that he knew how the story would go before we even started. It was amazing to see how natural he was. Although the story was not the most fascinating, the way he wrote was amazing storytelling. He made a master piece out of nothing. He also let me do some vox pops which is always fun.

Secondly, I went with a video journalist, Amanda Akass, to Brighton to do a story on a footballer. That was absolutely fantastic! It was interesting to see a professional do the same things that I did for school. I was able to compare what I have been doing to what she does, and found that I was doing the exact same thing, which in itself was reassuring. I even played a part in the interview by asking about the footballer’s tattoo which turned out to be pertinent to the story and was used in the final news package. It was great to see the process that each individual journalist goes through when preparing for a story and comparing it to what I do.

Last, but definitely not least, I shadowed one of the news presenters, John Young. He was absolutely amazing and so inspiring! He let me practice presenting, and actually recorded a few takes for me to keep for future employment. He was so helpful and offered great advice. He also let me work through questions and scenarios that arise in the newsroom. Ultimately, I would love to be a presenter, and to have a professional presenter tell me that I have what it takes was truly inspirational and gave me the confidence boost I needed.

The greatest part about this experience was the confirmation that I’m on the right track. At first, I was so nervous about beginning a career in journalism because I felt completely unqualified and that I wasn’t good enough. However, all of the amazing feedback I received helped confirm for me that I’m doing what I need to do and that I’m not lagging. Everyone offered amazing advice and tips that I will carry with me throughout my entire journey in journalism. All of the connections I made will definitely be useful and helpful to me in the future. I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and I thank the Centre for Journalism for choosing me to take part in this experience. I am now ready to begin my journey, and I’m excited for where life will take me.

– Adrianna Clark is a recent Master’s graduate in International Multimedia Journalism

The Benefits of Becoming an International Student

Although some courses have a mandatory year of studying or working abroad, many students fail to consider the prospect of studying or working internationally. Spending part of your time at university overseas can be an eye-opening experience and can also be of great benefit to you after graduation. For me, the prospect of career success was motivation enough to study overseas. The redeemable qualities and experience you gain after working and living overseas can actually push you ahead of your competition when it comes to applying for jobs after graduation. Here are some of the main benefits of becoming an international students.

Gaining a new perspective on the world:

Moving overseas will help to broaden your understanding of the world. Immersing yourself in new cultures, and being surrounded by new values and opinions can help you to become a much more in-tune, understanding individual. The interpersonal skills that you can develop from interacting with people from a wide range of different backgrounds, different cultures and different ethnicities are highly commended in the business world and can be transferred into any career pathway you may choose to take. I chose to spend a year of my studies in Queensland, which is in fact a hub for international students and travellers alike. This gave me the opportunity to make the acquaintance of some of the most interesting and intelligent people I have ever met.

A study conducted by the European Commission found that students who study overseas are less likely to struggle to find employment, compared to those who choose not to. It’s important to remember that when you’re looking for a job after graduation, every other applicant will have the same skill set as yourself, it’s your additional qualities and assets that will set you aside from everybody else. Being at ease in any situation and possessing the ability to be able to speak to people of all different levels is a big green tick from employers.

Study new things, develop new skills:

Taking a year out to study at an overseas university opens you up to the possibility of learning new modules that are not available to you at home. For example, if you are completing a degree in finance or economics, then studying in a different country will help you to develop a broader understanding of the global economy. This can be applied to any degree or course you are involved with. Having a specialised skill, or learning a language whilst you are studying overseas again can really put you over the edge and can help you to distinguish yourself in the sea of job applicants. Learning a new language, for example, can be a great additional skill for people who are looking to work for a large international company.

How studying abroad helped me in my career:

Since I graduated, I really did find that my time overseas helped me to establish a pathway with my career. Spending time in Queensland made me realise that I wanted to work in a profession that helped people to work and live wherever they want in the world. Since graduating, I have worked for the Immigration Advice Services in London, specialising in British Naturalisation. Once graduating, you will find that your degree and the experience you develop during your time at university will shape your career path in the most unconventional ways, and opening yourself up to new experiences and teachable moments will help to establish this.

– Jess Sullivan was an exchange student at the University of Kent, and has since graduated from the University of Queensland.