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: www.trendence-gradbarometer.co.uk

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.

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Thinking about teaching English abroad?

Find out more about the job and how to start your career.

By Seb Cadinot and Caroline Challans

Teaching English is an excellent way to travel and work around the world and explore the in-country culture and language.  All of this strengthens your transferable skills, such as intercultural and communication skills, and experience.

Sound interesting? We’ve outlined below some of the benefits and considerations to think about.

Despite shifts in the language-learning world, for example the rise in the number of Mandarin-language learners across the world with the emergence of China as an economic powerhouse, English remains one the most commonly used languages globally, across all sectors. It is estimated there are over one billion English language learners, at all levels.[1] For you, this means a wide employment market, where your skills and qualification are very much valued, and will be for the foreseeable future.

You’ll obviously want to consider whether you’re seeking to make this your career, use this to travel the world or maybe to find get a temporary job in the UK. You’ll also want to be selective when it comes to where you’re applying to, considering not just location and salary but also school accreditation, working conditions, hours and the physical space you’ll be working in. And, you’ll want to ensure you are ready to apply, interview, and start your job. For these, consider what advantages you can gain; a qualification (e.g. CELTA), relevant experience (ambassadorial roles, tutoring, coaching) but also using the fact that you have lived in the UK. While we wouldn’t make it a requirement to employ our tutors here at Kent, being a ‘native speaker’, or having lived for a while in the UK is still very much an advantage abroad.

Getting started on your EFL career.

The first step is to gain a qualification, equipping you with the skills and practical teaching experience you will need, such as the Cambridge CELTA, a globally recognised certificate and standard of teaching for new teachers, seen by employers as one of main qualifications. Our CELTA at Kent runs over 5 weeks from June, after exams.  We offer our CELTA students additional, bespoke sessions focusing on employability, with insider views, visits from local employers and recruiting managers to give you guidance on applying for jobs and interviews.

What can I do to be successful on the CELTA?

Some key skills you will need to become EFL teacher include communication skills, ability to explain ideas and language simply to a wide range of people, adaptability (do as the Romans do!) and a sense of adventure.

If you’re thinking about a career in EFL, the university offers a range of schemes that would give you a number of transferable skills and experiences that would help you get ahead.  For example, have you thought about becoming an Academic Peer Mentor or Student Ambassador or Helpers, taking an active role in a Society, coaching or mentoring to name a few? Learning another language may also be beneficial as, in addition to improving your language skills, you will also learn about the culture and what it’s like to be a foreign language student.  The Centre for English and World Languages at Kent (CEWL) runs a number of language courses and modules, which are open to Kent students.

To find out more about what it’s really like to be an EFL teacher and the CELTA course, come and meet the tutors at the Employability Fest on Work and Study Abroad Fair, Tuesday 24th October or Languages Jobs Fair, Friday 3rd November.

[1] Ammon, Ulrich in (2017) Language and Globalization. An Autoethnographic Approach. [Borjian, Maryam (ed.)]. London: Routledge

#EmpFest17 – Christie’s Education

As student recruitment officer at Christie’s Education, I travel internationally meeting students all over the world to explain some of the work and educational opportunities that are available.

Post – graduate study may be something to consider to fine polish your skills set, whilst enjoying one more year as a student. Employers and education providers like Christie’s come to university campuses to engage with the next generation of bright minds. Universities such as Kent offer stellar programmes and are highly ranked in university tables, and are, therefore, an extra lure for organisations such as ours, to attract the best students and employees.

Students should come to career development events in order to better inform themselves as to the range of opportunities available to them after university. The graduate world can be a daunting place and a minefield of online resources, but connecting with experts in their chosen field in person is an essential part of a graduate’s career search.

Our recommendations for undergraduates include visiting the right career development sessions offered by their universities and connecting with organisations that are relevant to them. Careful selection of particular institutions is a better option than overwhelming oneself with attending too many information sessions. Starting this research early whilst still a student a good idea, rather than waiting until just before graduation.

Christie’s Education welcomes you to join us at our presentation on the 23rd October – “Master’s study in Art, Law and Business and Art Industry career pathways”. @ChristiesEdu www.christies.edu

The laws have changed

How was my work experience valuable? The list is substantial and I could go on, but the main thing I took out from my placement at Devereux Chambers, London is the insight into the barristers’ work. Such insight is of importance for a second stage law student, who should be making some big life decisions at this stage. Before, I did not know whether I duly wanted to do an LPC and become a lawyer, or whether doing a GDL and becoming a barrister would suit my personality better. Now I know the mixture of the two professions are appropriate. Additionally, I was not sure whether I am truly interested in tort law… so much as to represent harmed people for the rest of my life (alongside other things).

The work placement affirmed my interests and allowed me to see that I am capable of being a great representative in this field. Of course, no work experience will tell you exactly what you can and cannot do in life, rather it will be an indicator. For me, being in a highly respectable environment with a highly skilled personal injury barrister, reading his submissions and saying to myself ‘Ah, that is exactly what I thought’ indicates my potential. My learning was put into practice and was deemed to be useful.

Thanks to the bursary scheme, I could buy work-wear appropriate for the environment and felt comfortable in being the ‘newbie’ in the office. I could afford a ticket that meant I could get the 07:18 am train and be at Temple Station by 9am – I really do not know what would happen if that option was not available, it was already tiring to leave home at 7am and come back at 8pm. But, at least I know what kind of working world I am stepping into and what kind of working hours are to be expected.

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Pick up a copy any time you choose

Over the Easter break I undertook a four week placement with my local paper and news website back in Devon. Although being close to home, I still had to travel by train each day to the head office in the city of Exeter. Even with the short journey time the prices of rail tickets soon added up and without the University’s Bursary there is no way I would have been able to commit to such an extended period of time.

The placement itself – with devonlive.com – the new “digital first” online approach of numerous Devon papers including The Express and Echo and The Herald Express was incredible and completely invaluable to me in regards to my future career plans. Wanting to go into journalism a placement of this kind showed me the practical basics of how to find a story, research it and put the copy together. I also got to interview members of the public on local issues such as bus prices increasing and on charity events (skydives, bake sales, sunflower growing competitions) that they were planning. This improved my confidence and communication skills as I no longer hesitate to ask difficult questions or push for more information. I also got the chance to write for different sections of the publication ranging across news, property and events. For example, I compiled a list of places to find cheap prom dress and even bargain Easter eggs! This was amazing as I got to combine my love for fashion, chocolate and writing – the dream!

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What your hobbies and interests tell employers about you

When you’re putting together your graduate CV, your hobbies and interests section may seem fairly insignificant, right? Think again.

What you write about in this section can tell a prospective employer a lot more about you than you might think. Often, hobbies and interests suggest a lot about your personality, qualities, what you can offer an employer and what you might be like in the workplace.

The hobbies and interests section of your CV is even more important if you don’t have a lot of work experience (which is not uncommon for graduates). This is because employers are more likely to use it to build a better picture of you and your skills.

As a result, it’s important that you use your hobbies to showcase who you are and what attributes you have. Generally speaking, here’s what employers think about your hobbies and interests.

Travel

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It’s not uncommon for graduates to spend a few months or a gap year travelling, either before or after university. But what do employers think of grads who travel?

The good news is that most employers like to see a well-travelled graduate. This is because travelling usually helps you to develop key skills and character traits that are transferable to the workplace. These include independence, being adaptable and great communication skills.

If you have been travelling, it’s definitely worth talking about it concisely on your CV and mentioning the skills and qualities that it has helped you to develop. Globe-trotting grads tend to be perceived as open-minded, curious and resilient which are all great things to bring into a workplace.

Sport

Playing sport shows employers that you have some fantastic qualities that may include being:

  • Driven
  • Competitive
  • Motivated
  • A team player (depending on the sport)
  • Dedicated
  • Passionate

So many job roles and companies value these qualities so you would be silly not to mention your sporting achievements on your CV.

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Charity Work/Volunteering

From helping to build schools in Africa to walking dogs at your local animal shelter, many graduates have gotten involved in volunteering opportunities. Obviously volunteering is a fantastic thing for communities but it can also help your job application stand out.

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Call the law and hold the applause

The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary gave me the chance to join my colleagues and a couple of great lecturers on a tour of the UK Supreme Court in London on Wednesday, 1st March 2017. In the Media and Free Expression module, which I’ve been taking at the Centre for Journalism, we’ve gone through different aspects of the workings and mechanisms of justice system in the United Kingdom. Arguably, it’s one of the most progressive, objective and comprehensive legal systems in the world, which more often than not makes serious attempts to ensure no citizen is discriminated against on the basis of their faith, national or racial belongings, sexual orientation or political views. On higher levels, to protect the public interest, it deals with broader national and international cases with as much care and caution as possible.

I’ve tried to review different legal structures, including that of the United States, and also that of countries, which follow the Civil Law system, as opposed to Common Law. That’s what makes me enthusiastic about the legal arrangements in the UK. The Supreme Court’s staff have been exceptionally welcoming, articulate and friendly and elaborated on the different sides of the structure of legal and judicial system to us on this visit. Without this visit organised by the Centre for Journalism, which happened thanks to efforts by our media law lecturer, Mr David Acheson, it would have been almost impossible for me to acquire this close understanding of how the Supreme Court functions, and especially how it works closely with young journalists and international students.

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