Guest blog: 6 ways to make the most of your final year at university


 Guest blog written by Bridgewater Graduates

Those first few years at the University of York do fly by and before you know it, the all-important final year arrives. Your final year is a tough one filled with harder assignments, dissertations and exams that could have a big impact on your future. On top of all this, you’re probably worrying about what you are going to do next year!

Take a deep breath because final year doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems. To really make the most of it, you should:

Stay focused

You know that this is an important year and if you want to end it with a fantastic degree classification, you’ll have to step it up and stay focused. Final year is more about individual studying and research. You can’t rely on just your lecture notes carrying you through.

The key is to get organised (which is easier said than done for some of us). Say goodbye to the all-nighters and make a plan that gives you plenty of time to hand in your assignments. If you’re organised, you’ll really be able to perform at your best.

Remember, at the end of the year you’ll want an impressive degree grade to show off to potential employers.

Have fun

There’s more to university than studying. The partying doesn’t have to stop in your final year and getting/staying involved in social events, sports clubs (bring on Roses!) and activities is important. Not only are these things fun for you, but employers like to hear about your hobbies and interests on your CV.

Find the balance

Your final year is the perfect time to start practising your work-life balance. Too much partying will have a negative impact on your grades, too much time shut up in the library will leave feeling bored and miserable.

By organising your days and increasing your productivity, you’ll be able to get out and enjoy your evenings.

Tackle the big decisions

There’s no point burying your head in the sand, your time at uni is coming to an end. The big question that every final year has to face is, what’s next?

If you haven’t made a decision yet, it’s time to think about your career options. If you’re struggling to decide what direction you would like to go career-wise or need help getting started, visit your university careers department and have a chat with an advisor. You can also try taking a personality test to see what types of careers suit you.

Find out what employers want

Your degree means that you can apply for graduate jobs, but employers want to see so much more than that. What you’ll need to demonstrate are the transferable skills you’ve developed during your time at university, like the ones on this soft skills list.

To get a better idea of what skills employers are looking for, start browsing some relevant job adverts early. If there are any desirable skills that you need to work on you’ll have time to do it in your final year.

Gain work experience

Your work experience will help you to stand out from the crowd when it’s time to apply for graduate roles. Make an effort to get some relevant work experience now, and you’ll reap the benefits later.

This article was written by Bridgewater Graduates who offer sales, management and a variety of other commercial graduate jobs with market-leading businesses across the UK and Ireland.

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My placement experience (part 2)


 Focusing in on your placement year search, the application process and decisions based around getting a placement alongside your studies can raise lots of questions. We have advice from another student who has been where you are now and has completed her placement year and returned for her final year of study.

Lucy, Management Student, Digital Marketing Placement at Warner Bros.

I knew I wanted to do Digital Marketing, I have my own blog and was really passionate about getting a placement to help me stand out in the graduate market when applying for digital marketing roles in the future. I was really passionate about going into a field I was interested in so used that to narrow my search. I applied to 5 placements, but with my first application I was rejected. I ended up getting an offer from both L’Oreal and Warner Bros. and had to decide which company was the best fit for me. I chose Warner Bros. because the placement was a broader role within Digital Marketing which is what I wanted.

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Insider Intern: Jasmine Pledger, Careers Brand Ambassador


“This week on ‘Insider Intern’, I gave the Career Brand Ambassador Jasmine Pledger the task of writing a little bit about herself. Part of my role involves managing our ambassadors, setting them tasks and brainstorming marketing ideas with them. Take a look at Jasmine’s view on the role and her background…” – Hattie Patten-Chatfield

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I’m Jasmine one of three Careers Brand Ambassadors and I’m in my third year (terrifying that I’m almost a complete adult now…) studying law. It’s quite nerve-wracking thinking what lies ahead but hopefully some of the things I have been involved with at University has equipped me for the job market.

I’m part of Langwith College and helped run the Mentoring Scheme to help first years transition into University life. I’ve been a Student Ambassador since my first year working on open days with prospective students and working on residential programmes for students considering higher education. My main passion is volunteering, and I was elected as YUSU’s Volunteering Officer in Spring Term. In my role as Volunteering Officer, I am involved in assisting the 16 student-run volunteering projects, working with students to see what volunteering opportunities they want to get involved with and creating and planning volunteering events so students can volunteer and help in their local community. In my role as volunteering officer I have had various meetings with Careers and Placements to discuss their different volunteering programmes and through this I was able to learn more about all the services they offered, as I had only previously engaged with my department employability tutor.

Since then, I have learnt more about Careers and Placements and used Careers Gateway and found the Careers Brand Ambassador position. My role started in Autumn Term and I have been involved in a variety of tasks over the past 7 weeks. It has varied from helping out at the annual careers fairs, collecting statistics on attendance to the fairs and marketing events and motivational quotes for Careers and Placements to display on Social Media. The role is all about getting the word out on what Careers and Placements can do for students, from networking events to CV workshops. It has been really diverse so far and has been great to be involved and have my ideas actually being taken on board rather than being disregarded. It’s flexible and just a few hours a week that fit around my timetable, it is always exciting to go into work which is not said very often and we are paid for the work we do which is a bonus as a student!

I hope you found it interesting to hear about working as a Careers Ambassador. If you’re interested in this role and think you would be a good fit, keep an eye on our social media accounts for vacancies in the Spring Term!

 

 

 

My placement experience


Focusing in on your placement year search, the application process and decisions based around getting a placement alongside your studies can raise lots of questions. We have advice from students who have been where you are now, and have completed their placement year and returned for their final year of study. 

Anya, Physics Student, Student Recruitment Placement at PwC 

I applied for 15 placements and got through to one assessment centre from my applications, PwC! I’m really glad I completed a placement year, I have gained a lot of confidence through the experience and feel more prepared than I expected to move into employment. I threw myself in the deep end and gained fantastic communication and commercial skills. I had constant challenges and a lot of responsibility in my job which I loved, there was never a dull day.

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Graduate scheme or graduate job – or just confused?


We’ve  had a busy few weeks in Careers and Placements running our careers fairs,  and responding to a wide variety of questions.

One thing has stood out – some of you are feeling slightly panicked at the thought of grad scheme applications, and worried about missing out on the opportunities on offer right now or being left behind in the task of securing a graduate position.

If you are interested in a graduate scheme,  a placement or internship with one of the major recruiters, now is the time to be doing your research and making applications. The recruitment process for many large organisations has started, and the earlier you apply the better, for what is often a long recruitment process that runs right through into Spring before job offers are made.  We have lots of help and support available check our website or come and have a talk to find out how we can help.

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GUEST BLOG: Why do you want to work for this company?


 Guest blog written by: Jane Dowson, Student Recruitment Advisor at EY

Why do you want to work for our company?” – What are employers looking for when they ask this question?

It’s a question that you’re going to hear for years to come when you enter the world of employment. “Why do you want to work for our company? It’s also a question that many people find really difficult to answer, but it shouldn’t be. The fact is that employers merely looking for the truth.

Why do we ask these question to begin with?

Simply put, employers get a huge amount of interest for a small amount of roles. Many initial applications are quite clearly copied and pasted and speculatively sent around an array of other organisations too. These are easy to spot and immediately raise concerns that the candidate doesn’t really know, or worse, care what they are actually applying for. Asking the question means we can find out whether you really do want to come and work for us.

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GUEST BLOG: Becoming a Social Worker with Frontline


 Guest blog written by Rhiannon Stokes, York graduate, FrontlineUoY Careers Ladder illy 

Rhiannon Stokes studied Applied Social Sciences at the University of York and joined Frontline’s Leadership Development programme as part of the 2015 cohort. Here Rhiannon shares her experience of applying to Frontline, the journey that led her to apply, and how she found the application process.

I was a student at York in James College from 2007-2010, studying Applied Social Sciences (Children & Young People). I chose this course as I had an interest in sociology, and thought that I might want to do social work in the future, but didn’t feel ready to study social work at 19. I loved my degree and its ‘applied’ nature, to me it felt like I was studying things that actually mattered. Wanting to make the most of my spare time at university I completed lots of voluntary work: YSIS, tea & coffee club for the elderly, youth work with York City Council, James College Christian Union and a local housing charity.

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