Time to take stock


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You may remember, we spent the first half of term encouraging you to get involved with all sorts of activities from work experience to volunteering, student societies to attending careers fairs.

Hopefully, you did do one or two things – but there’s no point in just doing! We suggested trying things out so you could build up experiences and develop your skills, as well as to have some fun.

So why not take some time to think through what you’ve been doing and what it’s given you? It’s a good idea to record the activities you do and also the skills you’ve gained. This will make a handy prompt when you’re applying for jobs or further study and you need to give some examples.

Not sure how to do this?

If you need some help thinking this through, try the following resources.

Not had chance to do anything yet?

Don’t worry, there’s still time to get involved. Here are some ideas for things to do next term.

  • Volunteering – deadline Week 5 for applications for Summer Term opportunities
  • Placement Year – for 2nd year undergraduates, who don’t have this as an option on their course. Register interest by 20 Jan
  • Network – Careers in… events. Check the events schedule
  • Enterprise – lots of competitions and events coming up
  • Recruitment – Assessment Centre and Interview Experience will run again in Spring. Check the events schedule

2nd undergrads – putting it all into practice

Don’t forget, if you’re a second year undergrad, you can apply for York Award Gold in the Spring Term. The application asks you to describe the activities you’ve been involved with and what you’ve gained, as a result.

Keep a look out for more information – including the application form and deadline – via the Careers Bulletin, delivered direct to your inbox.

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An insight into the York Students in Schools Programme


colored-pencils-color-wooden-pegs-pens-draw-schoolEvery year we help hundreds of students to volunteer in local schools through the York Students in Schools Programme. We’ve been asking some of our current and former volunteers what their experience was like, so if you’ve been considering volunteering in a local school, read on to find out what it’s really like.

There’s still time to apply to volunteer during next term but the deadline is this Sunday 28 October. Apply online! 

With thanks to our York Students in Schools volunteers – Hannah, Rosie, Alex, Thomas, Aillen, Anh and Rebecca

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GUEST BLOG: Chinese students: Advice from graduates in China


This post was originally published a few years ago – but the advice from our Chinese graduates is still good if you’re thinking about your return to China:

Seven million new graduates will enter the job market in China this year. If you are a Chinese student at York you might already be thinking about the move back home at the end of your course – and considering how you can make the move from education into employment successfully.

Through our Graduate Profiles database we have collected some interesting insights from former Chinese graduates who have already successfully returned home to find work.  Here’s what they say:

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Summer’s here and the time is right…


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…for dancing in the streets, maybe, but it’s also a great time for building up your work experience.

It could be a formal, three month internship, a few week’s work experience, a volunteering scheme or some ‘portfolio’ work, spanning a number of different jobs.

It’s all work experience that can help build your CV, your skills and strengths, and your insight into various types of work and sectors. These are the things that can inform your career choices and identify what further information you need to make those future decisions.

If you’ve already got your summer sorted, that’s great, but if not, read on…

Good starting points to find work over the summer, include our web resources and info sheets.

The Look for Work section of our website gives useful jobs sites for internships and part-time/temporary work.

The Internship Bureau works with local employers to create project-based, paid summer internships. Vacancies for these types of opportunities are beginning to be advertised on Careers Gateway, so look out for them under the ‘Exclusive opportunities @York’ tab or make sure you’re receiving our regular emails. You can tick the ‘Placements and Internships’ option on your personal profile in Careers Gateway.

Look out for volunteering opportunities in York (or your home area) for over the summer vac. You can check out www.do-it.org for some ideas in your particular UK location.

Why not also take the chance to develop particular skills or knowledge. It could be through a MOOC (free, online courses), online journals, professional associations’ websites or discussion groups and forums.

Finally, if you’re planning to travel this summer, be sure to record your experience and the skills you develop during the time. You may have gone travelling for the fun and different cultures and food, but you’ll be using some important skills in language, communication, problem solving, social awareness, planning and even possibly resilience!

Remember, whatever your summer involves, everything can count towards your development – so get planning your summer steps.

If you need some further pointers or help with deciding what to do, call into one of our Drop-in Sessions in Careers (Tues – Fri, 11am – 1pm in term-time).

GUEST BLOG: The charity sector, a road to an interesting career


Guest blog written by CharityJob

What comes into you head when you think of charity work? Is it volunteer work? High street shops? Do you fear reduced career prospects and a low salary?

Well, it’s time to change your expectations because the charity & not-for-profit sector is a fantastically unique and diverse sector where many dedicated individuals have found long and fulfilling careers. Many jobs are paid and hardly any of them in are in high street charity shops, these are a minor element of a charity’s operation.

So, you’re not going to be wiling a way a quiet afternoon on your local high street (well, unless that’s what you really want!) a charity sector job could be your ticket to making a difference in the world, through a career you really love! The variety of work is wide-ranging and exciting, paid opportunities regularly open up in a number of areas, each of these can be a rewarding alternative to a corporate career.

You could end up working in education jobs, youth jobs, housing jobs, disability jobs, environment jobs, arts jobs and many other exciting areas. That said, volunteer work is available and can be extremely fulfilling, it can also be your way into the sector. However, you need to bear in mind that this is not always the case:  there are many paid career options in the charity sector, which could be your route into a job you truly love.

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I keep hearing about this York Award, but what is it?


York Award. You probably feel like you’re seeing or hearing about this every way you turn. It’s true, but there’s a good reason why we bang on about it so much!

Most students from their first year at University do lots of things besides their academic studies and these can be useful opportunities to develop skills which employers value.  It’s these activities that can be used in a York Award application from.

Why bother?

  • The York Award is an official University award
  • It shows you’re a proactive individual, who’s up for a challenge
  • You could win a place on the new York Futures scheme’s personal development day
  • There’s a chance to apply for an Achieving Excellence Bursary of £2,100
  • Employers are interested in the York Award and what it says about you
  • You can help your college win the  York Award Trophy for the college with the most applicants

The simple application form asks you to give personal evidence of the following skills and qualities.

  • Self-managements
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Contributing to the university community
  • Employer engagement
  • Problem solving

In the second part of the form you can choose two additional skills to demonstrate from your experience. These are:

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One Planet Week: Green careers


Careers blog written by Irena Zientek, Information Development Manager, Careers

To celebrate One Planet Week (Week 6, 13 – 17 February), we thought we’d turn the spotlight onto green careers and how to find out more about them.

Green careers don’t necessarily mean just nature and conservation, but also ethical careers, renewable energy, consultancy and more. You can start exploring the range of careers by visiting the environment job sector pages on the Careers website. These pages will provide information about the sector and whether it’s right for you. They also look at the skills you’ll need, where to look for jobs and what else you can do while you’re at York to enhance your employability in this area.

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