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).

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Guest blog: Being a student brand manager for Frontline


 Guest blog written by Rebecca, student Brand Manager for Frontline

Before starting my second year, I was looking for a part time job that I could do alongside my studies. I came across Frontline whilst searching for flexible charity positions. I had begun to think that my search was a little niche –  flexible, salaried positions where you can work in your own time toward a good cause… I hadn’t had much luck until I found Frontline. I had worked with vulnerable young people in the past so I was immediately drawn to the mission of changing the lives of children in the UK through social work. I also wanted to gain experience in PR and marketing so this role was ideal.

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Guest blog: Finding a placement


Guest blog written by Miles Thorp, digital Director at Banana Moon, personalised clothing company

So, the hunt begins. How are you feeling? Overwhelmed? Excited? Stressed? I remember feeling all the above when I was looking for a placement. Feeling like someone slapped me round the face every time I got rejected and oh boy, there were a few rejections. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the placement process from both sides. Finding and doing a placement and hiring and mentoring placement students. I can’t help but think, if only I knew then what I know now. If I could take all the best bits from the applications I’ve reviewed and the students I’ve worked with, finding a placement would have been a piece of cake! Here are some actionable next steps to help relieve some of your stress.

The why

Why do you want to do a placement? This should be the first question you answer. The reason behind getting a placement will help you decide on the type of company you want to work at and it will also help you plan for the worst-case scenario.

Action 1: Define 3 reasons why you want to do a placement

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Guest blog: How to fast-track your placement year application


Guest blog written by Jessica Murray, Content Creator at Debut

Thinking about applying for a placement year? Wise decision, my friend. A placement year is a sure fire way to build your network, develop some valuable skills and graduate from university with experience that will make you super employable.

But while that’s all well and good, it’s the application that’s the tricky part, right? There’s no denying that some placement roles can be competitive, but don’t let that put you off.

We’ve got loads of top tips for applying (as well as loads of placement year opportunities up for grabs on our app), so why not make 2018 the year you step outside your comfort zone and bag your dream opportunity?

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Guest blog: Succeeding in assessment centres


 In this post Laura Blackledge, Student Recruitment Officer at PwC, for the University of York, shares invaluable insight into how to succeed in assessment centres. Don’t forget that Careers will be running an Interview and Assessment Centre experience event on 7 Feb, which PwC will be attending. Book your placement using the above link.

Why do employers use assessment centres?

Employers use various tools during the recruitment process for a number of diCheck out our latest guest blogfferent reasons:

  • Measure your abilities
  • Understand your experiences and skills
  • Establish your preferred working styles
  • Identify your behavioural responses
  • Provide a job preview for yourself

We know the role and the needs of the roles we are recruiting for.

Our business’ sustainability depends on filling our roles with the most suitable and talented people.

We need to find the right fit – that is what’s best for us and the people we hire – so they can enjoy sustainable and fulfilling careers.

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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.

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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