I am sure you have all been subjected to the numerous photos of cute kids looking very smart, and excited, to be going to their first day back at school (never to be repeated for the rest of the year!) in your Facebook, twitter and Instagram feeds. This time of year it always feels like the chance for a new start, as things change. A new teacher at school, maybe a new school, college or university, the weather getting colder, Christmas (dare we say it yet) just around the corner. But is it a good time to be thinking about your career?
Well maybe if you are in primary school it is a little early to decide – but it never can hurt to have a defined idea of a career path! However, if you are heading off to university later this month then it is the ideal time to start thinking about what happens when you finish Uni, even if you are in your first year.
There are so many options for university courses that if you have an idea of what area you want to head into after your degree you can then incorporate different experiences into your university life.
Explore future career options
Your university will have a careers service and can advise you on early planning. They often will host a careers fair where you can meet potential employers and recruiters. It is never too soon to engage with people who can help you define your career choices. Recruiters can give you a wealth of information regarding how to build a stand out CV, what sort of employment you can go into with your qualifications, and even how to gain some important skills and develop your interview presence.
Get some Work Experience
A year in industry is always valuable if that is offered as part of your course, and it has been proven such a strong asset to a graduate that now most courses will include the opportunity to do it. Even if your course does not offer a year in industry then there always the option to look into organising a summer internship for yourself, or with guidance from tutors. Voluntary work and part time jobs can also provide valuable business experience. Employers are very keen to find graduates with industrial experience, and it can significantly improve your chances of employment after university.
Develop your skills base
Many universities will offer complementary learning units, possibly through the careers service, in commercial awareness, presentation skills and effective communication. Join a society or club that will help gain you valuable life experience such as sports or team building, as well as the usual cocktails society or film club! Community volunteering and becoming a student committee member or representative can help build interpersonal skills and confidence.
Build contacts and networks
Get yourself on LinkedIn, even if you don’t have a job yet. The value of gaining a network of peers and potential employees is incredible. If you get the chance to go to a careers fair, then engage with employers and recruiters there and add them to your network. Recruiters have an extensive range of contacts that you can tap into and can also recommend relevant conferences and events to attend for your chosen career path.
Your time at university is a unique and life changing experience and it can’t be all work and no play! Take time to develop your interests and enjoy the time before you start your working life.
At Red Tiger Talent we are always on the lookout for students studying Maths, Geography, Economics (as well as other numerate disciplines) and who would like to explore careers in property and economic research, location planning, and customer insight.