Employability and careers
We have a dedicated Doctoral College careers and employability team that are experienced in delivering career support to postgraduate researchers and early career researchers.
Our team will assist you in developing your career plan and help you identify and strengthen your employability skills, to aid you into a successful career whether that be at, or away from, the University of Surrey. The team’s strong external partnerships and relationships across the University provide our PGRs and ECRs with excellent opportunities to collaborate, gain skills and get practical experience.
A bespoke framework
Deciding what to move on to as a next role is a complex, often confusing, matter involving a myriad of different factors both within and outside of your control. Our team have created the "career smart" framework as a tool to help you navigate the major themes involved in driving your career forward.
The Framework themes:
Take time out to understand yourself: reflect on, identify and learn to articulate your capabilities, expertise, values, motivations, personality and preferred working environment
Use your time at the University to explore the wide variety of career options available to you: research different jobs, sectors and organisations; attend sessions where you can meet and talk with people working in areas of potential interest to you; engage with programmes and placements to try out and skill-up for different types of working environments
Bring your research and thoughts together and make decisions about your next steps: create an action plan; find out about employment opportunities, use the experts on site to help you craft applications and excel at interviews
All the while, continue to develop your employability and career management skills and take control of your future: participate in professional/transferable skills training; grow your professional and support networks; develop your resilience and prepare for the change.
Career Smart - Toolkit
Breaking down the big question: How do I identify the kind of career and role that I want?
into a subset of smaller, more addressable, questions:
- What sort of role do I want?
- How do I find out the specifics and pick a job?
- How do I find/create vacancies for the job I want?
- How do I get invited to an interview?
- Is it going to be the job I want?
The toolkit is a suite of exercises and resources for you to undertake at your own pace to help you explore and answer these questions.
Access the toolkit in the Doctoral College Common Room on SurreyLearn.
A range of support on a variety of topics
Types of support
Different people prefer to recieve support in a variety of different manners. To accommodate this, our team offer one-to-one appointments and quick query sessions, interactive workshops, employer networking events, alumni talks online resources and e-learning modules.
One-to-one confidential appointments
These 45 minute appointments are opportunities for you to meet one-to-one with one of our specialist careers consultants, to discuss and/or work on any topic you would like to, related to your career. Themes that often arise are:
- Exploring career options
- Planning and taking the next career steps
- Completing application forms
- Writing CVs and cover letters
- Preparing for interviews
- Having a mock interview
These must be booked in advance. Face-to-face meetings are held in the Doctoral College, but Skype meetings are also available where face-to-face is not possible.
To get the most from the appointment please send any relevant documents in before the meeting so the careers consultant can prepare and give you the best service.
To book an appointment:
- PGR Students, please book via Pathfinder
- ECRs and Alumni please email email@example.com and include Requesting a Careers Appointment in the subject line
Training events, resources and opportunities
Different people are at different stages and want help, training or experience in a variety of different areas/topics.
- The training and activities information lists upcoming workshops.
These are informal and interactive and designed for Post Graduate- and Early Career-Researchers: providing you with information, tools and techniques identify your career options, make effective applications and impress at interview
- Work Placement / Internship – To find out more about how the Doctoral College can support you in securing a work placement email the Careers & Employability Manager, Clare Wunderly firstname.lastname@example.org
Other areas of the University
As well as the support provided by the Doctoral College, there are a number of other departments and services that can support you with your thoughts and investigations in different Career Smart areas:
Personal Development Programmes:
Creating space to think:
Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, Innovation: