Welcome to the Employability and Careers Centre.
Discover the career that is right for you. Develop the skills you need to succeed. Dive in with work experience and professional training.
During the Autumn and Spring terms Employability and Careers Centre offers Surrey students a wide range of employer-led skills workshops and careers fairs. The sessions cover key employability skills such as interview techniques, video interviews, assessment centre workshops, networking practice, CV writing and using social media apps such as LinkedIn to find graduate roles.
Professional training is an integral part of life at the University of Surrey and is a fantastic opportunity for all Surrey students allowing them to experience life after university. The experience, maturity and confidence our students gain whilst out on placement either in the UK or abroad sets them a cut above the rest when they graduate, which shows in our consistently low unemployment rate after graduation, another reason to choose Professional Training at the University of Surrey.
GoinGlobal offers country-specific career information developed by local career specialists. The information is updated annualy and features recommenced websites and detailed resource descriptions on employment topics.
With more than 2,300 professional partners, and a score of more than 95 per cent graduate employability for the past five years, the University has been ranked second for its partnerships and as one of the top universities for its graduate employment rate. Overall the University was ranked 121-130 in the world for the employability of its students.
We are delighted to welcome a guest post from James Nisbet, Senior Talent Coordinator from At Your Service.
Learning doesn’t stop when the lecture ends. We are constantly being shaped through the experiences we engage in.
Many students find that having a part time job can help them manage the costs of uni life, but it is not just money that the job can give you! Think about it- do you want a graduate job interview being the first one you go to? Be clever and practice your skills. Whether it is budgeting, time management, confidence, teamwork, communication or just general business awareness, a job throughout your university life can only make you a stronger candidate.
Take the opportunity to stand out from the “ordinary” and build your CV whilst earning money! Over the last 25 years we have helped 1000’s of students build their confidence, meet new people, explore new places and of course earn that all important cash!
It is all a balancing act…
Many employers understand that as a student your schedule can get quite busy and they know the most important thing to you is FLEXIBILITY, where you can work as much as you want, when you want. For example At Your Service, we offer no contracted days or minimum / maximum hours.
It’s all a balancing act. Be strict about organising your time. Keep track of your shifts, big deadlines, and key social events. Remember it is important you’re having fun and are happy, inside of work and outside. If you are not smiling, no one is!
There are often training opportunities available, teaching you the skills from the beginning and giving you the tools to be awesome! Students who have worked for At Your Service, share their comments about their part time jobs…
Who? International Events Management – 2nd Year
Why? It offers a great opportunity to experience and work at a number of different of events. One of the best parts of the job is how flexible the hours are as I am able to work during the holidays when I am back from University or simply apply for shifts when I am available during term time.
The balance? The flexibility enables me to get all my work done whilst still having the opportunity to earn money.
Best bits? Some really fun events, my favourite’s including Royal Ascot Week and beautiful country Weddings.
Who? Law – 3rd Year
Why? It is so competitive to be a lawyer, especially in what I hope to do. In second year, I realised I wanted to stand out and build my confidence. I thought if I chuck myself out of my comfort zone, put myself in situations where I have to talk to strangers and build relationships, it would really help.
The balance? I am not going to lie, it has been difficult, especially this year! Work is hard and intense but it has been really useful to learn how to manage my time. It is also nice to get away sometimes and do something different.
Best bits? Seeing myself change, when my lecturer told me how much more confident I was! I have got to see some amazing parties in the country.
To put it simply, we want to make our world full of great experiences for all those who choose to engage in it.
Looking for paid and flexible part-time work?
Then come along to the Part Time Work Fair on Wednesday 25 October right here on campus and meet over 40 employers, including At Your Service team!
Where? Rubix, Students’ Union
When? Wednesday 25 October, 12am-2pm
Register for your place here
Not sure yet what you’d like to do after university? Don’t worry – many students have no clear idea of what their future career will be. Our job at the Employability and Careers Centre (ECC) is to support you in your career planning, whatever stage you’ve reached. You can book a guidance interview with a careers adviser to explore your ideas, but reading this blog will help you to make a useful start.
What does career planning involve?
The career planning process involves reflecting on where you are now, where you would like to be and identifying steps to help you get there. There are three key stages to consider:
Step 1 – Know Yourself
Self-awareness is key to helping you make the right career choices. It involves analysing your skills, strengths, values and interests. This can help clarify what you would like from your career and what sort of job you would find rewarding. Improving self-awareness will also make your life easier in many other ways!
There are various online tools which can help you learn more about yourself and relate this information to potential career choices:
Prospects Career Planner – a job exploration tool for HE students and graduates, matching your skills, motivators and preferences to related occupations here.
Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) – a self-report questionnaire which explores your motivations and natural strengths. Designed by psychologists, this tool is widely used in industry. Look out for MBTI sessions where you can receive feedback on your questionnaire – they will be delivered by the ECC in semester two.
Type Dynamics Indicator – similar to MBTI, this questionnaire is available online for Surrey students only. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for login details.
Step 2 – Research Opportunities
Once you’ve identified the type of job or sector that might suit you, you will need to undertake further research. This will help narrow down your choices and give you a focus.
Prospects and Target Jobs are two key careers websites to explore. Try the following links to find out more:
You can find lots of information in the ECC library, including sector magazines and company directories. We also have a series of leaflets outlining useful careers resources for different subject areas here (see ‘Subject specific resources’).
Step 3 – Take Action
Trying out a job role is the only way to be sure it is the right choice for you! You could use the Professional Training Year to test out your ideas, or a shorter placement/internship. You could find related part-time or vacation work. If this isn’t possible, try volunteering, work shadowing or taster days. Relevant work experience will help you to stand out when making applications, but will also give you confidence that you are pursuing the right career path.
There is a wealth of information on our website to help you find opportunities. The leaflet Job Seeking – The Hidden Job Market may be particularly useful for the creative industries or areas where it is challenging to find advertised jobs.
Think about how you can expand your professional network – attend careers events and look out for opportunities within your department to meet people. If you haven’t already, think about setting up a LinkedIn profile. You could sign up for one of our LinkedIn workshops here.
Perhaps you would like to study further before entering the job market? It is important to think carefully about your reasons for continuing your studies, funding issues and where the course might lead you. Visit the Postgraduate Study pages on the Prospects website as a starting point here.
Help is at hand! Visit the ECC if you would like to discuss your initial thoughts, or access support with any aspect of the career planning process. It is worth investing in your future career!
This blog post has been written by Vicky Ransley, a Careers Adviser at the University of Surrey since Jan 2014. With her background in the arts, publishing and education, Vicky specialises in working with students from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, GSA and the Department of Music and Media.
With the University of Surrey’s Autumn Careers and Placement Fair less than a week away, we share our top tips below on how to prepare and get the most out of this event. On Wednesday 11th October, we will welcome over 140 exhibitors to campus, from large graduate recruiters such as Sky, Amazon, PwC, Hilton, RAF, to smaller organisations which are actively looking to recruit Surrey students for their graduate and placement schemes.
Even if you’re uncertain about the direction in which you want to go, it’s still a great opportunity to talk to the company representatives who may have been successful graduates themselves and can give you advice for how to navigate your own career path. It’s also a great opportunity to network and broaden your career and get a feel of what the job market is like at the moment, whatever your degree and year of study!
So how can you best prepare for the Autumn Fair?
1) Check out the exhibitors attending the Fair
Doing your research is the trick to being more confident when approaching recruiters at Careers Fairs. Look at the list of exhibitors attending the Fair beforehand.
Even if your preferred employer(s) are not present, the Fair will allow you to practice talking to graduate recruiters to help to build your confidence, expand your network of useful contacts for future reference, learn industry information about your chosen sector, as well as gather information about companies, which can be invaluable during their recruitment process.
2) Research the organisations and roles you’re interested in applying to before the Fair
The Fair only lasts a few hours, so it’s important to prioritise those companies you want to speak to and plan to visit them first. You can only get the most out of the opportunity to speak to recruiters from that organisation if you’re clear about what the organisation does and what jobs they are recruiting for.
Not all organisations attending the Autumn Fair will be large graduate recruiters; if you’re considering working for an SME, the Autumn Fair is the perfect place to discover upcoming job vacancies. Don’t discount an organisation because you haven’t heard of them before – take the time to look on their website and find out what business they are in. You might just discover they are the most innovative in their industry and are offering your dream job! Check out our recent blog post about the advantages of working for an SME here.
3) Prepare your killer questions!
It’s so important to prepare some questions you’d like to ask different companies that you’re interested in. It makes you appear more prepared, more professional and you will stand out from others that haven’t put in the same time and effort. Avoid asking questions like ‘What does your company do?’ ideally you should already know this. Here’s some questions to get you started:
4) Make a great first impression
You only have a few minutes to make a great first impression on a recruiter. It might seem obvious, but remember that you are in a professional setting, so match your appearance and behaviour accordingly.
Whilst you’re not expected to wear your interview suit to the Fair, it’s still a good idea not to be too scruffy.
5) Bring your energy and enthusiasm
Recruitment Fairs can seem a bit daunting, but with thorough preparation, asking thoughtful questions and listening to the recruiter’s response, you are well on your way to demonstrating enthusiasm and engagement.