Preparing for your future, Work Experience

A Careers Christmas Carol

Emily from the Work Experience Team gives a careers twist on a well-known tale…

We all know the seasonal story of Charles Dickens’ novella, A Christmas Carol, and if you don’t then I would advise watching the Muppets version of this classic at once. In this post, we will visit the three Careers Ghosts of Christmas to see how the graduate marketplace has changed and is still evolving. Ensure you’re not a careers Scrooge and open your eyes to your graduate future.


Ghost of Careers Past

Securing a job after leaving school/ university and then staying within that company for a long time used to be common practice. Starting in an entry-level position and working your way up the ladder within the same company was seen as the norm and many people’s ambition. These days a straight career ladder is less common and most Millennials have a different career mindset and greater expectations. A lattice style approach to career development is more common practice. This approach is based on horizontal career moves which may involve changing your employer or job role to help you gain new skills and experience.  Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals, created an article on this new approach called ‘The Corporate Lattice’ which explores the changing world of work. If you have a spare half an hour over your Christmas break grab yourself a gingerbread latte, find a roaring fire and give it a read.

Ghost of Careers Present

Looking at the current graduate jobs market will help you understand what steps you need to put in place now to help support your future career ambitions. Employers expect you to have more on your CV than just a great degree and as a soon-to-be graduate, you need to ensure that you are ahead of the game. A key example of this growth is the increase of graduate employers looking for candidates with valuable, relevant work experience.

The annual graduate marketplace review by ‘The highfliers’ reported ‘Substantial numbers of employers now also have work experience places for first-year undergraduates – over a quarter of organisations offer paid internships and two-fifths of employers run introductory courses, open days and other taster experiences for first-year students.’  Now look amongst your peers and ask yourself this: Do you have enough relevant work experience to make you stand out from the rest? Is your degree alone enough? I imagine for most, the answer will be no. If this is the case then there has been no better time to turn this around, make your future your priority!


Ghost of Careers Future

The demand for graduate positions is increasing every year. The Telegraph reported ‘Leading employers received about 39 applications for every graduate job’. With 6000 graduates competing for these just from Cardiff University alone you will need to make your application count. Make sure to increase your employability chances by gaining as much relevant work related experience as possible whilst still in university.

Like Scrooge, it is not too late to change and much like little Tiny Tim the Work Experience team and Careers department are here to help you along your journey…

Were you aware that Cardiff University has their very own Work Experience Team within Careers and Employability?

The team has contacts with a variety of local employers who target Cardiff University students and graduates specifically, so you are in a great position to get some invaluable work experience for your future careers.

Why not register to our fortnightly Newsletter to have the latest opportunities delivered right to your inbox? If you sign up before Thursday 14 December you will be entered into our Christmas prize draw!

Sign up here

We have drop-in sessions every Wednesday afternoon 13:00-16:00. Book in person on the day from 12:00 at the Careers & Employability front reception desk, 51A Park Place. We also have a dedicated space on the online Jobs Board, look for the Work Experience tab where we advertise our full range of opportunities.

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Check out our winter survival guide

Whether you’re heading home for the holidays or remaining in Cardiff, our guide provides tips on study, staying safe, things to do and more practical advice for the holidays.

Read the winter survival guide


Staying in Cardiff over the winter break?

All are welcome at the Cardiff Chaplaincy for Christmas Lunch, which will be held on Monday 25 December at 13:00. Please email if you would like to attend.

Some Cardiff University study spaces will be open for the entire winter recess. Find out more here.


Your feedback and help please

Have you found this blog post useful?  Please help us by commenting in the comments bar below, and if there is anything further you’d like to know ask your questions there too.

We’d also be grateful if you can share this information by re-tweeting or sharing with your fellow students who may find this useful – you can do this by using the share buttons or via twitter and facebook.


Best Wishes,

Emily McCarthy, Work Experience Team.

Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus. For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


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