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Resources to start building a career at University

23 April 2024
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Most of us initially come to university looking to improve our employability, which can often seem far off during the chaos of our first year or two. It is often only when it comes to our final year, that we realise the value of our experiences outside of our degree to help make us take steps in our employability. To bridge the gap between university and the workplace, this blog will highlight what you can do when you join a university to make the most of opportunities and achieve the ultimate goal of improving your employability. After all, a degree is an investment in yourself and your future, especially considering the recent changes in student loans which increase the pressure on graduates to pay back their full loan.

Cardiff Award 

The Cardiff Award is a programme designed for students to build confidence in their job search and enable them to gain a certificate for their LinkedIn and to have on their Higher Education Achievement Record. In all, the programme is accessible and easy to complete, all of the tasks are things that students should be doing, so it really just formalises the process. This can be done in your own time and is a flexible way to demonstrate your proactivity.

Spending time abroad 

EU Parliament while on Pagoda Projects’ Global Sustainable Experience

I have written a lot about the benefits of spending time abroad throughout your degree, but this can help students demonstrate, adaptability, independence and open-mindedness that is a benefit to any job application. Spending time abroad can also help you work towards global citizenship, foster an open mind and be more attractive to employers.

Language learning  

There are a number of career benefits to speaking a second language, including helping you be more competitive in the job market. Cardiff’s Languages for All programme is free for all students to access and offers modules in a number of languages, for all levels.

Placement year and internships

If your course allows, taking the opportunity of a placement year can be invaluable in gaining experience in your sector, networking and putting the knowledge learnt throughout your degree into practice. Similar to a placement year, internships can provide you with essential skills and experience for your future career. Great opportunities are Cardiff University’s research internships for students over the summer.

Career Mentoring Programme

The Career Mentoring Programme is a largely underrated and under-talked-about opportunity for students to network with those who are ahead of them. The programme gives great insight into the career opportunities available to you, gain insight into the industry and helps you get advice and support specialised to your industry.

Take a leading role in a society

Demonstrating a role of responsibility can be invaluable to your CV. There is no better way to show this than taking on a leading role within a society that interests you. This can help you meet new people and have a great time at university and the networking and experience could help you land your first job!

Here are some of the societies that you should definitely try out!