Preparing for your future, Work Experience

New year, new you, new experiences

2018…Let’s make it all about you! Emily McCarthy from the work experience team explains how you can make this your year…

It’s a fresh new year, a time for new starts and as the once popular boyband McFly serenaded us once, ‘It’s all about you’. Let’s make an agreement that this year, 2018, is going to be your year. This is the time to make career goals happen, to make your CV shine and to turn you into the full package that future employers are looking for.

In a fiercely competitive graduate job market, it is becoming increasingly clear that work experience is no longer an added extra but a vital necessity.

The High Fliers 2017 report revealed that graduates “who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’ graduate programmes.”

It is no longer enough to have good academic grades. You need work experience to be in with a chance of getting your dream job! And if you don’t know what your dream job is yet, work experience is an absolutely invaluable way of finding out. Whilst you may think you don’t have time to get work experience whilst studying, you may have even less time once you’ve graduated.

The number one reason for failed resolutions is the lack of a clear goal, which is why using the support services available to you whilst you are a student is so important. Don’t go it alone – let us help you out!


Let’s get started with the three step guide to achieving your career goal:

1. Stop procrastinating

Don’t waste half your year putting progress off or you will never get around to it!

You need a clear plan of what you can do right now to make your graduate applications as strong as possible. Whether you’re a first year or in your last few months as a student, it’s never too early to take action.

It might be that you need some clarity or guidance on your future path. If this is the case, you can book an appointment with your Careers adviser by logging into the Careers Account app on the intranet (choose the book appointment option to see all available appointments over the next 14 days).


2. Be proactive, not reactive

  • Get involved in Internships, Work Experience and Volunteering Week, 25 – 28 January

Join a week full of activities, presentations and workshops to boost your employability.

Make sure attend the grande finale of the week – the Internships, Work Experience and Volunteering Fair on Thursday 8 February! This one day event is a huge opportunity for you to browse internships, work experience and volunteering opportunities from a variety of organisations that could help you to boost your CV, or even to get a foot in the door of an employer.

Find out about all the events here

  • Experience works – so get some work experience!

It might be a new year but the fact remains the same, employers want to see what relevant, valuable workplace experience you have already gained. They want to know what transferable skills you can bring and how you can positively impact their team.

Right now, you have an entire Work Experience team here to help – we offer opportunities throughout the academic year and support you to make sure you’re in the best position to secure them!

  • Get on LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn can be powerful tool if you get it right. With over 500 million users and still growing it is certainly one of the most popular social networks for professionals.  An ever-increasing number of recruiters are using LinkedIn and sharing their opportunities through this platform.

Read Forbes’ blog on ‘How to Use LinkedIn: 5 Smart Steps to Career Success’

  • Set Google alerts

Have you got a desired industry in mind? Maybe you even have some potential employers in mind you would love to work for? Well, visit Google and set up Google Alerts relating to the sector or organisation. It’ll keep you up to date with the latest developments and news, and help you develop commercial awareness – which will support any future applications or interviews you may have with the company. Cheers, Google!


3. Use the support available to you

Being a Cardiff University student gives you access to a wide range of support for up to two years after you graduate and fly the nest.  You can still take advantage of a number of work experience opportunities – some of which may be specifically designed for graduates.

All our opportunities can now be found via the Work Experience section of the intranet Jobs Board. We are constantly adding new opportunities so be sure to regularly check our listings.

You can also sign up to our fortnightly newsletter to have these opportunities sent directly to your inbox, that way you can avoid any FOMO.

Finally here is a look at what you could gain in 2018 if you decide to make this year your year. As Oasis once wisely sang ‘Don’t look back in anger’ at what could have been, you’ve got this!


Best wishes,

Emily, 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 and MoneyCareers and EmployabilityCounselling, Health and WellbeingDisability and 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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