How to prepare for the world of work whilst still at university
30th June 2015
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The interview’s gone well so far. You turned up half an hour early and managed to avoid spilling your takeaway Costa down your shirt. You haven’t tripped over your words yet or started on a torrent of nonsensical nervous rambling. You’ve done your research on the company and the interviewer’s clearly impressed. “So, what else did you do outside of your degree?” And then you’re stumped. Three years at university might sound like a long time, but before you know it, you’ll be out in the real world scouring the increasingly competitive job market. Employers look for candidates who stand out from the rest, and for the majority of positions – particularly those in the media and creative industries – having a good degree simply isn’t enough. As well as being a place to study and have some of the best years of your life, university is also the best place to prepare yourself for the world of work. There is such a huge range of opportunities available to students that will do just this, and it is important to make the most of them while you can.
SocietiesIt is no overstatement to say that there is a university society for absolutely everyone. Some of the more unusual societies include the University of Cambridge’s Tiddlywinks Society (seriously) and the University of Exeter's Hide and Seek Society (anyone for a game?). Joining a society – no matter how weird – is a great way of making yourself more attractive to employers, as well as another way of meeting like-minded students. It demonstrates a different side to your personality, and shows that you can manage your time effectively. And, who knows, if the society is particularly bizarre, the interviewer might even remember you for just that reason, and that’s never a bad thing. If you want to make joining a society even more worthwhile, why not run for a committee position? Being on a committee is an excellent way to improve your team, leadership and organisation skills, and specific positions can also provide you with skills directly related to your future career. The position of treasurer, for example, is a good one to go for if you’re thinking of going into finance.
Charity and volunteer workThere are lots of opportunities to do charity and volunteer work at university. RAG (Raising and Giving) societies are extremely rewarding to get involved in, and have loads of events throughout the year.
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