Undergraduate Careers Manager, Hilary, shares her advice on how you can ‘get ahead in the game’ and develop your employability skills whilst at university.
Today I want to share with you how I make the most of the CareersPlus team here at WBS. This fantastic team will be great mentors, supporting your careers-related activities during your studies. I will break down my interaction with the CareersPlus team into different stages of the job application process. The CareersPlus team are one of my favourite groups of people at WBS. My relationship with them is special as I was helped by them even before my programme began.
CV Check / Finding companies to apply for
Though it is hard to believe, big companies start taking applications for their graduate programmes as early as late August and usually close in October. This means your application preparations must be started before you arrive at Warwick.
If you have accepted an offer from the University of Warwick, you can start contacting the CareersPlus team. You can contact the team via email at email@example.com , where a team member will contact you to help you with your request. For most students, this would be a CV check or finding a specific role that you want to pursue. Even when you are not in the UK, you can get in touch with the CareersPlus team via Microsoft Teams video calls. It will greatly help the team if you bring a draft and some background information instead of coming empty-handed so they can guide you through with a better understanding of your situation.
It can be confusing to add the qualification of a programme that you have not started yet. However, the fact that you made it this far with the application process proves that you have a strong interest in the field you are about to study, so I recommend you make use of this in combination with the advice from the CareersPlus team.
Once you receive your Warwick email address, you have access to an array of great careers-related services and contact points provided by the CareersPlus team. One of these includes access to practice aptitude tests from a popular website called Graduates First. You usually get invited to take an aptitude test as soon as you apply to a company. Having enough practice and researching in advance is a good habit when encountering practice tests.
Video interviews / Assessment day
Some firms require an extra application stage where they require candidates to answer pre-recorded interview questions in a video format. This process may take time to get used to, as many students will not be familiar with talking to a camera with no feedback from the other side of the screen. During my one-to-one sessions, the CareersPlus coaches made sure my answers were in a strong structure (e.g. STAR method), and I was aware of the types of questions I should be expecting, especially on the situational and strengths-based questions that I felt needed more polishing.
Practice runs and consultations with the CareersPlus team gave me a big confidence boost when I reached assessment days (final stage of the job applications, which consists of group exercises and individual interviews). I was even provided with printed handouts that the team prepared for me to exercise a few days before the interview.
Extra support from CareersPlus
Although I tried to mention all the help I received from the CareersPlus team, there is way more that the team has provided for my peers and me. Just to mention some extra things they do to help; they share interesting new job postings or graduate programmes, host employer engagement days with WBS students on my.WBS and provide access to premium online resources on our platform that require a paid subscription otherwise.
Thanks to all the help from the team, I currently hold offers from Bloomberg and KPMG.
I am beyond grateful for the support I received from the team, as the journey of finding a job as an international student can be intimidating and often doubtful when you face rejection letters. But the amazing coaches made sure I was confident no matter which stage I was in and helped me get the job done.