As students, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to succeed.
The job market is extremely competitive, and often, recruiters already expect you to have work experience when you graduate. So, many of us spend the holidays searching for vacation schemes and internships, myself included. During this winter vacation, I was looking for opportunities to boost my CV when I stumbled across the SME Internship Scheme. It was truly the perfect opportunity because you are able to gain some experience working remotely whilst also getting paid for it.
Are you an international student looking to secure a graduate job in the UK?
Here are five top tips from international student alumni at the University of Bristol during our alumni panel event, earlier this year.
Decide and act
Mei Bai graduated with a BSc in Psychology, before completing an MSc conversion course in Computer Science. She then secured a job with the NHS. She started her academic journey wanting to become a clinical psychologist but ended up developing a strong interest in data analytics while doing her undergraduate dissertation.
Mei decided that doing a computer science degree would help to develop her skills and make her a stronger candidate for the roles she wanted to pursue. Her advice is to think carefully about exactly what you want to do next, make a decision, and then act purposefully.
Justin Kwik studied for a LLB and graduated in 2019. He now works at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.
With the last recruitment season for training contracts attracting thousands of applicants for fewer than a hundred advertised places, Justin’s advice to applicants is to apply early. Not all job markets will be this competitive, but applying early means that you won’t miss out if the employer decides to close an application round before the advertised deadline.
Each year, the Bristol PLUS Award recognises students for their hard work and personal development outside of their studies. Obafemi Alabi, Bristol SU’s Sports and Student Development Officer, is a PLUS Alumni whose inspiring work alongside his studies earnt him both the Bristol PLUS Award and an Outstanding Award.
Obafemi achieved both Awards after he completed a sustainable energy internship, worked as the sports representative of the ACS (African and Caribbean Society) and co-founded MOB Football, a new inter-cultural football league, tackling racism and integrating student communities.
‘The mission of MOB Football is to assist in creating awareness and tackling the problem of racism and representation within football through collaboration with university teams and societies.
‘MOB Football ran a year-long inter-cultural football league tournament which featured different BAME societies such as the African Caribbean Society, among others. Through this, I was able to provide an innovative opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds to understand different cultures by socialising with one another through football, thereby breaking down cultural barriers.’ (more…)
Zubair Ahmed Zoha Khan tells us about his experience… Zubair is in his 2nd year of an Accounting and Finance degree.
Before joining the fair, I was a bit worried about how I would be able to interact with employers effectively without meeting them face-to-face. But rest assured, it was amazing! Below are some of the positive features that stood out for me:
The City Challenges are an exclusive programme of events which provides you with the opportunity to engage with Bristol’s charity sector, gain informal work experience, and develop your skills through working on real life challenges posed by local community organisations.
The first City Challenge involved piloting a problem-solving session focusing on reducing HIV stigma within the medical community, which was supported by the Brigstowe charity and the Careers Service Community Engagement team.
A total of 10 students took part, developing their teamwork, communication, and decision-making skills to create presentations in which they gave details of how Brigstowe could approach raising awareness in the medical community of unfair and untrue beliefs around people living with HIV.
This City Challenge allowed students to explore their interest in community outreach as well as learn about how they can be aware of and actively combat their own biases around their attitudes to people who are living with HIV. They explored issues such as how General Practitioners and students can destigmatise their work when dealing with people living with HIV. Brigstowe will now be able to use these ideas for possible future funding bids, marketing campaigns and training sessions.
The next City Challenge will be based ask the question ‘How can we encourage male university students to talk about their mental health?’ and students will be working with Talk Club and the Community Engagement team. This challenge will be eligible for the Bristol PLUS Award and held on Wednesday 27 October from 11.30am to 5pm and you can sign up on myopportunities.
Connect with employers from a wide range of sectors at our virtual careers fairs, panel events, and webinars. It doesn’t matter what degree you are studying; there are opportunities in every sector available for you.
With £200 up for grabs which can go towards supporting you and developing your start-up, what’s to loose? In case you need any more convincing as to why you should submit an application, here are our top three reasons why you should apply.
The accelerator comprises of ten workshops which include everything you need to know when starting up, including understanding your customer and pitching your idea. On completing the programme, you’ll also receive an endorsement badge and you’ll have constant opportunities to enhance your network. Apply to take part in the accelerator today as attending these workshops will help you feel ready for you pitch for the competition!
Maximise your time at university by gaining skills and experience alongside your studies. The Bristol PLUS Award recognises your commitment and personal development in extra-curricular activities such as part time work, internships, student leadership roles and society committees.
‘At the start of my postgraduate degree in Bristol, I was keen on engaging in as many extracurricular activities as possible and honing my employability skills. The Bristol Plus Award provided just the right motivation for me to do that.’ – Babatunde Osho, Climate Change Science and Policy MSc
2. Stand out to employers
You’ll make your CV stand out from crowd with the Bristol PLUS Award. Less than 5% of the student population achieve the award each year and it is endorsed by employers, who you can read about on our website!
3. Make progress with planning your future
The Bristol PLUS Award can help you kick-start your future plans. Evidence shows that PLUS achievers are more likely to make positive progress in their career planning than students who do not take part: 37% of PLUS achievers record a positive change in their career planning progress compared to 27% of non-award students.
‘It has been a fulfilling and positive experience, which has given me a much deeper awareness of my future.’ – Katie Ingram King, Sociology BSc