Looking for a graduate job in Asia? 5 tips for international students

In February, the Careers Service invited five international alumni to share their valuable insights and experiences with searching and applying for graduate roles in Asia. 

Here are five top tips from our speakers:


Utilise your Bristol experience as your unique selling point

Yun Wen Soh, Singapore — Honours Law LLB (2021) 
Incoming Trainee Solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills 

When preparing for job applications and interviews, think about the different experiences you have at Bristol and use it as your unique selling point (USP).  

Try to identify a range of competencies throughout your time at university that will make you stand out as a candidate. Remember, your extra-curricular experiences are just as important as your legal internship and work experiences!

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My SME Internship: Jemima – Vounder Analytics

Hi, I’m Jemima, a second-year computer science student. Last summer I completed a month-long SME Internship with Vounder Analytics

Vounder Analytics builds bespoke insurance data systems for other organisations and is moving the actuarial and insurance industry away from dated and unsuitable tools such as Excel.  

My experience 

A head and shoulders photo of Jemima, smiling

Before my internship, I did not think I would have been capable of the tasks I worked on. However, the workplace was a brilliant learning environment.

My tasks were clearly explained and presented to me in manageable chunks, with ample opportunity to ask questions. I also learnt a lot about insurance and actuaries (I didn’t even know what an actuary was before I started!). All in all, I was presented with fulfilling and diverse work, without being overwhelmed.

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Mentoring matters – why apply for Bristol Mentors?

The Bristol Mentors scheme matches successful applicants with an alumni mentor who will help you explore ideas, share advice and give you an edge to break into the job sector that interests you.

To celebrate Bristol Mentors now being open for applications for the class of 2023/24, we caught up with Lucy (BA English Literature, 2019) and Grace (MA Law, 2019) to hear about their experiences as student mentees on the programme.

Both former mentees have since taken the role of mentor for two current students. From mentee to mentor, and student to graduate, they are full of valuable experiences worth sharing!

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Utsa Mukherjee: The Graduate Route visa has allowed me to do a meaningful job

Utsa attended the University of Bristol as an international student from India, majoring in BSc Social Policy and Sociology.

A picture of Utsa smiling with a city scape behind her

After graduating last year, Utsa used the Graduate Route to secure a job within the university and is now working as an International Scholarship Assistant.

She is one of over 80,000 international students granted a Graduate Route visa since it launched in the summer of 2021.

Utsa spoke to us about her ambitions for working in a role that allows her to make a positive impact on the people and communities around her.

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Graduate stories: Yasmin Gledhill, Frontline Graduate Intern

Frontline is an organisation that is creating social change for children who do not have safe or stable homes, by developing excellent social work practice and leadership.

We recently caught up with History graduate, Yasmin, to hear about her experience taking part in the Frontline Graduate Internship.

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Graduate stories: Starting a creative career with my neuroscience degree

Anna graduated from Bristol in 2021 with a BSc in Neuroscience. Having leaned away from scientific research, she currently works in copywriting and content marketing. Read her post to find out why she pivoted to a creative career, how she got relevant experience and her advice for those who decide against pursuing a career directly related to their degree.

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How to get into corporate governance and risk management.

In November 2022, the Faculty of Social Sciences & Law hosted the ”How to get into Corporate Governance and Risk Management” panel event with three University of Bristol alumni. 

via GIPHY

Henrietta Skareng, 3rd year BSc Politics and International Relations student and Career Peer Support Assistant, attended the event and here are her top takeaways:

What is corporate governance and risk management?

Corporate governance refers to the way that firms are directed and controlled. Working with corporate governance means ensuring that practices and procedures are efficient in achieving company objectives and that the interests of all stakeholders are balanced. You can read more about corporate governance on the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland website.

Risk management within the financial sector, much as it sounds, is all about assessing risks within the industry and constructing strategies to avoid or minimise the impact of them. In the context of multiple global challenges, companies are increasingly exposed to risk.  In the financial sector in particular there are opportunities available across a range of employers, such as banks, insurance and property firms, as well as in the public sector. You can read more about risk management and control in our myCareer guide.

The diversity of experiences among the event panellists highlights the spectrum of opportunities within corporate governance and risk management. Read on for further details and their top suggestions for entering the field of corporate governance and risk management.

Who were the panelists?

Image of three speakers Celine, Sam and Helen

  • Celine Okoroma – Head of Governance and Compliance at Paraclete Legal Consulting
  • Sam Haynes – Head of Risk Analytics at Verisk Maplecroft
  • Helen Hodge – Enterprise Risk Management Specialist at Deloitte

Click their names to explore their profiles on LinkedIn!

Top tips from the panel:

  1. Do a self-assessment – Assess your strengths and capabilities to figure out what your skills and passions are. A self-assessment could help you discover whether you are suited for a career in the industry and what skills you might need to build on. Try the mycareer strengths assessment.
  1. Build your skills over time – If you know what role or company you want to work for, research their requirements and find opportunities and experiences that will build skills that align with what the employer is looking for. Often, employers are looking for candidates with strong analytical and quantitative analysis skills, so consider finding experience that could help strengthen your skill-base in those areas. You may find this Competency Framework from CGI
  1. Utilise LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a great source of inspiration and allows you to connect with other students, alumni, potential employers and professionals working in this area. A simple search for the role or area you are looking to pursue lets you explore what qualifications, experiences, and professional certifications other people working in the sector have.
  1. Stay up to date on the industry – Visit the websites of professional regulatory organisations, and subscribe to their newsletters to stay up to date with the industry. For example, the Chartered Governance Institute, the Global Risk Report from the World Economic Forum, and the annual risk reports of specific companies you might be interested in. This is a good idea to do before the interview stage to demonstrate your interest in the company and industry overall!
  1. Get a certificate in corporate governance from the Chartered Governance Institute of the UK and Ireland. If you wish to pursue a role in corporate governance, the speakers recommended that you consider getting a certificate in corporate governance to increase your competency.

Find out more:

Blog written by Henrietta Skareng, a 3rd year BSc Politics and International Relations student, Student Engagement Team Worker and Career Peer Support Assistant

Graduate stories: My experience in a Big Four grad scheme

A picture of a man and a woman in graduation gowns, outside of University.

Katie is an engineering mathematics graduate, currently enrolled in an audit grad scheme in one of the Big Four companies. Read her blog post to learn how she got there, how she’s finding it, her plans for the future, and advice for anyone considering a grad scheme.

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Pam McGee: from Bristol graduate to External Communications and Relationships Manager at STEM Women.

Pam McGee is a 2005 Bristol University graduate who studied English Literature BA.

Pam is now the External Communications and Relationships Manager at STEM Women. She has kindly written this blog to tell us about her experiences at University and working for STEM Women.

A picture of Pam smiling

“I can’t tell you a motivational story about how I always wanted to work in PR and communications, because I never knew I wanted to – it just happened. But I can give you one key piece of advice which is to engage with your university Careers Service – something which, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t do during my time at Bristol.

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Ellen Brennan: from a Bristol graduate to Pupil Barrister with the Crown Prosecution Service

Hi, I’m Ellen. I studied LLB Law from 2015 to 2018 at Bristol, where I developed a real interest in criminal justice.

A picture of Ellen, the author, smiling,

Modules such as Rich Law, Poor Law and Jurisprudence encouraged me to think about the practical implications of law and the (in)justice these perpetuate for everyday people

As a student leader in the Human Rights Law Clinic, I gained experience working alongside lawyers on a project to encourage compliance with the UN OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture) on behalf of the African Commission. This developed my interest in using law to achieve positive societal change.

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