Employers from all countries are looking for graduates who can demonstrate global skills and competencies.
Bristol alumni, Sarah M. Natumanya, tells us about her global experience working for a German consulting group, the UN in Switzerland and as a consultant in Uganda.
So, you graduated from Bristol in 2020; what happened next?
“I was fortunate to receive an internship offer from the UN Human Rights Office – OHCHR (Geneva) in November of 2020, where I supported the enhancement of civil society participation in the United Nations.
After 6 Months, I took a consultancy role as a Gender Mainstreaming Adviser with INTEGRATION Consulting Group of Germany. I delivered gender and youth development activities and integrated gender perspectives in the skills development component of the Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (PREEP). The PREEP aims to improve energy access in Uganda, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas.
Since then, I am working as an independent consultant supporting organisations with mainstreaming gender and human rights perspectives in their work through research, gender equality programming, youth and women employability and the socio-economic inclusion of refugees.”
What skills did you gain working in Germany, Switzerland and Uganda?
“Working with the UN perfected my ability to interact, work and engage with teams in a diplomatic environment. Likewise, my experience in leading the gender-mainstreaming project at the PREEEP was imperative in helping me evolve as a leader.
The exposure to multidisciplinary and multicultural settings, alongside my experience working with diverse teams as a consultant, has been beneficial in helping me gain deeper knowledge within the international development and non-profit sectors.”
As an international student, what did you do during university to prepare you for a global career?
- I set goals of where I wanted to go and the nature of issues I wanted to work on after my academic programme.
- I went ahead to invest my time in research and attending webinars to gain insights and to build an impactful career in international development.
- Finally, I made good use of the support provided by the University’s Career Service. An advisor at the Careers Service reviewed my first CV!
What key advice would you give current students looking to gain global work experience?
#1 – Research
Career research is not only relevant in informing you about vacant positions, but it will enlighten you about trending issues, persistent problems, and ongoing topics and discussions. This knowledge is essential for informing and strengthening your writeups, applications and proposals.
Furthermore, career research helps you to understand minor but extremely significant information about the organisation you aspire to work for. For example, working for the United Nations is exciting but securing a job in the UN requires in-depth understanding of the UN system, and how jobs are graded. This is information that you must discover on your own through research, speaking to people, reading about UN career blogs, and attending webinars.
#2 – Networking
Build as many relationships with people as you can. This will help you to hear other experiences and receive bespoke advice. For example, I shared my CV with Gender and Human Rights Experts for their genuine opinions and advice on how I can present my CV and communicate my skills. I found their feedback extremely useful.
While ambitious networking is encouraged, it should be accompanied with a great level of professionalism when approaching people!
💡 Tip: Attend job hunting and networking events to improve your networking skills!
#3 – Commercial Awareness
Finally, improve yourself in line with what you want to do. Take a new course, read articles on issues relevant to your field, and attend information sessions and webinars. This helps you to keep abreast of emerging information.
Attend our events throughout Global Careers Week to enhance your employability!
Global Careers Week is here!
This is your chance to get involved with a week of events and workshops, specifically designed to support you in developing global skills and experiences to boost your employability!
Here are three reasons why you should make the most out of Global Careers Week:
#1 – Global skills are highly sought-after by employers
The post-Covid working world is changing rapidly, and so are the skills required to succeed in this new environment. Developing global awareness and intercultural competencies are now essential skills to enhance your employability.
“Companies are operating over so many international boundaries, so the more languages and experience with different cultures you can bring to a company, the more you can help with its global reach.”Oliver Watson, MD for UK, North America and the Middle East at Michael Page
Beyond fluency in multiple languages, global skills also include your ability to navigate cultural diversity and misunderstandings, as well as possessing global business awareness.
Our blog Why employers love global experience shares eight reasons why spending time abroad can boost your employability.
Attend our workshops on Developing a global mindset and Intercultural skills and employability to learn about the significance of global skills, and how to showcase them as your employability advantages in job applications.
#2 – There is something for everyone
The best thing about Global Careers Week is there is something for everyone!
Are you interested in studying, working or volunteering abroad next summer? Come along to the Global Opportunities Fair to explore your options and find out what funding you could get to help kickstart your international adventure.
For international students looking to gain work experience in the UK, we understand that there might be certain barriers and challenges in your way. We have prepared useful workshops to support your understanding of UK workplace culture and skills, as well as strategies for success in landing a graduate job in the UK.
#3 – Get inspired
Whatever stage of career planning you are at, whether you are feeling lost or ready to explore, come along and hear from alumni speakers as they share their personal insights and inspirational global careers. Explore a wide range of careers that have a global impact, and learn about ways you can utilise your time and skills at university to prepare you for a fruitful global career.
Global Careers Week is happening Monday 28 November till Friday 2 December. Search for ‘Global Careers Week’ events on mycareer to see what’s on and register.
Visit the Global Opportunities website to book onto the Global Opportunities Fair
Since summer 2021, international graduates have been able to stay in the UK for two years (three if they have a PhD) to work or look for work, under the Graduate visa route.
This is the first in a series of posts sharing the experiences and advice of Bristol alumni who have secured jobs using the Graduate visa. Hear from Ning, Fei Fei and Emelyn – two of whom work at the Careers Service!
Ning Tay, Malaysia – Honours Law LLB
Careers Support Officer (International) at the University of Bristol
My initial plans of heading to bar school changed significantly due to COVID. As such, I applied for the Graduate visa and got an internship with the University’s Student Inclusion Peer Support Team, whilst figuring out my career path. Due to the flexibility of the visa, I was able to transition to a fixed-term position in the Careers Service after 6 months of my internship, now supporting the employability of our international students, with a focus on those returning to China.
It was my great honour to undertake a two-month internship at Bristol Braille Technology (BBT) under the SME Internship Scheme. My position at BBT was Braille and Employment Researcher Intern. My main duty was to conduct research on how braille promotes employment and improves the lives of the visually impaired. My work was mostly done remotely.
Working for BBT, I learned workplace etiquette and gained lots of new skills, including working to a high standard. As a non-native English speaker, my English has improved tremendously during this internship. My colleagues and supervisors are all native English speakers, and, frankly, it was a little difficult for me to keep up with them when I first started my internship. I quickly got over this problem with a lot of English practice.
At the same time, the research skills I learned at university came in handy and my time management skills have also been enhanced. This valuable experience has laid a solid foundation for my future career.
All in all, as a visually impaired person, I have benefited a lot from this internship, it really boosts my CV and I have become more confident. At work, I didn’t feel any discrimination and I wasn’t treated differently from anyone else. I sincerely hope that more of my peers will benefit from this scheme in the future. (more…)
The beauty of the Graduate route is that you can live and work in the UK even if you are not offered a Skilled Worker visa. As you probably know, securing sponsorship can be quite competitive. The Graduate route opens the door for international students to also consider less competitive opportunities, such as jobs in smaller organisations (called SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises), which in the UK account for over 99% of all businesses. Therefore, targeting SMEs to look for a job seems like a wise move. There are many benefits to working for smaller organisations – and you can find out more in our online guide “What is an SME? Why work for one?”
How do I find a job with an SME?
- Look for roles on mycareer vacancies
- Check the sector-specific job sites in our sector guides
- Research our employer database and go directly to company websites to see if there are any vacancies being advertised.
- Consider approaching employers speculatively – see our advice on accessing the hidden job market
Once you have narrowed down your search and feel you have some understanding of the market, focus on writing quality applications for a few of your preferred employers.
Stand in the hiring manager’s shoes and consider what will convince them to hire you.
Firstly, employers want someone that can DO THE JOB.
Are you an overseas student, looking for work in the UK, but short on time?
We know there are lots of competing demands on international students’ time. Often juggling both independent and group assignments, and this year, adjusting to doing this remotely online. In normal circumstances adapting to a new culture, city, and education system presents enough to be getting on with. On top of all this, is the task of finding graduate work. This can be time consuming as an international student. From getting to know the UK jobs market to understanding the graduate visas available. Not to mention choosing roles you have an interest in and feel you could contribute to.
International student job portal, Student Circus, advertises internships, placements and graduate jobs across a range of sectors and company sizes, from start-ups to large multinationals.
It is an exciting time for international students! If you are graduating from this summer, you will be able to apply for the new graduate route, to stay in the UK and work or look for work for two years, or three years if you have a PhD.
The main benefit of this route over the skilled worker route is that you do not need an employer to sponsor you. We expect the government to publish full details on how to apply for the route very soon. In the meantime here are 3 steps you can take now to make the most of this opportunity.
Step One – Clarify your goals
Getting to know a new labour market and how to navigate it can be difficult! That’s why we’ve put together this handy timeline for international students looking to find a job in the UK.
The #WeAreInternational student ambassador programme is an education policy and leadership development scheme for international students in the UK. With my growing interest in education policy and love for personal development, I thought it would be the perfect fit for me, and I was right!
From the very beginning, UKCISA staff have been nothing but kind and supportive. Even the recruitment process was insightful and enjoyable. It entailed a group activity and presentation, then a one-to-one interview. I remember all the candidates being so passionate, confident, and knowledgeable. We were informed of the decision a couple of days later, and fortunately, I was successful.
The induction training session, being before the pandemic, was an in person two-day event. It covered an introduction to UKCISA, essential policy knowledge and skills, and an individual session going through our personal development plan, tailoring it to our policy area of interest.
Being a #WeAreInternational student ambassador has been one of the best experiences of my university journey. I have been able to have a say in the international student experience! This has included: (more…)