We are often greeted with surprise from both students and graduates visiting the Careers Service for the first time: “I never knew there was so much here!” and “I wish I had got in touch before now” are common reactions.
We also know that students are often reluctant to get in touch with us, feeling that they need to have a specific reason to talk to us – you don’t!
You may have seen articles in the UK press about how coronavirus is affecting the UK graduate job market. Broadly speaking it’s a mixed outlook, with some sectors like hospitality badly affected whereas others, like healthcare and social work, are more robust. You can read a useful summary on Prospects.
At Bristol, one in four of you now are from overseas, so we’re actively using our relationships with global recruitment platforms and employers to collate information on job markets outside of the UK.
What are Chambers of Commerce?
Chambers of Commerce are membership organisations which businesses can join to access services to help them grow and play a part in their local business community. They exist around the world at the local, regional and national level. Bristol Chamber of Commerce is run by Business West. You can easily find Chambers for your nearest home town or city, or home country, by searching online. For example, “[name of city] Chamber of Commerce.”
1.) It caters for all stages of your start-up journey
The competition caters for all levels of start-up stages: ‘Ideas,’ ‘Development’ and ‘Growth.’ Funding is available at all stages, and there is pro bono support available from our sponsors in the Growth stage of the competition. You can apply to any and all stages of the competition and do not need to complete them in order (more information below). To read about some of our start-up stories from previous winners of the competition, click here.
This post was accurate at the time of writing, please check online for the latest information.
We know that many of our international students would like to get a job in the UK when they graduate. However, it can be hard to find an employer willing to sponsor you for a Tier 2 visa.
The good news is, there’s an alternative visa route if you’re prepared to be flexible: the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange). You are eligible if you are from outside of the EEA and Switzerland.
Experiences of being an international student at university can vary greatly. Despite having been at school in the UK since the age of 13, I still felt the specific pressures of being an international student at university, especially in regards to careers.
My career aspirations became a high priority from the beginning. Due to my student visa only allowing me to stay in the UK for the duration of my degree, I felt that I needed to have a post-graduation plan as soon as possible. I spent much of my first year getting to know what advice was offered by attending a variety of workshops put on by the Careers Service, numerous employer presentations, participating in university societies and volunteering. When I decided to complete the Bristol PLUS Award in second year, I found I had no trouble doing so having kick-started my career planning early on.
When studying a languages degree, it is obligatory to spend your third year abroad. Despite the fact that many people thought this meant I had a year-long holiday whilst everyone back home was writing dissertations, it actually meant working 40+ hours a week, speaking more Spanish daily than ever before and learning more about the culture than I ever could from a textbook.
What did you do in Spain?
In August last year, I started a five-month placement at a Spanish language school in Barcelona. In a nutshell, my responsibilities included working as a receptionist, carrying out administrative tasks, answering phone and email enquiries and translating content to go onto the English version of the website. Having never worked a full–time job before, the first few weeks were perhaps the most exhausting and a bit daunting. Nevertheless, once I had settled and got to know my colleagues, I started to really enjoy the work I was doing. After a month, I was put in charge of the school’s Spanish evening course. This was the part that I perhaps enjoyed the most because, whilst it was a lot of work on top of what I was already doing, I really enjoyed having something for which I was solely responsible.
How did you find your placement?
The hardest part was probably finding the job itself. I started looking for an internship early on in my second year, searching Spanish job sites and lists of placements previous students had been on. Don’t be disheartened if you send lots of emails and CVs and receive few replies as this tends to be the norm. One day, whilst thinking I was never going to find anything, I came across the language school’s website and found that they offered work placements. Whilst the initial application process took a while, it was definitely worth it. So, keep looking and you definitely will find something!
What were the benefits of working abroad?
Working in another country was a great opportunity to meet and work with people from all over the world whom I might otherwise not have had the opportunity to meet. When working such long hours, sometimes even weekends, it was easy to feel that all I was doing was working. So one thing I would suggest to help adapt to living in a new country is throwing yourself into different activities outside of the workplace. This way you get to know more of the city and the culture.
Having now started to think about future job applications, I think the year abroad was a very valuable experience. Working abroad shows international experience, highlights language skills and shows you can adapt to different working environments.