It can be tempting to put off thinking about what you want to do when you graduate, especially when you are busy with university work. Chloe Henhaw, (BA English), shares how she started thinking about careers in her first year, and went from having no idea what she wanted to do to securing a place on the Civil Service Fast Stream. (more…)
Hi! I’m Gelsica, a Psychology of Education MSc student at Bristol. It was an Erasmus year spent working with young offenders in France which really ignited my passion for Psychology, and my career goal is to work in cognitive behavioural therapy with young children and adolescents.
I recently went to an online Careers in Psychology Q&A event, organised by the School of Education and the Careers Service. We heard from professional speakers working in a range of roles within Psychology, including Educational, Clinical, Counselling, Academia and Research.
Here are the key things I learned from the event, as well as some top tips from the Careers Service on starting a career in Psychology:
Be open-minded to career options within Psychology
A key message was the wide and diverse range of roles in Psychology – so if you aren’t sure where to begin, there are many options to explore.
Careers Service tips: Start with the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) career paths and Prospects What can I do with a Psychology degree? Also explore these articles on finding your calling within Psychology and alternative psychology careers.
There isn’t only one route in
There are several routes into Psychology – including a career change. One speaker began her career in recruitment before moving into mental health care – and she is about to become a Clinical Associate in Psychology (CAP).
Get creative with work experience
There are many forms of work experience in Psychology. Although Psychology Assistant roles are a good starting point, they are highly competitive – so be proactive and open-minded about other ways to gain experience. The key is that you apply Psychology within the role – as one speaker advised, it is about “following your interests” and using “your passion”.
Careers Service tip: See Prospects information on work experience options within Psychology.
Think ‘on the ground’ for clinical opportunities
‘On the ground’ healthcare positions, whether bank employees or contract workers, are an excellent way to gain relevant knowledge and experience – and they are always in demand. For example, starting as a Healthcare Assistant is ideal for gaining experience in mental health.
Careers Service tips: See the Clearing House for Postgrad Clinical Psychology’s advice on work experience for clinical psychology.
Look broadly for educational experience
Any experience in an educational setting is valuable for educational Psychology – e.g. working as a teaching assistant, youth worker, or volunteering with an educational charity.
Recognise the value of volunteering
Volunteering in your field of interest is a great way to gain relevant experience and build your CV – e.g. one speaker recommended volunteering in research laboratories that work with babies.
Careers Service tips: Volunteer for the NHS (filter by ‘volunteering’ in advance search options), or search for voluntary opportunities on myopportunities and CharityJob. Prospects’ advice on finding volunteering experience is also helpful.
Give yourself a head start for academia
If you are considering a career in academia – why not speak to your supervisor about the possibility of your master’s or final year research project being published? There are also opportunities to publish your research through the Bristol Institute of Learning and Teaching (BILT).
Careers Service tip: Read the BPS academic, research and teaching career information. Also consider writing for the BPS student publication, Psych Talk.
Speak to people for advice
Seek out ways to interact with people working in your field of interest – several speakers mentioned opportunities gained through their network. Consider who you know – peers, lecturers, supervisors, friends, family – and seize opportunities to build on this.
Careers Service tip: Read our guide to LinkedIn for advice on online networking and use Bristol Connects to connect with Bristol alumni. The BPS student membership gives you access to BPS events and their professional network. Also use Eventbrite and Meetup to find events.
Last but not least – the Bristol PLUS Award
Attending this event counted towards my Bristol PLUS Award. If you haven’t considered the Award and will be studying next year, I highly recommend it – it’s helped me to meet new people, improve my leadership skills and increase my understanding of careers in Psychology. To maximise your time at university, join the amazing Bristol PLUS Award community!
You can view the recording of the panel question-and-answer session and also access the event slides (including resource links) to find out more about the speakers.
The pandemic has impacted so much, including the world of work. The ongoing uncertainty can feel de-motivating; it may feel easier to avoid thinking about careers right now and to put it off until later. However, it could be an ideal time for career thinking and looking at what the Faculty of Arts Careers Series has to offer, (more…)
❤ Employers love Bristol students
Your Careers Service connects you with employers – large and small, local and international. Every year we link Bristol students and graduates to over 300 employers, and are one of the top five most targeted UK universities by employers (High Fliers).
We’ve been in this position for the last ten years, so we’re not going to let this new, mostly digital world stop us! This autumn term, we are bringing over 100 employers directly to you through our Careers Showcase Week and Autumn Fair (19 to 23 October).
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!
Did you make it to Social Sciences and Law Careers Week 2020?
From 10 – 14 February this year professionals working in a range of career paths popular with Social Sciences and Law graduates came to share their career advice and experience. We heard panel discussions on careers in ‘Government and Policy’, ‘Academia and Research’, ‘Marketing and Communications’, as well as ‘Using Your Degree to Make a Difference’.
If you missed out on any of the talks, don’t sweat! We’ve pulled together information on the speakers’ career paths and their headline hints and tips from each event in a handy Careers Week Resource.
To start you off, here are our five key takeaways from the week:
The 93% Club aim to improve the experience of state school students studying at the University of Bristol. As part of our Equality and Diversity Careers Week back in January, they kindly volunteered to chair our Social Mobility Panel.
Alice (the groups president) shared her experience of chairing the panel with us:
“Chairing the Social Mobility Panel at the Equality and Diversity Careers Week was a fantastic experience that left me feeling inspired and hopeful about the future of social mobility amongst UK employers.”
“The representatives from Nationwide and the Civil Service Fast Stream were both keen to share what their organisations were doing to break down barriers and create a more inclusive workplace, both through their applications processes and the training they provide for their staff. It was also great to hear from UpReach and Aspiring Solicitors about their programmes to level the graduate playing field and open doors into careers that may not previously have been open to students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.”
Employers are waking up to the importance of equality and diversity in their graduate recruitment. According to the Institute of Student Employers, 76% of employers now consider social mobility to be a priority.
But what does equality and diversity in careers really mean? And how do these values affect you?
For the week of 27-31 January, the Careers Service and Bristol Students’ Union are putting on fifteen events to explore and celebrate diversity as a workplace strength.