It’s the time of year when degree results are announced and, amid all the celebrations, there are some of you for whom things may not have gone according to plan. It’s understandable to be disappointed if you did not get the classification you hoped for, but if you are worried about what this means for your job prospects, take heart, there are still plenty of options open to you.
1. Look for graduate schemes which accept 2:2s – and beyond!
Increasing numbers of graduate schemes do not require a 2:1 for you to be able to apply. This is a trend which extends across many sectors, so it is worth searching the opportunities out. See this article by Target Jobs for useful links to sector specific recommendations: Also bear in mind that only a minority of graduates end up on these large graduate schemes each year; the vacancies on MyCareer are one good starting point for a wider range of graduate opportunities.
2. Be positive about your achievements
Alex secured a role with Selfridges as a Front End Developer after graduating in 2015 with a BSc Politics and the Bristol PLUS Award under his belt.
“The Bristol PLUS Award encouraged me to pursue hours of paid work which helped populate my CV and gave me experience of what to expect in an office. It also helped prepare me with examples that I could talk about in my interview, to help showcase various efforts I made in trying to gain employment.
or those of you who haven’t decided on what you would like to do after you graduate – don’t worry, there’s still time!
Check out what we have on at the Spring Careers Fair 2 & 3 May from 12-3pm.
1. Careers Fair Plus App
Download the Careers Fair Plus App from the App Store or Google Play Store. Check out which employers are attending on each day and use the filters to narrow your search. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts once you’ve visited via the feedback form.
This is your chance to meet a range of companies of different sizes, and sectors, and to find out about opportunities for future graduate jobs and internships. Also, employers are still hiring; use the filter on the Careers Fair app to find out who.
3. Global Opportunities
Are you an International Student looking to secure work in the UK or back home? We’re holding a short talk on how to secure a job or work experience in the UK. This will be followed up by employer films highlighting their recruitment across the globe. Click here to sign up.
“There is just so much to gain”
Read on to find out how Hassan benefited from completing the Award, and how he feels it helped him secure a job after graduation.
Did you know that almost 20% of recent University of Bristol graduates who are working in the UK are based in Bristol 6 months after graduation?
As Bristol was named the best place to live in Britain in 2017, it’s not hard to understand why so many graduates are keen to start their career here. The variety of recent graduate profiles on our Careers Network give a flavour of the diverse range of careers that are available in Bristol. Opportunities flourish in the legal sector, engineering and teaching, and somewhat unsurprisingly, at the University!
Among the largest recruiters of Bristol graduates each year are PwC (recruiting 21 people in 2015/16), Deloitte (20), KPMG (15) and EY (9). These companies all have Bristol-based regional headquarters, and could be a great place to launch your career.
The competition for places on their graduate recruitment schemes is fierce, but we understand from these employers that your chance of success is improved by applying to a region rather than to London.
If you graduate without securing the right role for you, then the Careers Service is here to help! You can access our services for three years after graduation, and many graduates continue to join us at our careers fairs (53 graduates in 2016/17), events (82), and for advice appointments (121).
Even if you are not able to come to see us in Bristol, we can help. You can ask us a question online, have a telephone advice appointment, or search and apply for a huge number and variety of vacancies – in 2016/17, 983 graduates viewed 4,640 different opportunities! You may be doing OK by yourself… but we’ve still got your back.
What are Bristol Graduates up to now?
Every year, we get in touch with recent graduates to find out what they’re up to now that they’ve left the University of Bristol. Each year the results reveal some interesting and surprising facts – the most recent survey for 2015/16 graduates was no exception.
In this survey, we heard from 62% of all graduates either online or through our telephone campaign. This included 78% of all full-time, UK undergraduates and 60% of those from the EU.
Here is a snapshot of what we discovered:
This includes full and part time work and study. Other activities include travelling, due to start a job, looking for work or doing something else.
Bristol Graduates love Bristol!
17% of graduates are still living and working in the Bristol area and 34% of graduates who have pursued further study, such as a Masters or PhD, have chosen to do so at the University of Bristol.
What jobs are they doing now?
University of Bristol Graduates go into all sorts of careers, some of which you may expect while others are a little more unusual.
Here are some job title highlights from the 15/16 survey:
- Associate Catastrophe Analyst for Liberty Specialist Markets (Geography graduate)
- Fraud Investigator for Amazon (French and Italian graduate)
- Talent Specialist for Vodafone (Geography graduate)
- Recruitment Strategy Analyst (Biology graduate)
- Drug Policy Researcher for the Transform Drugs Policy Foundation (Philosophy and Spanish graduate)
- Agile Mobile and Web Developer for Theodo UK (Mathematics and Computer Science graduate)
- Specialist Environmental Instructor at a Residential Centre (Zoology graduate)
If you’re graduating in Summer 2017, you will be contacted between November 2017 and March 2018 about completing the survey. Completing it helps us to improve our careers support for current students and recent graduates.
The Bristol PLUS Award deadline for all undergraduates and postgraduate research students is rapidly approaching! We know this is a stressful time for students with final deadlines and exams, but if you are registered on the Award, do not let your progress go to waste! Find that last bit of energy and complete the Award by June 9!
Achieving the Award will help you when applying for jobs or internships, and if you are not a finalist, it sets you up to aim for the Outstanding Award next year! As a bit of inspiration, you can read about one of our PLUS and Outstanding Award alumni here, who is now enjoying working life being employed by Microsoft. More student case studies can be found on our website.
Name: Derek Bekoe
Current Job title: Software Engineer (Microsoft)
Graduation year from Bristol: 2015
Subject studied: Computer Science
How did the PLUS Award help prepare you for your career after University? Are you glad you took part?
During my time at university, I completed both the PLUS Award and the Outstanding Award. I’m glad I took the steps to complete the Awards because it taught me the importance of what it means to be employable and how to gain employability-related skills.
How useful was the PLUS award in preparing you for the recruitment and selection process with your employer?
The PLUS Award got me more involved with the Careers Service. It really helped me prepare for the behavioural questions in interviews. I learned the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Response) through my mock interviews and it proved invaluable in my real interviews.
Is there anything in particular you gained from the PLUS Award that you feel you would not have gained if you had not taken part?
Completing the PLUS Award pushed me to complete more hours of work experience and volunteer work outside of my studies. During interviews, I would end up having conversations about the projects and volunteering I had done outside of my studies and that helps when you want to stand out!
Any words of advice or encouragement to current students thinking of taking the Bristol PLUS award?
I’d highly recommend signing up for the PLUS award and putting your all into each part of the award. After the PLUS award, also consider the Outstanding award as both awards really help prepare you for interviews and landing that dream graduate role.
Sometimes it seems there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. With the competing demands of revising for exams, writing essays and applying for jobs, good management of your time is essential.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider if you are filling your time wisely. Are you putting off more challenging tasks by cleaning the house, doing the washing up, checking Facebook? My advice…..
- Just start – do something (anything) to get the task under-way.
- If it’s big, break it down into smaller parts and do a little each day so you don’t feel so daunted by it.
- Do one thing at a time. Just because you can do ten things at once doesn’t mean you should. Focusing on one thing at a time means you’ll do better work, finish faster, and move on to other, more enjoyable activities.
- A cluttered desk is not helpful. Clear your desk of everything not related to what you are currently doing. This will help you concentrate and focus your attention.
- Identify your ‘prime time’. We all have a time of day when we are alert and attentive. The secret is to recognise when this is and do the tasks that require energy, concentration and thought when you’re at your sharpest.
- Plan ahead by creating a schedule including study, work, and your personal commitments for the next few months. Then…
- Prioritise: to be effective, you need to decide what tasks are urgent and important and focus on these. You’ll feel a real sense of achievement and satisfaction from ticking completed tasks off you list.
- Work in blocks of time: try a maximum of an hour before taking a 15min break, this way you’ll concentrate better.
- Minimise interruptions by switching off your phone, signing out of social media, turning off alerts and push notifications or asking friends not to disturb you. You can survive without knowing your friends’ latest status update for a few hours.
- Give yourself a reward once you complete a task to keep you motivated.
Some people believe they need the chaos of leaving things to the last minute and the pressure of a tight deadline to motivate them: ask yourself whether this is really effective or whether it’s disguised procrastination.
If you just do it now, you can look forward to some real leisure time later without the pressure of future work hanging over you. Breaking tasks down and scheduling work ahead of time also means you won’t get overwhelmed later on. It’s all about delayed gratification and you might actually find you produce better work under less stress.
It’s the time of year when degree results are announced and, amid all the celebrations, there are some of you for whom things may not have gone according to plan. There seems to be a lot of pressure on students to achieve a 2:1 these days, but this is really only significant if you are aiming to secure a position on a graduate scheme, as recruiters often use degree classifications to screen the vast numbers of applications they receive.
According to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the percentages for those in full-time employment six months after graduation are actually the same for those with Firsts, 2:1s and 2:2s, so things do have a tendency to equalise over time. Please do bear in mind that only a minority of graduates end up on these large grad schemes each year, so it’s important to take a deep breath and consider your options – of which there are many. We also recommend taking a look at our previous post What If I Don’t Want a Graduate Scheme? to help you work out what your next step might be.
Some graduate schemes do accept 2:2s
You may be surprised to know that not all graduate schemes require a 2:1 for you to be able to apply. Some engineering and accounting firms (not the Big Four) will accept a 2:2, and some well-known schemes run by HMRC, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the NHS are all still open to you. Many firms will also consider applicants with a 2:2 if you contact them to explain any genuinely mitigating circumstances in advance of submitting your application; this will also avoid your being screened out by computer before you have had a chance to explain your situation.
Work your way up & gain experience
You can also prove you have the skills to do the job by taking on a graduate internship or placement. This offers hands-on experience which will look great on your CV, as well as offering an opportunity to impress while actually doing the work; many internships can work as extended interviews. Search company websites to see what’s on offer (internships are advertised throughout the year) and try our UoB Internship Scheme, which is open to graduates. You can find opportunities advertised on the Careers Service website or find your own and talk to us about funding.
Work for a small business
Working for a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) or a start-up could be the perfect way to get your career moving. Small businesses place the emphasis on skills and work experience when recruiting as they need you to be able to make a contribution straight away and hit the ground running. Some SMEs advertise with the Careers Service but you should also do your own research, make a shortlist and start calling them directly about what could be available. These working environments may not offer structured training but you’ll have much earlier responsibility than in a grad scheme, if you can prove the quality of your work, and you will feel as if you are making a difference from the outset.
Think carefully about opting for a Masters
Many graduates immediately start applying for a Masters in the hope that attaining a higher degree will negate having a 2:2. However, most recruiters will still use your undergraduate degree result for screening if you apply for a graduate scheme, even if you have bagged yourself a Masters. If you’re thinking about taking the postgraduate study route, talk to the employers you’re interested in working for to find out which specific courses they might view as an enhancement to your profile. A Masters degree does not necessarily make you more employable in the way that relevant work experience can, so do your homework before making an expensive mistake and taking another year out of the labour market.
What do you really want to do?
Sometimes, not getting what you want offers an important opportunity to take a step back and reflect on other possibilities. There is a whole world of work out there that doesn’t require a 2:1 and a training scheme. Come in and talk to a Careers Adviser about what you can do with your skills, what you enjoy and what your next steps could be; there are more job roles out there than you can possibly imagine. You may decide to work for yourself, take a year out, travel or gain valuable experience before you throw yourself back into the graduate labour market and try again. Just remember that there are many ways in which you can add value to your CV and impress a potential employer without the magic 2:1 on your transcript.
Dr Tracy Johnson, Careers Adviser