It’s totally natural to approach the end of your time at university and think, ‘okay, now what?’. In fact, this is one of the most common things we hear, here at the Careers Service.
You probably have a lot of questions floating around in your mind. Do I apply for a master’s or PhD? Do I work in Manchester or look for jobs at home? Do I look at MGT internships or think about graduate schemes for next year?
Even if you had a plan in mind for post-graduation (travelling the world, taking a year out), the current situation may have meant you’ve had to reconsider your options.
Introducing… Final Year Fortnight. From Monday 8 June to Friday 19 June, we ran a programme of online support specifically for final year students who have finished university and aren’t sure what to do next.
The first week focussed on decision making, and featured lots of resources to help you avoid ‘analysis paralysis’. The aim of this week was to help identify your strengths and use them to aid the decision making process.
The second week built on the skills you’ve gained during week one, and aimed to help you consider your options and create a plan of action for your next 6-12 months.
Missed the live programme? Don’t worry! All our Final Year Fortnight resources are available to access below, at a time that suits you.
Remember, if you’d like to chat to a Careers Consultant about planning your next steps, you can book a guidance appointment over Zoom or Skype. You can use the Careers Service for up to two years after you finish your degree, so please do get in touch.
Week 1: Decision-making
|Date||Theme for today||What’s happening|
|Monday, 8 June||I don’t know what I want to do!||It’s totally normal to feel confused about what’s next. Anyone would be overwhelmed if they felt under pressure to decide what career they want to do for the rest of their lives! Instead of focussing on making one big decision, try to break your next steps into smaller, more manageable chunks. Check out our ‘I don’t know what to do’ pages to get you thinking about your options, our blog post on how to make better decisions and our very own Final Year Playlist to give you some careers inspiration.|
|Tuesday, 9 June||Considering further study?||The focus of today is further study. If you’ve finished your undergraduate and are now thinking about doing a master’s, we’ve got you covered. Have a look at our online workshop, ‘An Introduction to Postgraduate Study, which talks you through the basics of applications and funding, consider the differences between UG and PG study, and check out our student blog post on the benefits of further study.|
|Wednesday, 10 June||Strengths and decision making||Today we focused on strengths and decision making. A strong level of self-awareness (understanding your strengths, skills, values) can make even the most difficult career decision that much simpler. Check out the recording of our workshop on identifying your strengths and using them to make better decisions about your future. Have a look at the Prospects Career Planner, which matches your skills, motivations and desires to a career that could be perfect for you! Remember, all UoM students and recent grads can access a range of questionnaires to help you work out your strengths.|
|Thursday, 11 June||Networking and decision making||Although it’s important to make decisions based on what’s best for you, inspiration, advice and insights from others can often be invaluable aids to the decision-making process, especially when it comes to graduate jobs. Today included all things networking (it’s not as scary as you think, we promise!), LinkedIn and getting careers inspiration from others. Hear from some of our recent grads about what’s most important to them in a graduate role, check out our top tips for networking, and get support in developing an effective LinkedIn profile. You can also get inspiration from our graduate careers stories and have a look at the kinds of jobs other alumni from your degree have gone on to work in.|
|Friday 12, June||To mark the last day of week 1 of Final Year Fortnight, we offered our top tips for how to make decisions depending on your own personal circumstances. If you’re a master’s student and aren’t sure whether to pursue a graduate job or PhD, ask yourself these four questions to aid your decision making. For our international final years considering working in the UK (or returning home), have a look at our careers tips from international professionals. Remember, you can book an appointment with a Careers Consultant for personalised advice, guidance and support.|
Week 2: Taking action
|Date||Theme for today||What’s happening|
|Monday, 15 June||Staying and working in Manchester||Work Manchester. Live Manchester. Love Manchester. |
For many of you, it might simply be too soon to leave Manchester behind. Your plan is to stay in (or return to) Manchester as long as you can. From Manchester Graduate Talent, to our top tips for finding a grab job in the city and hearing from graduates who decided to stay too, we began week 2 of Final Year Fortnight with all things Manchester – the place we all know and love. Not sure how to use CareersLink to search for graduate vacancies in Manchester? Check out our handy how-to video.
|Tuesday, 16 June||Finding work as a PGT / international final year||We dedicated today to both our PGT students and our international final year students! For our international students, we understand that you have many possibilities and decisions to make about what to do next. We asked other international graduates to share their stories and offer their tips during our ‘EU & International students careers tips and successes’ workshop – watch the recording here to help you with your decision making and give useful advice about where to find opportunities at the moment in different countries. Coming to the end of your master’s? Not sure what lies ahead now? Have a look at our blog post specifically for PGT students on how to avoid career panic.|
|Wednesday, 17 June||Getting career ready: applications||Sort your CV now so it’s ready when you are. With everything that’s been going on, you’ve had more important things to focus on than your CV. It’s actually something you’d rather not think about now, as you don’t know where to start and you need a break. We understand. That’s why we asked Teresa and Lewis to take the pain out of it and provide you with all the hints and tips you need to nail it – have a look at Teresa’s video on common CV mistakes and how to avoid them, and Lewis’s top tips for perfecting that Cover Letter. You can also have a look at our blog post on how you can prepare for a different kind of graduate recruitment process this summer. Remember, we’re open all summer for applications advice and help with finding jobs and opportunities. You can continue to use the Careers Service for up to two years after finishing your degree. Email us for CV, cover letter or application form feedback.|
|Thursday, 18 June||Upskilling||Maybe you’ve found your dream job, but you don’t meet all of the essential criteria? Don’t let that demotivate you. Now is the ideal time to upskill. By strengthening the skills you already have, as well as learning new ones, you’ll ensure that your skillset is flexible, agile and transferable.|
Today we shared our top tips on how you can boost your employability, including advice on turning your talents and skills into a business!
Check out our top 5 tips for boosting your employability from home.For all things enterprise, check out UoM Enterprise Club’s Facebook watch party, or go ahead and join the Enterprise Club now.
We also ran a Careers Re-boot workshop full of practical advice and strategies to navigate the labour market amidst Covid-19, and adapt and plan for your next steps! Access the recording here.
|Friday, 19 June||The Graduate Job Search||On the last day of Final Year Fortnight, we wanted to end on an inspiring, proactive note. That’s why we focussed on how you can take control of your graduate job search! It’s possible that some of the plans or ideas you’d had for your next steps have been affected over recent weeks – but this doesn’t have to stop you moving forward. Take back control and create your own opportunities by taking a speculative approach. Not so sure how? We’ve got you covered. Louise ran an online workshop on how to find ‘hidden’ graduate job opportunities to help you get started (recording coming soon, but in the meantime, check out our ‘hidden job market’ guide). If you’re not sure where to look for grad jobs, check out our Graduate Job Search for over 200 targeted searches. You can also hear from industry giant P&G for an employer insight into what graduate recruiters are looking for. Finally, if you’ve moved home and are struggling to readjust, check out Johnny’s five benefits of moving home after finishing your degree.|