Widening Participation: Where to start with Careers and Employability for first years

Written by Victoria Geary, Careers Consultant (Widening Participation) at The Careers Service

Welcome to The University of Manchester! We hope you are settling into Semester 1. We know that a postcode, a challenging school background, your experience as a first-generation university student or as a member of an underrepresented community should not define your employability chances. This blog post is here to make sure you are aware of all the support available to you from the Careers Service now that you’re officially a UoM student!

What does the University Careers Service do?

The Careers Service offers support and advice throughout your time at The University of Manchester. There are many ways to get support and access information, advice and guidance. Watch our welcome video to check out the support available!

Do I need to bother with the Careers Service yet?

Yes! The sooner you start getting involved with careers and employability, the better your chances of getting a brilliant first job when you graduate. Some key things to be aware of are insight weeks, vacation schemes and internships. These happen during first year and/or the summer between first and second year and are advertised from the autumn! They are competitive but we are here to support you and, just as with graduate jobs, employers are realising that they need to recruit a more diverse workforce so are specifically on the lookout for students just like you! There’s more on this in the next section.

Equality, Diversity and Your Career

Many employers take a proactive approach to recruiting a diverse workforce. They actively put in place schemes such as internships, just for underrepresented groups or sessions to explain the support they offer such as staff network groups and mentoring. They go beyond formal requirements to build a diverse workplace. You can find out more about this on our dedicated webpages.

Don’t forget you can also book a careers guidance appointment on CareerConnect to discuss your career ideas and plans. We also offer 60 minute appointments if you wish for further advice or information relating to equality and diversity.

What can I do now?

  • Register on CareerConnect and sign up for alerts so you don’t miss any careers events or exciting opportunities from employers.
  • Read the Careers Service email newsletter every month as we will let you know about events and opportunities that are aimed at first year students
  • Research organisations that are on a mission to make sure that students like you can access traditionally hard-to-break-into professions. Check out Bright NetworkupReach and The 93% Club.
  • Join the Library Peer Network to get access to opportunities and start to build your network of contacts at University.
  • Sign up for the Stellify Award: unique to UoM, this is a way to really set your self apart and have some brilliant experiences.
  • Get involved with volunteering programmes that create positive change in the local community; Student Action volunteering projects engage directly with people to address prominent issues in Manchester, whilst Access All Areas volunteering projects aim to reduce the barriers to Higher Education for local young people. To get involved or find out more, email volunteering.su@manchester.ac.uk or visit our website.

Careers advice Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

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