J1 Visa for the USA for work experience overseas

Are you looking for work experience during the Summer or after you graduate. Are you an international student struggling to get sponsorship for employment in the UK under Tier 2 or Tier 5 visas? Are you looking ultimately to get some experience as an international student and bring this home with you? Or are you a UK/EU student looking to expand their experience on their CV and go overseas for a while?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then a J1 visa could be the answer for you.

What is the J1 visa?

Well it is the Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category for the USA and is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. Graduates from the UK whether you are a British National, EU citizen or International student you are eligible to apply for Internship programmes in the USA for up to 12 months. These internships enable university students or recent graduates to go to the USA to gain exposure to culture and to receive hands-on experience in USA business practices in your chosen occupational field. It enables graduates and students to get some great brand names on their CVs and experience abroad range of business opportunities. Equally all students no matter where you are from can apply within the UK to get their J1 visa and there is no limit to how many J1 visas you can have as long as you meet their criteria. Unlike the UK the employer is not your sponsor for a J1 visa it is an agency and a full list can be found here https://j1visa.state.gov/participants/how-to-apply/sponsor-search/?program=Intern

So what now? Well the first step to getting experience in the USA and a J1 visa is to find opportunities.

Finding Experience

You can do this by using the websites Vault, Glassdoor.com (ensure Glassdoor is .com not .co.uk) and LinkedIn. In the USA you will be looking for opportunities titled “internships” whether it is graduate experience or summer experience. In the USA the terms “graduate scheme” or “graduate programme” does not exist and in fact the term “scheme” means something illegal in the States.

You can search the 3 websites mentioned above with your field of interest for example if you are looking at engineering then you would search “engineering internships” On the various websites there are filtering options which include location, salary etc. When using LinkedIn ensure in your Summary section you have the phrase “J1 Visa Candidate” at the start so employers who view your profile know that they are not responsible for your visa. If you use LinkedIn you can apply with your profile instead of a CV and cover letter so ensure your profile is up to date with a professional photo. Similarly if you applying using a cover letter and CV ensure “J1 Visa Candidate” is visible on both documents. A CV in the USA is 1 page only so make what you put on there count. Use Glassdoor to help find work but also to research what an intern can earn as it contains company, interview and salary reviews.

If you are applying via the company directly and are filling in an online application form then make sure when they ask “Are you authorised to work in the United States?” you answer yes as you will have a J1 visa. When the question comes up about sponsorship on the application form “will you now or in the future require sponsorship for employment visa status?” you answer no as you have an independent sponsor and you will not require the company to sponsor you.

We recommend using the cover letter from Parenthese a J1 Visa Sponsor who visits the University of Manchester twice an academic year to talk to students about J1 visas. On their website under the Student tab you will find links to really helpful information including how to get started and most important the “Pick Me” section which details application advice. You can click on the following link to access their recommended cover letter format which informs the employer in the USA of the advantages of hiring an overseas intern as well as the financial benefits http://www.parenthese-london.co.uk/students/internship/pick-me/let-us-be-your-network/ use the cover letter template keeping the sections in bold only changing the sections not in bold. There is lots of great advice and information on this website.

Paid or Unpaid Internships?

We recommend only looking at paid internships rather than unpaid. Do your research regarding the company using Glassdoor.com and LinkedIn. Make sure you know what the basic living costs are for the area of the USA you want to work in and that the job you are applying for will cover those expenses. For instance San Francisco you would require a job that paid $3500 per month and new York $2500 for basic living costs: food, rent, internet, travel etc. These salaries are not unreasonable for these areas. Avoid companies that want you to pay a fee up front to work for them to cover the cost of materials etc as these are usually not legitimate. If it sounds too good to be true the rule is it usually is too good to be true. If in doubt however contact the Careers Service at the University or your chosen J1 Visa Sponsor and they can let you know if it is a reputable organisation.

Getting a J1 Visa

To get a J1 visa you will need to have successfully been given a job offer. Once you have your job offer and you have ensured the salary is good enough to sustain you in the USA then you can approach your sponsor. As previously mentioned we have worked with Parenthese in the past and you can access slides from one of their sessions on our website for more details: http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/media/services/careersandemployabilitydivision/careersservice/talkshandouts/Parenthese-J-1-USA-Visa-talk-for-Engineers.pdf

What do you need to look for when picking a sponsor?

  • Ensure you research your sponsor and you understand what is included with the offer of a visa.
  • Make sure the medical cover is high enough although $1million may sound like a lot health cover for a broken finger can be very expensive.
  • Does the sponsor do checks on your potential employer to ensure your safety at work and that you will receive proper training and supervision!
  • Do they offer support while you are in the USA in case you need help or get into trouble?

I have my job offer and a sponsor what next?

Well after you have been approved by the sponsor and the company you are working for is checked and confirmed you can then apply for the visa which includes a trip to the US Embassy for your fingerprints, fee and short interview. This is standard and very straight forward as long as you do not have a criminal record. Your sponsor should give you all the information you need to know regarding fees for your sponsor as well as your SERVIS fee and what steps need to be taken. It can take as little as 3 weeks to turn around an application for a J1 Visa.

Good luck and remember to make the most of your experience.

Where are all the first year internships?

roo resumes“Where are all the internships?” said the first year.

Finding an internship in your first year can be quite a challenge.
If you were in the very small percentage of First Year students who thought about an internship in the first term, you may have been lucky enough to land yourself either a Spring Insight or a Summer Internship- if so, well done! As for the rest of you, if you have only just started to think about internships you may be finding the search rather difficult. If so, listen up…

  1. Internships tend to be targeted towards people in their penultimate year of study.

The reason for this is because a lot of big companies hire interns in the hope that they may want to get onto their grad scheme and work for them permanently after they finish their degree.

Of course there is no guarantee that the company will be hiring graduates, nor any guarantee that the intern would stand any higher chance of securing the Grad Scheme than anyone else. Nevertheless, you can see why a lot of employers target those who are going into final year as it does kind of make sense.

  1. Internships are just one of the many options you have for getting some experience this summer.

Work shadowing/ experience can be a really good way to get an insight into a company and is often far less structured than an internship.  The benefit of work experience/shadowing is that you can often negotiate your own terms rather than the solidity of a structured internship.
You could also use your summer to get some part time work/volunteering under your belt. There is value in every single job you do, so don’t be put off by working for a slightly less well known company. You don’t have the luxury of a big long summer when you finish University so use your time to try new things!

  1. How do I find an opportunity if I can’t see any advertised online?

Ever heard of the phrase ‘Good things come to those who wait’? If so, ignore it. It’s a terrible piece of advice! The reality is that good things come to those who work hard, network well and are incredibly resilient.

Contacting companies directly can be a really good way of landing yourself an opportunity. This is what is formally referred to as ‘The Hidden Jobs Market’. It’s the idea that there are hidden, unadvertised opportunities which can be snapped up by people who are prepared to do a bit of the leg work.  However, it’s not easy, you should be prepared to have 20 emails ignored for every 1 that gets read so you will need a bit of resilience if you go down this path.

  1. How to a find a contact to email?

Admittedly this can be a bit difficult, but there are numerous ways you can get yourself a contact email address.

  1. Use LinkedIn.
    Don’t have a profile? Make one.
    It’s like the business version of Facebook/an online copy of your CV. You can connect with people and ask them questions and it can also be used for employer’s to head hunt you for jobs. Win, win!
  2. The Manchester Network.
    We have our very own Networking platform which is specifically designed so that students can connect with alumni to ask questions about your Career options.
  3. Manchester Gold Mentoring programme
    Taking part in our mentoring programme is your way of getting information, advice and guidance about your future from a mentor. They could be doing the job you’re aiming for, working in an area that interests you or have graduated from the same course as you.
  1. Call on anyone you have ever met, ever.
    Using your own personal contacts is another good way of getting your foot in the door.


With all this being said, there are still a few internships available. Below is a list of some of the ones which are out there, and here is an excellent site which has currently 36 other options available

If you would like an application checked over before you send it off then book yourself in for Application Advice Appointment by either calling us on 0161 275 2829, popping into The Atrium, University Place, or booking yourself one via your CareersLink Account.

Good luck!

Cecily Rooney
Careers Information & Guidance Assistant 



Use your Easter vacation to get work experience for summer

eggsin basketJPGIf you’ve not found work experience ( paid, voluntary or work shadowing) over summer yet – it’s time to get on it!

Many of you will go home over Easter or visit friends & family – it’s time to use those networks to help you.  Yes really… these people are your network, where do they work, who do they know, who are their neighbours, friends etc and where do they work?  You’d be surprised who knows whom!

You don’t have to give them the hard sell initially, just say you are looking to get some experience over summer.  They are bound to want a bit more information so …

  • What do you want to do? Are you looking for a particular industry or job role?
  • Do you want to gain some particular skills or knowledge?
  • Are you only looking for paid work?
  • Would you consider volunteering with a charity?
  • How about a few days or weeks work shadowing?
  • When are you available?

Have a CV ready that reflects what you are looking for i.e.  demonstrating relevant skills

You are asking for help so don’t be too picky or disregard opportunities that don’t match your ideal.  Have a chat / exchange emails and think about what you would get out of the opportunity.   Real commercial experience of how any business works can be valuable.

Consider doing a few different things with your summer.

Employers  are realists they know that many students need to work over summer to earn money and not everyone can or would want to intern in the Big 4!

So don’t worry if you have a job in a coffee shop or bar, that’s life, but you could consider doing some volunteering or work shadowing for a short period just to pick up some different skills too.

Get out and about this Easter.

If you want a job over summer and are going to be in that location at Easter – go out and ask!

  • Ask friends  / family in advance if they have seen anywhere advertising for summer jobs. Brush up your CV and head down there neatly dressed to make a good impression.
  • Go on a reconnaissance mission – head down the high street, ask at tourist attractions, hotels and leisure centres.  Garden centres also often take on extra summer staff. What about summer schools and kids clubs?

If they don’t have any opportunities no big deal, keep going.

Remember …

  1. Make an effort to tailor your CV so the recruiter can clearly see you have relevant skills and or experience.
  2. Keep checking advertised vacancies on CareersLink  plus other sites 
  3. If you are a pre final year student and could stay in Manchester this summer consider Student Experience Internships – SEI or Q Step 




Five tips for getting work experience in TV

There are no two ways about it – getting into the media is difficult. As somebody who’s been trying to get into TV for a while now, it can feel almost impossible to get that first break. So when work experience opportunities pop up – especially with the really big names out there – hundreds of eager students and graduates flood the inbox of a poor unsuspecting work experience manager, vying to get their foot in the door.

Last month, I undertook a two-week work experience placement at the BBC in MediaCityUK, working on the production team for an upcoming Christmas TV show (let’s face it; there are definitely worse ways to spend two weeks!). I spent a week working in the office alongside the Production Management Assistant, getting an overview on how the producers make everything happen from start to finish, from coming up with the initial


Filming from a Manchester rooftop, trying to ignore the biting November chill

idea, to getting in touch with contributors, to booking transport for the show’s presenters, to handling the raw footage from the camera teams. The second week, I was out working as a runner with all of the camera teams, assisting at shoots on various locations around Manchester. While on work experience, the BBC really treat you as an important part of the team – I was given real, practical tasks, handling a lot of responsibilities, and I didn’t even make a single cup of tea. Trust me, I tried, you have to make a good impression and all that…


From this placement, I’ve learnt so much about the industry and the kinds of jobs involved, gained some fantastic practical skills of how to co-operate on shoots and acquired some knowledge of loads of different roles along the way. If you’re really passionate about getting into TV, or generally working in the media, I can’t recommend it enough.

It is, of course, a difficult industry to get into and to get real-world experience in, so here are my five tips for getting experience while at university.

Perseverance is key

You’ll have to get used to rejection. Roles are competitive, and you’ll have to learn to bounce back, to figure out how you could improve (whether it’s your skills, your experience or your application), and to keep at it. It was the fourth time I had applied for this work experience placement, having previously been knocked back. This time round I made sure I’d gained a bit more experience elsewhere, really thought about how to articulate my experiences and enthusiasm for the industry, and made sure I put in a great application, too.

Don’t wait for the opportunities to come to you

The kinds of opportunities you’ll come across online will usually be those with the big names in the industry, such as the BBC or Channel 4, and this isn’t really representative of how the industry works. Do some research to find out about some smaller independent companies – they may not have work experience schemes on their website, but they will usually welcome an email asking about the chance to come in and shadow for a day or two. It’s a really great way to make connections in the industry, and in a smaller company you may even have a bit more room to show off your skills. A good place to start is TV Watercooler, who list a variety of companies offering work experience, although make sure to look elsewhere, too.
Also, while at university, take the initiative to create your own experience. Get involved with student media, such as the Mancunion or Fuse TV and Fuse FM – it’s where you can make your first steps into media, meet like-minded people, and also make all your mistakes!

Use social media

It turns out that we now live in an age where Facebook has become the place to find work, not just procrastinate from it. Pages such as The Unit List and People looking for TV work: Runners are good places to search for entry-level work, and to get tips on your CV.

Join the Media Club

The Careers Service’s Media Club meets regularly for guest presentations and networking events with professionals and recent graduates working in TV, film, radio, broadcasting, journalism and more. Join the club on Facebook.

Watch some TV!

This is definitely the easiest step, but arguably the most important! If you want to work in the media, you have to be passionate about the content and be able to show it. Watch shows that you like, and that you don’t – think about what makes a good story, or how you could make it better. Listen to the radio on the way into uni. Come up with your own show ideas – who knows, hopefully you’ll be able to make them a reality soon!

Internships; a competitive advantage

Guest blog post written by Todd Davies, Computer Science graduate from The University of Manchester

Imagine an opportunity where you spend a summer travelling around, meeting amazing, clever and inspiring people on a daily basis, get to work on interesting and impactful projects, yet all the while getting paid for your trouble. In case you hadn’t guessed from the title of the post, I’m talking about internships.

On being asked to write a post about my internship as a Software Engineer at Google, I realised that merely describing what spending four months at a major tech company is like just wouldn’t do. I did other internships before going to Google, and my experiences at each have all contributed to who I am; I suppose it’s unsurprising that I feel moulded in this way, considering that these programmes are designed to grow and nurture students into somebody efficacious and employable.

As far as I can see, employers are looking for three things in new graduates; qualifications, qualities and experience. Since I’m writing to students at The University of Manchester, I’m going to assume that you’ll be suitably qualified when it’s time to look for graduate roles; a strong set of A-levels, and an Honours degree (let’s assume everything goes well) will make up the backbone of a strong graduate job application. However, the other two dimensions of an ideal candidate – qualities and experience – have a far more ephemeral path to fulfilment, with no ‘set formula’ (ie. work hard and pass your exams) like getting qualifications has.


Recommended for decomposing hard problems.

It’s easy to consider soft skills as easily acquired, less important trivialities in the grand scheme of things; boiling down to a good phone manner, grammatically correct emails and the ability to hold a conversation at the water cooler. Yet I think the phrase encapsulates far more than just being able to communicate. I was exposed to office politics for the first time on a previous internship, where I witnessed a meeting in which software engineers from two teams literally argued over which data format to use when encoding messages and where project allocation could be a function of your manager’s standing with
your department’s VP. At Google, I realised how a seemingly large and intractable problem could be decomposed into small, independent and manageable chunks to be solved one at a time. While rarely revelatory, these skills can only really be learnt by doing, and if you’ve acquired them as an intern, then you can really hit the ground running after graduation.

While I don’t consider myself an extrovert by any means, meeting new, interesting people is certainly a hobby of mine. I’ve found internships to be an excellent way of expanding my social horizons outside an immediate peer group. I’ve been lucky enough to intern with people from a diverse set of backgrounds, and can now count students and alumni of Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, Cambridge, Imperial, MIT and many more universities of note as my friends, plus I’ve had the chance to work with people with all sorts of amazing interests, such as those who compete in ballroom dancing, Sudoku and Rubik’s Cube speed-solving world championships (those are not the same person). If the phase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” holds any merit, then growing your ‘network’ as early as possible in your career should see a very good return on investment in the future.

But let’s not forget, the internship programmes of most companies are designed to be fun, and since they’re aimed at students, tend to involve plenty of opportunities for travelling, partying and other pastimes favoured among our generation. Morgan Stanley put on regular drinks events for us in Canary Wharf, as well as the promise of a month of expenses-paid training in New York should we accept offers to become full-time employees. I was actually taken for interviews in NYC by Palantir off the back of a small phone interview and them seeing that I’d interned at Google. Speaking of Google, since I was based in the Munich office, travel was inherent in those internships too; I visited their Zurich, Dublin and Prague offices and had my weekends (plus seven days holiday) free to roam around Europe as I wished. Of course, there are lots of other (free) perks to working at Google, from having delicious food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) every day, on-site massages, off-site events (including three days in an Austrian ski resort with my team, including e-mountain biking and white-water rafting), cool offices, awesome co-workers and the fact that the code I wrote is being used to help serve web-pages and services to millions, if not billions of people.


E-mountain biking in the Alps with my team Google.


I now have a graduate role as a Software Engineer at Google (starting in December), and while I passed my interviews, according to my recruiter, what really convinced their hiring committee to extend me an offer was the work I did on my internships there. Without an internship, perhaps my interviews alone wouldn’t have passed muster with no feedback from my peers to support them. Internships really are a competitive advantage!

Lastly, I want to point out that while applying for (and undertaking) internships at big companies may seem really quite daunting, there is absolutely nothing to lose (except perhaps time) from having a go; I have been rejected from more internships and jobs than I’ve been successful, and there’s really nothing to fear from the pain of rejection.

If you have any questions for Todd, you can contact him on Twitter, @Todd__Davies.

Join our Facebook group to stay up-to-date with summer internship opportunities.

10 Things You Need to Know about Law Careers with a non-Law Degree

  1. UOM_CAREERS_LOCK_UPS_LAWYERIt All Starts in Final Year of your Degree
    Start your research as soon as possible into Semester  1 of Final Year. A legal career is open to ALL degree disciplines, and employers are positively encouraging a broader range. Don’t be put off thinking you need a law degree. You usually still need the 2:1, but there are exceptions so come and discuss these with the Careers Team at The Atrium.
  2. Ask yourself: ‘Why be a lawyer?’
    Be honest with yourself and be able to answer these questions very early on:
    – Why, specifically, do I want to be a solicitor or Barrister? What, exactly, attracts me to this career?
    – What sort of work am I drawn to, and why? What clients? Why, specifically?

    If you can answer these 2 points, please read on to point 3. If not, then stop right here. Have a really long think about what attracts you to a career in law, and whether you might want to explore other options alongside law options. There is no rush and it is important you make a decision that is right for you. Come and have a chat with a Careers Consultant to chew over your thoughts.

  3. Be aware of the Timetable to Qualification
    Generally speaking, you will need to do a further 2 years of study. First comes the GDL, which is essentially a qualifying Law degree over one year. After that comes the LPC which is the professional course, or the BPTC for Barristers. After this, comes the 2 years ‘on the job’ training, commonly known as a Training Contract (or period of recognised training).
    A word about cost – there are no student loans available for either the GDL, BPTC or LPC so funding is either privately funded, or sponsorship through the firm you have a Training Contract with.

    Time-wise it looks a bit like this: 

    Semester 1 of final year onwards: 
    – Research Law firms; attend any Open days with law firms/ organisations. Meet firms on Campus
    – Start making applications for work experiences over the Christmas, Spring and Summer vacations (known as Vacation Schemes/Placements)
    – Start researching Training Contracts and note all the deadlines for Applications
    By July 31 after graduation, you will have:
    – submitted all your Training Contract applications and
    – be ready for interviews from September
    September after graduation:  start the GDL and hopefully have a Training Contract in place  There are many variables on this and it need not look so rigid, depending on your thoughts on Question 2 above.

  4. Meet Employers
    Start looking around for all the employers who are on Campus from September/October onwards. Make the effort to go and see them, even if you don’t fancy working for them – they are very useful sources of info and a good chance to get some networking practice in.
    Attend employability sessions that will give top tips on how to write a CV or application form. All visitors and events can be found listed on Careerslink and look out for (and read!) School emails detailing employer events. The Law Fair held here in Manchester every November and any Open Days at individual law firms are a must-do.
  1. Work Experience
    Start planning some work experience for the vacation time over Christmas, Spring and Summer vacations in your Final year. These are often referred to as Vacation Placements and run for 1-2 weeks. Many employers use these as a gateway to find their Trainee Solicitors, so if you treat the applications as a serious pre-Training Contract step, it will serve you well. Your Careers Team run CV and applications advice appointments throughout the Semester– so book an appointment to discuss any aspect of your applications.
  1. Non-Legal Work Experience counts
    Really, it does. When you consider that lawyers have clients, and those clients tend to be in retail, hospitality, finance, marketing, insurance, sales etc, then if you have had jobs in any of these sectors, it gives you a commercial outlook, an understanding of selling stuff to people who want to buy it, whether that’s beer, coffee, insurance or shoes.
  1. ‘2 years in advance’ rule for Training Contract Applications
    For historical reasons, applications are made for Training Contracts usually 2 years in advance of the start date. This means that for non-law degree undergraduates, applications are submitted before July 31 in the vacation following graduation. Start your research early and combine with Vacation Schemes at the same time. A useful Guide to start you off is the Training Contract and Pupillage Handbook – free copies at the Careers Service at the Atrium.
  1. Set aside time for applications – they take ages
    You need to factor in a lot of time in your schedule for application forms. Seriously, they will take you much longer than you expect and need considerable thinking time before you even start typing. There are numerous support teams in place to help you learn how to apply, including Careers Service Starting Point Guides, Applications Advice appointments and Careerslink will signpost you to additional workshops.
  2. Deadlines R Us
    Deadlines dictate the pace in law applications, and can be as early as mid-October of your Final year, so do act fast if you want to look at larger firms, and some smaller. Remember to start with the application deadlines in your diary and work backwards. A good timeline guide can be found at
  1. Don’t Panic
    If you miss deadlines, then move on and either resolve to re-apply next year, or turn your attention to other ways of gaining work experience. Keep it positive.

Want to find out more?

Download our Law careers for non-law students guide

Interested in Investment Banking? Seven tips on getting in

Roll of moneyInvestment banks help organisations, individuals and governments to raise capital, often by investing in the financial markets or selling shares. They also provide other services to organisations, for example performing large mergers and acquisitions. Investment banking is a very popular area with graduates looking for a challenging career and high financial rewards, however combined with that there is a great deal of competition for places

  1. Do your homework. Understanding as much as you can about the industry can help you be seen as focused, well informed about the work, and make a better impression on applications and in interviews. A great place to start your research is the Finance careers section on our website. You can also join societies like MUTIS (Manchester University Trading and Investment Society), who a group of like-minded fellow students who organise events and training for students interested in a career in investment banking.
  2. Make contacts. Meet people working in investment banking to help you gain knowledge, and find out about opportunities. Check out the events listed in CareersLink for opportunities to meet and talk to these firms. For example, on 13th Oct (5-7pm) there’s Meet The Professionals: Finance and Consulting – where you can meet employers and alumni. The Big Careers Fair (Day 1, 18th Oct 2016) typically attracts a number of banks and other finance firms, for example Barclays, BNY Mellon, HSBC, Maven, and JLL.
    You can apply to be matched with a mentor working in investment banking, which can be a great way to gain inside knowledge and advice. Read about the Manchester Gold mentoring scheme for more details. You can also use the LinkedIn alumni search as a great tool to find where previous Manchester graduates now work – useful for finding potential contacts in niche firms you can’t meet on campus. Get some great LinkedIn tips on our website about how to use it effectively, and how to make new contacts.
  3. Be clear on the area that interests you most, and why. There are what can seem a bewildering array of roles in investment banking, and employers will expect you to understand what area interests you and why. Following the tips above will help you to do this, as the guides often point out what qualities are required for each role, and the kind of person it might suit. For example, someone who is more introverted, methodical, very good at analysis and understanding detail might be more suited to working in compliance more than trading. A great guide to help you with this is the Unofficial Guide to banking.
  4. Academic grades are very important. Most investment banks will look for a minimum 2:1 degree and approximately 320 UCAS points. If you can demonstrate that you can achieve this, you are highly unlikely to be successful. Banks receive huge numbers of applications, and can afford to select only those that meet their very high standards. Be aware that your first year grades will also be important – if you’re applying for an internship in your second year, these will be used as evidence of the grade you could achieve in your final degree result.
  5. Get work experience as early as possible. Gaining investment banking related experience is very important and will really help you get your foot in the door when competing for graduate positions. If you’re in your first year, some firms offer ‘Spring Internships’ or ‘Spring Insights’ which help you gain some understanding of the industry. In your second year, you should be applying for summer internships. Check the advice on the internships section of our website.
  6. Get interested in finance and how it works. You don’t have to study finance to work in investment banking, but gaining some knowledge of how finance works is important. You could start with following finance and investments news on the BBC website and other media, before working up the Financial Times. Websites like Investopedia have some useful guides to help you understand the terminology used in finance and banking.
  7. Apply early. Investment Banks open for applications early, and some will close before the end of October. Make your applications as early as you can and allow time – they take a lot of effort and only a great application will make the grade. There’s lots of applications advice on the website to get you started.


So you want to work in the media? Top 3 tips

  1. RunnerExplore roles and find out what’s right for you
    Working in the media is a popular career choice for many students and graduates.  The most common reason is that they’ve been inspired by something they read, watched on TV or heard on the radio, and would like a creative role such as journalist, television researcher, radio presenter and so on.However, in practice, these represent only a small selection of the jobs that people do in the media.  There are dozens more that aren’t very well known about, from audience research, production management, set designer through to finance roles, artist liaison and so on.  To learn more about the different jobs available, look on the creative skillset website and see what captures your interest.
  2. Get experience
    Regardless of the area of the media, and role that interests you, you’ll need to build relevant experience.  While you’re studying, a great way to do this is by getting involved in student media.  You’ll find information of what’s on offer on the student union website    or you can call into the student media office in the student union and find out that way.A good starting point for finding out about working in the media, looking for experience and so on, is the Careers Service website   You can also use our online vacancy service CareersLink  to search for placements, volunteering and part-time work that links to your interest.  However, bear in mind that a lot of work experience comes about through word of mouth or by going onto an organisation’s website.  The BBC, for instance, has a careers page  that’s worth keeping an eye on.  So, if you’re interested in the media, start your search right away so you can follow in the footsteps of our many graduates who have built successful and rewarding careers in the industry.
  3. Build up your networks – meet people!
    You need to start connecting with people working in the industry.  To help you, the careers service’s Media Club runs regular talks and workshops given by people working in the media industry.  All events are included on CareersLink  and are featured on the Media Club Facebook group  There’s also a Media Club twitter account so you can find out about the latest opportunities we’ve become aware of.
    Our one day Insight into Broadcasting and Journalism course at Easter is open to all students and although hard work is a lot of fun.

Louise Sethi, Careers Consultant


The beauty of retrospect… what I wish I had done for my career during my time at Uni.

memorylaneHi all, I’m Cecily, the new MGP Information and Guidance Support Assistant for the Careers Service. Since I have been spending the past week advising loads of students on how to make the most out of their time at Uni and how to get ahead with their careers I thought I would share with you a few of pieces of advice that I wish I had known.

  1. Although first year often doesn’t count towards your degree mark it definitely can affect your chances of securing that dream placement or job.TIP: Don’t throw away an opportunity to show your academic ability! Find a good balance between having fun and getting the grades you want. One simple way to do this is to start your assignments way in advance so you have the maximum time to work on them and still maintain a social life.
  1. It may seem like you are minted once that first student loan comes in but trust me, it doesn’t last long. Securing a part time job can be a great way to earn some extra cash and add some essential skills to your CV.TIP: Use Careerslink to search for hundreds of diverse and fun part time jobs in and around Manchester. You’ll thank me once you start edging closer to looming overdraft.
  2. Join a society! Not only are they a great way to make friends (cheesy but true) they are a perfect addition to a CV and can be used as examples of teamwork, leadership, entrepreneurship etc which you may be asked about in an interview.
    TIP: Get yourself to the fresher’s fair to check out the huge range of societies Manchester has to offer. Plus you can get a free slice of Domino’s pizza.
  1. This one I can’t stress enough… if you are going in to your final year, relishing in your last 10 months as a student whilst making every effort to not think about the scary future then STOP. The earlier you face the fact that your undergrad uni bubble will end in June the earlier you can get on with exploring the options you have as a graduate and considering what jobs may suit you.successTIP: It’s OK to not know what to do! The careers service website is full of information and guidance which can be used to help you figure out what may suit you. If you’d rather talk to someone, give us a ring or come in to the Atrium and we are more than happy to help.
  2. My absolute biggest regret was not utilising the Careers Service more. To name a few of its features you can get appointments with specialists in the area you are interested in, people will check and edit your CV and cover letters, give you help with psychometric tests and even do an interview simulation. For free!

Although there are tons more tips I could give I think those 5 are probably the most important. The main thing is get thinking about the future early, throw yourself into every opportunity you can and don’t put off going and getting advice and support from the Careers Service until your graduation day!

What have you learnt this summer?

It’s the middle of summer – your last day at university, school or college feels like a long time ago and yet you’ve still got a month to go. Not bad, eh?

We know that you’ll be busy over the summer, whether you’re doing some voluntary work, working a temporary job to get some cash in your pocket or even spending some time travelling and experiencing new cultures. But how many of you have stopped to think about what you’re actually gaining from your summer experiences?

Sabrina Tan

Sabrina Tan: Project Support Intern at the University enjoys a team outing at Chester Zoo.

Come September, there will be so much going on that you might start to forget some of the valuable things you learnt over the summer. So why not take a minute to reflect on what you’ve done so far, and what you want to achieve with the rest of your time away from university? You’ll thank yourself for it when it comes to applying for jobs, internships or placements.

When considering your achievements, it’s useful to ask yourself a few questions and note down the answers. We asked our current batch of students taking part in a Summer Experience Internship (SEI) a few questions to help them reflect on their experience. You can use these questions to put your own experiences into words, too.

What is the biggest achievement of your summer work so far?

Madeleine: Being able to talk on the spot, talking in front of people, and using my design skills (which I don’t get to use in my social sciences degree) have all been achievements.

Lucy: So far I would say being able to produce and conduct a full research process. This has given me confidence before going in to my final year and completing my dissertation.

Harry: My biggest achievement is learning the editing software needed to create promotional videos from scratch and managing to complete some videos in the eight weeks given.

Victoria: I was in charge of a department’s social media pages. Seeing the number of page likes going up on a daily basis and seeing people comment that they like my blog were big achievements.


 What is the strangest thing you’ve done, or what has surprised you the most?

Lucy: Having full control of a project and total responsibility was a surprise (but a nice one).

Madeleine: Getting used to the 9-5 routine was probably the most difficult thing – it makes you realise how luxurious student life really is!

Anthea: It’s surprising how much the work you do contributes to the work of the whole team. You’re not left to make tea all the time or to do odd jobs but given meaningful tasks that make your work seem worthwhile.

Anna: I did a presentation to the whole team and really enjoyed it. I was quite nervous, so I was surprised that it went so well!


 What have you learnt so far this summer? This could be new or improved skills, greater confidence, or just learning what you enjoy doing most.

Adele: I’m learning so much about the voluntary sector. It’s been really interesting to learn more about the ‘behind the scenes’ parts of charities, including how to use the organisation’s database, which is incredibly useful. This list is definitely limited – I know that I’ve still got a lot more to learn in my role!

Catherine: I’ve learnt how to network, how to be assertive in managerial roles, and how to engage effectively with people from all walks of life.

Madeleine: My internship is helping me figure out what I want to do when I graduate. I’m gaining more skills, and figuring out what’s important to me.

Anthea: I’ve learnt how to organise time better and prioritise different tasks as well as becoming more independent in completing objectives. I’ve also become more confident in my own abilities.

Annie: My internship gives me a chance to be creative again, which has boosted my confidence about my creative skills in general (it’s easy to forget about that kind of thing when you do a science degree). I feel more confident in my presentation skills which I’m really happy about as this is a skill I’m definitely going to need in my career.

Harry: My communication skills have improved (ie emailing loads of different people, understanding how to have a professional phone call, taking part in meetings). I’ve also learnt how to be adaptable and change my style for each video I made for a variety of services.

Anna: I have learnt how to network when contacting external companies, how to manage my time efficiently and prioritise tasks, and developed resilience when I have had knock backs.

Other skills that our SEIs say that they have developed are presentation skills, independence, and communication and analytical skills.

So I’d encourage you to take 15 minutes out of your busy summer schedule and ask yourself similar questions about your summer, no matter what you’ve been doing! When it comes to putting this experience down in words on your CV, it will be incredibly useful to remember exactly what skills you developed. If the answers our SEIs gave don’t inspire you, read up on employability skills and see if any apply to you. And don’t forget – even if your summer experience doesn’t feel particularly relevant to your future plans, you ARE gaining transferable skills.

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