Category Archives: Careers thinking

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.

Download our NEW Careers Fair app and maximise your time at the Spring Careers Fair – 3 & 4 May

Explore tomorrow at the Spring Careers Fair

Whether you have a clear idea of what career you’d like to have, or no idea at all, careers fairs are great for picking up a lot of information in one place. Come to the Spring Fair at the Careers Service on the 3 and 4 of May from 12 til 3!

You can discover less well-known employers and understand more about what popular organisations do. You’ll get to speak to the experts, get a feel for the work culture and ask questions that might not be on their FAQs list.

Download the ‘Bristol Uni Careers Fair Plus’ app from the App Store or Google Play to start your planning and research for the fair. If you wander around aimlessly with no sense of purpose you’re unlikely to get much from attending. Use the app to help you set the scene and prioritise which organisations you would like to visit.

We’ve done the hard work for you

On the app you will find the list of employers who are attending the fair, who are different on each day. The app provides an overview as well as a link to company websites and social media for you to research further those you are most interested in. Employers come to careers fairs because they are looking to hire Bristol students, but they also have work experience and internships on offer as well as graduate jobs. The app allows you to filter this quickly and easily, so you can see which companies are offering what types of roles, and what subjects they are looking to attract students from.

Take the fear out of networking and find a selection of starter questions to ask employers, as well as top tips on the app. Meeting employers face-to-face is the best way of making a good impression. If successful, these first encounters can help with making a really great impression with your application. Remember, it isn’t about getting a job today it’s about doing research & making contacts to help you make informed choices and plan ahead.

We’re here to help.

If you have any general queries or want some advice, ask at the Careers Service marquee. We will be outside the Careers Service for the duration of the fair and are always happy to help. If you are unsure how to prepare for events, or have any other careers related questions, please ask us.

Search for ‘Bristol Uni Careers Fair Plus’ on the App Store or Google Play store.  

Making the most of your first week at work

Whether it is work experience, an internship, part-time job, or your first graduate role, the first few days are crucial in any new job. You will make that all important first impression, and set the foundations for what you will achieve and get out of the experience.

Here are a few tips to help you find your feet and make the most of those early days:

It might seem obvious but…

Plan for your arrival on day one. Make sure you know who you are meeting, where you are going, and plan your journey. Arriving relaxed and on time will reduce some of those first day nerves, and ensure you make a positive first impression on your colleagues.

Do your research

Finding out what you can about your role and the organisation will make the first few days feel less overwhelming, and enable you to get going more quickly. Revisit your application, remind yourself of the expectations and why you were hired, and read up on anything that will help you build knowledge more quickly (e.g. the company website and social media channels).

Get to know your colleagues

Being friendly and engaging in conversation with your new colleagues will help you feel more at ease, and build the foundations for good working relationships. Find out who they are (though don’t expect to remember everyone’s name the first time round!) and what they do. Remember that as well as knowing who to ask now for help, it’s important to start building a professional network to help you get to where you want to in your career.

Learn and adapt to the new culture

Bringing fresh ideas and new ways of working is highly valued, but balance this with taking time to understand how and why things are done. Fit in with your new workplace by observing and mirroring the behaviours and interaction within the team. Is email or in-person communication preferred? Do people make small talk in the morning? Do people take it in turns to do a coffee run? While these might seem insignificant, they are valuable ways to quickly become part of the team.

Be open-minded and flexible

Take all opportunities to learn, gain experience and challenge yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be an active team member, find ways to contribute, and offer help – even if it goes beyond your job description. An open mind will only enrich your experience and set you up for long term success.

The first week in any new job will be exciting, challenging, and at times exhausting. Be patient with yourself, don’t expect to know everything on day one, and treat every experience as an opportunity to learn and develop. Whether temporary or permanent, this new job could be a stepping stone to achieve your career goals. Make it count!

Stop, think, learn, repeat: the value of seeking constructive feedback.

Hands up who likes criticism? We all say we want feedback, but only the good stuff, right? What we want is to be liked and to have people tell us we’re brilliant. What we don’t want is to hear we are doing something wrong – let’s face it criticism hurts! There are many scenarios where your performance will be assessed, be it in a job application or interview, within group work or presentations as part of your degree or by your manager at work. These scenarios often lead to being given constructive criticism and it’s easy to get defensive, ignore the comments or to argue against them. The real skill in receiving feedback is to listen carefully to what is being said and take it on board, as there are bound to be some useful suggestions in there to enable you to improve your performance.

Furthermore, how well you respond to feedback is likely to have an impact on your potential success in the workplace. Research shows that people who are better at handling negative feedback tend to be more successful at work. A study by Leadership IQ found that 46% of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months (i.e. be dismissed, leave under pressure, receive disciplinary action or significantly negative performance reviews). The main reason for this failure is poor interpersonal skills with 26% failing because they can’t accept feedback, this is because constructive criticism helps us to become more aware of what we do and how we do it enabling us to become more effective.

So the next time someone tries to give you some helpful feedback consider this advice:

  1. Actively Listen: In order to hear feedback, you need to listen to it. Don’t think about what you’re going to say in reply, just listen. Maintain good eye contact and keep your body language open, so no crossed arms or legs!

 

  1. Be open to suggestions for improvement: Suspend any defensive responses that you might naturally feel and try to keep your “fight or flight” reactions in check, even if the feedback is incorrect. You don’t want to appear unreceptive or prevent future comments. Consider feedback, whether positive or negative, as useful information that can provide you with new insights or understandings about how you or your behaviours are perceived by others.

 

  1. Check your understanding: Summarise what you have heard and ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand the feedback such as, “What I hear you saying is…is that correct?”

 

  1. Seek specifics: Using a non-defensive tone and body language, seek additional information, including specific examples of the behaviour being discussed, particularly if the person giving you feedback hasn’t provided you with any details.

 

  1. Don’t take it personally: Remember that good feedback shouldn’t be about you as a person or your character it should be about how you approached or tackled a task or activity.

 

  1. Evaluate it: Just as you shouldn’t immediately reject feedback, you shouldn’t automatically accept it either. Get in the practice of evaluating the feedback, carefully considering it for a day or two. Does the criticism seem true; is it something you already knew was a limitation? Does the giver have expertise or credibility to make their observation? Have other people said similar things to you?

 

  1. Learn from it: Try to see feedback as an opportunity to learn rather than a threat. Take it in the spirit it is intended – to give you an opportunity to improve. You can then put some (or all) of the feedback suggestions into action, improving your performance in the future.

Constantly seeking constructive feedback is a good practice to get into the habit of, and ultimately will enable you to continually improve your performance – in whatever you do. Remember everyone makes mistakes, and even your future boss will be receiving and acting on feedback from others. In fact, the best leaders are those who see it as integral to their role to provide, accept and act upon feedback. Using it as a tool to ensure they themselves and others in their team are continually improving their skills, decision-making, attention to detail and overall performance. Simply put, feedback can become your best friend as it enables the sharing of perspectives and can be a useful career advancement tool.