Category Archives: New students

Using the Careers Service – a first year student’s perspective.

In September I moved from my sleepy village in North Devon to the wonderful city of Bristol, and was excited to open my arms to all the city had to offer. I was able to move into my halls a week before the rest of my housemates, and as everyone in my halls knows; I used this time wisely!

One of the first things that I did was to visit the Careers Service. I knew that I wanted to work alongside my academic studies, and I wanted to find something as relevant as possible. Before visiting, I spent a couple of hours looking through their website to get an understanding of what services they provide, and to create a list of questions to ask in person.


The Bristol Internship Scheme really stood out to me. After reading I could find an internship myself I knew I wanted to apply. I had just got back to the UK after spending the summer experimenting with photography in Vancouver. I knew that an internship in this area would enable me to continue this work, provide me with an income, and compliment my academic studies. The next day I went to the Careers Service and found that applying to the Bristol Internship Scheme was a lot easier than I first imagined. Quite surprisingly after making a lot of calls, I found an internship with a photographer a week after moving to Bristol!

I am now coming to the end of my two month photography internship and it has been extremely informative and a great way to compliment my studies. I was also happy to find out that this work could be used towards the Bristol PLUS Award, so I signed up for an int roductory talk and chose to attend Basecamp workshops and other intensive skills activities leading me to achieve the Award in December.

No-one else on my course knew about the Bristol PLUS Award, and hadn’t thought about using the Careers Service so early in their studies. There are some great reasons for using these services in your first year. Firstly, the activities on offer are really complimentary to first year studies! One of the best things about completing the PLUS Award so early has been improving on my verbal communication skills which has increased my confidence in seminars. Secondly, by completing the Award in your first year you open up a competitive lead by freeing up time in your second and third years to pursue other national or international awards and prizes, experiment by starting a new business, or volunteer or take extra internships. As the graduate jobs market changes over the coming years this is going to be of great benefit and will allow you to make the most of your time at university!

The next step for me in the New Year is to attend more of the application skills workshops at the Careers Service, and apply for the Outstanding Award. I’m also planning to look for an internship for 2017 in the creative industries. If you have just joined the University this September, and have been thinking about getting a New Year’s challenge; the Careers Service is a great place to start!

By Joshua Greenidge

Foundation Year in the Arts and Humanities

New to the Careers Service?


If you’re new to the University of Bristol Careers Service, welcome! We hope you will come and see us in person soon at No.5 Tyndall Avenue. For those of you using the service for the first time, below is a brief explanation of what to expect from your visit.

Making an appointment

Many students who come into the Careers Service wish to speak to an Adviser. With a limited number of slots available per day, and lots of other resources on hand to help,  it will help us, and you, if we ask you a few questions initially to find out if an appointment is right for you at this time.

Firstly, we will ask why you would like to see an Adviser, and how much research or work you have done so far yourself. For example, if you want a CV checking: ‘Have you looked at the CVs, covering letters and applications information on our website?’. Or if you are researching a specific career area: ‘Have you looked at Researching career sectors on our website?’. All of these questions are designed to make sure that we are pointing you in the right direction – we don’t want to waste your time booking you an appointment when we have the answer to your question at our fingertips! 

Where we might refer you

We have lots of resources available for help with various career questions. If you are looking into a specific career, job, or company, we may refer you to the Resources Help Desk first, where our specialist information team will be happy to help. They will either suggest some useful places to begin your research and show you how to use the resources or, if your question is quite complicated, they might take it away to do some research into the best resources for you to explore. Here are some examples of questions we have referred to the Resources Help Desk in the past: ’How do I find out about working abroad?’, ‘How do I find out about smaller graduate schemes – especially as there is very little information available online?’; ‘How do I break into less well-known job roles?’.

We will probably direct you towards our collection of books, journals and other publications, including online information. We have a vast amount of information on various industries and jobs (teaching, media, environment, for example), and we also have information on finding a career, CVs, interviews, psychometric tests, postgraduate study, life as a research student, specific companies and schemes (particularly the big graduate recruiters), as well as living and working abroad – to name just a few! So whatever your careers question, we will have the right resource for you or can help you to find it.

Careers Service Events

The Careers Service also runs a variety of events throughout the year and lots of these take place during the autumn and spring terms:

  • We run events which are designed to help you get a job, by helping you with CVs, application forms and cover letters, then taking you through interviews and assessment centres, or by informing you about key skills, such as understanding commercial awareness.
  • We hold sessions on networking, effective use of social media, creativity and innovation.
  • We also run events which focus on specific careers or key areas of the jobs market – for example, we hold sessions on finding work abroad, or on specific industries, such as journalism or marketing.
  • Some of our sessions are specifically targeted at postgraduate students, international students, or those interested in further study, whether that’s applying for a masters or PhD, or aiming for a research career.

In the autumn term, particularly, we invite many of the largest graduate employers from Bristol and beyond to give presentations and offer students a chance to network with them. In addition, we hold several Careers Fairs each year. The main Fair, for students of all subjects interested in all kinds of graduate jobs, is held in October, and we also run fairs which focus on law, engineering, investment banking and management consultancy, and careers for those who study a science degree.

Please take a few moments to check out our website, which is packed with information including jobs, advice, courses and events.

Updated from original post by Lucinda and Harpreet, Career Service Student Information Assistants

What I wish I had known about the Careers Service in my first year!

This Thursday 23 January we are inviting students to drop in to the Careers Service for a day of talks aimed at first years. Last year we asked Gemma, one of our Information Assistant Interns and a PhD student in the School of Geographical Sciences, to tell us what she wishes she’d known about the Careers Service when she started her degree…

welcome sign

Welcome to the Careers Service [image sourced from]

For those of you who are just a few months into your degree, thinking about your career once you graduate is often not high in the list of priorities. By third year, as deadlines loom and you are frantically trying to finish your eighth job application, many students often regret leaving it to their final year to brave their first steps into Careers (myself included!). However, in today’s competitive job market it is never too early to start using the Careers Service, especially with the wealth of advice, information and help available to first year students. With this in mind, here are some insights as to how you can use the Careers Service effectively in your first year:

1. Explore career options
Are you unsure of what to do when you graduate? You can explore what options are available to you with your degree, find out information about different sectors in our ‘I want to work in…’ pages, or book a 15 minute appointment with a Careers Adviser.

2. Gain a part time job or work experience
One of the most common queries from first year students is how to gain a job. Whether you want a part time job to earn some money whilst studying or an internship to gain valuable work experience, we have many events and useful advice geared towards finding jobs and/or work experience through our JobShop.

3. Develop your employability skills
First year is often the best time to develop your employability skills. Sign up to the Bristol PLuS Award to document and gain recognition for the professional and life skills you gain through university.

4. Stay Informed
Ensure you keep up to date with Careers Service news, events and jobs by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, reading this blog and keeping an eye on our news pages. Not only will these pages provide an insight into the services we offer at Careers, but you might also stumble across your ideal internship or networking opportunity.

Want to find out more?

This Thursday 23rd of January, we are holding an informal Information Day for first year students. Turn up to one of our short talks to find out more about the Careers Service, including: reasons to use us; a tour of the building and our resources; the Bristol PLuS Award and tips for work experience and internships. More information can be found on our events pages. No need to book, just come along. Turn up, have a look around, and sit in on any of the 30-minute talks.

Alternatively, find out more about what the Careers Service does and how we can help any time by coming in any time we are open and speaking to one of our friendly members of staff.

Gemma, Information Assistant Intern, University of Bristol graduate and current student

Not a first year? See also a blog post by two of our student interns for anyone new to the Careers Service.