Job Shop Part-Time Jobs Fair: what’s it all about?

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You’ve hopefully seen some mention around campus about our upcoming Part-Time Jobs Fair – but what’s it really all about and is it worth you coming? (Hint: it definitely is.)

On Tuesday 24th January from 11am – 2pm, the Job Shop will be welcoming a range of local and national companies into Commons as well as some on-campus employers. All of them will be there to promote their part-time vacancies which is extremely handy if you are looking for a job to support you alongside your studies.

Should I be looking for a part-time role while at university?
Everyone’s different – some people don’t find they need a job through university, but many are attracted to the two main benefits of having a part-time role… EXPERIENCE and EXTRA MONEY!

Of course extra cash is always useful, but some of the skills you can gain through working part-time may surprise you (and are also great at helping to add value to your CV). These skills include:

  • Experience working in a professional environment
  • Increased commercial awareness
  • Enhanced time-keeping skills
  • Experience in working as part of a team
  • Professional conduct with colleagues and customers
  • Problem solving experience

If you’re an international student, having a part-time job may also be helpful for improving your language skills and developing an awareness of the UK recruitment market (especially if you’re planning on staying here after you graduate).

So who’s going to be there?
The Fair is catering for a wide range of industries from hospitality and education to social care, the leisure industry and many more. Take a look for yourself:

Got more questions?
Feel free to get in touch with the Job Shop! You can call us on 01225 875864 oremail us at jobs@bathspa.ac.uk. If you’d rather chat face-to-face, visit us at a drop-in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12pm – 2pm in Steward’s Lodge (we also have a drop-in every first Thursday of the month at Sion Hill by main reception).

See you next Tuesday!

Bath Spa Award: what counts?

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You may have heard about the Bath Spa Award, but are unsure as to what you have to do or what counts towards it. Have no fear – here’s a quick guide to set you right.

In order to receive the Award, you’ll need to complete all seven of the following sections…

Get Thinking
What skills to have? Think about which ones you’d perhaps like to improve. This section asks you to write a brief a paragraph for two skills you’d like to get better at over the coming months. Such areas might include: management, networking, brand awareness, communication, creative thinking… anything, so long as it’s going to aid you.

Get Informed
In order to complete this section, you must have attended at least two careers workshops, preferably relevant to your interests. However, if you have received a form of training for other positions you hold outside of your course, we can me be able to include this, too.

Get Experience
This section requires you to complete 100 hours of work experience. It sounds more than it is, and more than likely you’ll already have ticked some off. This work can be anything extra-curricular, so long as it doesn’t coincide with your course – even roles such as society president or society secretary, housing rep or student ambassador all count!

Get Digital
Show us that you’re digitally literate by providing us with evidence of communication online. Whether you’re on Twitter, a YouTuber, a blogger or live on LinkedIn, we want to see your online presence.

Get Networking
We want to know that you’re networking with potential employers – online interaction, plus two face-to-face appearances. Have you connected on LinkedIn, Twitter or email? Maybe you’ve been to speed-networking event on campus or with Creative Bath? Always ask us if you’re unsure as to what counts.

Get Advice
Book an appointment to see us via My Career – this will let you stop by Steward’s Lodge and speak to the Award Team about how you’re getting on. It couldn’t be simpler, and it’s pretty useful, too!

Get the Award
Last but not least, you’ll be invited to attend our assessment centre in the spring. This half-day event will test your skills and help to showcase your strengths, giving you a real taste for what it’s like to attend an assessment centre for an industry placement.

All done? It’s then time for our celebration event, where you’ll receive your certificate.

Not signed up? You’ve still got time – visit bathspa.ac.uk/theaward today!

Keep in Touch over Christmas!

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It’s almost the end of term, and the holiday festivities are looming. But as well as enjoying some well-earned rest and recuperation at home, the Christmas and New Year period is also a great chance to get thinking about careers – especially if you’re in your final year!

If you want to get on a graduate scheme, it’s well worth starting to consider where you’d like to apply. Our 10 top tips can help get you started, and we’ve also got plenty of information about various industry sectors available on My Career.

Equally, you might like to take some time to research placements and why they can be so useful. If you’d like an inside view from students who’ve been on placement themselves, check out this interview. Now is a really good time to familiarise yourself with our placements search tool, and to look into any other companies you might like to contact regarding a placement or internship.

While you’ll be off over the holidays, we’ll still be around for most of the break – barring our Christmas closure between 24th December and 3rd January – and we’ll still be contactable on careers@bathspa.ac.uk and 01225 875525.

If you’ve got a question for us, or have a CV/cover letter you’d like us to look over and provide feedback on, submit it via our Ask a Question facility and we’ll aim to get back to you within five working days.

Over Christmas, you’ll still be able to book spaces on workshops – keep an eye out for next term’s programme of events! – and 1:1 careers guidance appointments for when you’re back after the holidays.

So keep in contact with Careers over the festive break and, most importantly, have a very Merry Christmas!

Bath Spa Award: The Lowdown

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What is it?
You might have heard people talking about the Bath Spa Award, and so probably asked yourself two obvious questions… what exactly is the Bath Spa Award? And why is it worth undertaking?

Have a minute? Great, then let’s talk you through it.

The Bath Spa Award was created so you can gain official accreditation for the extracurricular strengths and skills you’ve gained alongside your degree. Here at Bath Spa, we know our students are involved with all sorts of volunteering, part-time work and activities, so we wanted to make sure these achievements were recognised. If you’re a second-year, third-year or postgraduate student, you’re eligible!

In a nutshell, the Award:

  • Recognises achievements such as positions within clubs and societies, voluntary work, paid jobs outside of uni and your dedication to networking with employers
  • Provides a unique opportunity to build on essential skills for your future career
  • Gives you a chance to form friendships with like-minded students

 

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What do people say about it?
“The Bath Spa Award definitely motivated me to take those extra opportunities and I’m really proud I’ve got it. A lot of the work and volunteer hours were things I was doing anyway as part-time jobs. It’s a good way to assess the things that I wanted to work on and think, ‘I’ve actually managed to do that!’”  
Matilda Karabina, BA (Hons) Creative Writing

“One of the most beneficial things about the Award was choosing the skills you wanted to cover. I wanted to cover leadership, so I was able to get experience and prove that I had worked on my leadership skills.”
Amy Lamborn, BA (Hons) Education Studies with Media Communications

 

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What do I have to do?
There are seven different steps to gaining the award – but don’t be daunted, it sounds more work than it really is. You’ll probably find that you’ve already done more than you think once you get started!

  • Get Thinking (recognise two skills you want to improve)
  • Get Informed (attend two Careers workshops)
  • Get Experience (100 hours of work experience)
  • Get Digital (show your experience of digital skills)
  • Get Networking (have two face-to-face and one online interaction with employers)
  • Get Advice (book a 20-minute guidance appointment)
  • Get The Award (attend our assessment centre event)

Each section is aimed specifically to ensure you have all the essential skills you’ll need to be a success in the workplace. Don’t worry: if ever you feel like you’re struggling or don’t quite know how to complete a section, feel free to get in touch with one the Bath Spa Award team via our Ask A Question service or by emailing theaward@bathspa.ac.uk

 

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Great! How do I sign up?
If you head to bathspa.ac.uk/theaward and sign in with your BSSU student details, you’ll be taken straight to My Career’s Bath Spa Award information section. Simply click on the registration form link, fill it out and submit – it’s as simple as that. Within several days you should receive an email from the Bath Spa Award team, confirming your place.

What are you waiting for? Get signed up today!

 

Why Work During your Studies?

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So, why is it a good idea to work alongside your degree? Firstly, EXTRA MONEY!

Of course there are other reasons as well! Having a part time job can provide you with an important addition to your CV: EXPERIENCE!

This can be great for demonstrating to a future, long-term employer that you have experience in a professional working environment. Some of the skills you could gain (and use to add value to your CV) include:

  • Problem-solving experience
  • Experience in working as part of a team
  • Enhanced time-keeping skills
  • Learning how to deal with colleagues and customers
  • Increased commercial awareness

If you’re an international student, having a part-time job could also help you to improve your language skills and develop an awareness of the UK recruitment market (especially if you’re planning on staying here after you graduate).

As well as all this, it’s an opportunity for you to learn about job-seeking strategies (very useful for the future when you’re looking for graduate roles) and a chance to meet new people and make new friends, which is always nice!

In addition, the Job Shop can help you gain SPECIFIC work experience – specific work experience is experience in a field that you want a career in after graduation. Showing that you have already worked in a certain field or environment will help to convince employers you are serious about your chosen career path.

Finally, having part-time work experience on your CV – whether it’s general or specific º will show your future graduate employer that you actually know what it’s like having a job!

For more information on any of the services the Job Shop offers, please email us at jobs@bathspa.ac.uk or phone us on 01225 875864.

 

 

Not Every Experience is Perfect – and That’s Okay!

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Placements Manager Jamie Bradbury shares the experiences that shaped his career direction…

When I started at Bath Spa University back in 2008, I felt sure I wanted to be a primary-school teacher. Friends and family had told me I was perfectly suited to it, and I had done the required 10 days of work experience in a primary school, which I had enjoyed. I had taken time out to work after finishing A levels but was finally ready to launch into university life on the 3+1 Education Studies course, with a guaranteed place on the PGCE. For the first time, I had my career plan laid out in front of me.

The course was fantastic. I made lots of friends and the tutors were always very supportive. My first taste of experience through the degree was a school placement out in Melksham, which I attended for one day a week. I was effectively working as a teaching assistant, helping out with all of the lessons and working with small groups of children.

It made me realise how much I enjoyed working with the children and being in a classroom environment. At this point, I was sure I’d made the right decision and was looking forward to the PGCE.

I’d been told that the PGCE would be tougher and more involved, so I knew I’d have to work really hard but was still very motivated. Long gone were the undergraduate days of eight hours per week… I was now getting used to a proper working week. The level of experience was very different in my placements, too. They were much longer and the expectation was to teach 60% of the lessons by the end of the first placement and 80% by the end of the second placement. Working with the children was still enjoyable, but there was something that wasn’t feeling quite right for me.

I’m a person who likes to be prepared and organised, but when teaching I was constantly changing lesson plans. I also liked to have freedom when creating my lessons, but had to fit in with the schools’ teaching structures, as well as their behaviour management and marking policies. Then there was more emphasis on paperwork – something I hadn’t looked at during my initial placement.

But I persevered and completed the PGCE, having gained plenty of experience in working under pressure, organisation, initiative, flexibility, communication and resilience. I had realised that teaching probably wasn’t for me, but shortly after finishing I got a position working with Bath Spa’s Placements team – a role that I really enjoy. I still get to deliver workshops – which is similar to teaching – and I’m in a working environment that I love.

So what did I learn from this? Firstly, that it’s okay to not know what you want to do. Work placements can give you a feel for what you do and don’t like within certain roles and places of work. The more involved the experience is, the more you’ll understand about it.

Secondly, that a bad experience can be equally as beneficial as a good one. You might get lucky and find your dream role, but a lot of the time it won’t be perfect… but you’re likely to have learnt more about your own preferences and how you deal with certain situations.

Thirdly, to keep an open mind and to make the most of opportunities that come your way. This is something I wish I’d done more of. Just because people told me I would make a good teacher, didn’t mean that I would be one. Between A levels and university I worked in a toy store, an auction house and a call centre and I’m glad I tried them all, because each time I found different areas of the jobs I liked.

Graduate Opportunities Officer: who we are & what we do

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The title of Graduate Opportunities Officer may be a mouthful, but one that I hope is fairly self-explanatory. My name is Jenna Rainey, and it’s my role to ensure that final-year students are aware of the facilities and opportunities available to them with regard to the big, wide world of careers. I help to maintain a database of graduate schemes and opportunities, which span across a vast range of subjects undertaken by students here at Bath Spa University.

If you think these resources might be of interest or use to you, you can find them on My Career.

I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing from Bath Spa and am currently undertaking my Masters degree at Corsham Court (they couldn’t get me to leave – now I’m working here as well). So I think it would be fair to say that I have a rough idea of where our final-year students are coming from! Having recently made the same transition myself, I am passionate about creating opportunities for final-year students, helping them to strive toward potential success after graduating.

In my final year at university I maximised my opportunities by attending regular events and workshops run through the Careers service. These helped me gain industry insights, assisted me with networking and I even looked into how to start up my own business. It made me aware of things I hadn’t previously considered and proved valuable information. I also completed the Bath Spa Award – which, if you didn’t already know, is a fantastic way of having your extracurricular skills and efforts recognised by the university before you graduate.

It’s also important to note that Bath Spa Careers are here to help for up to three years after you graduate. So if you’re still having difficulty with your career or study after graduation, then don’t fret, there’s still help for you here!

We operate from Steward’s Lodge (the cottage opposite the library bus stop). From here we hope to help you with any queries you may have in regards to the world of work. I personally run drop-in session for final year students on Fridays between 10am and 12pm. It’s advised that you book ahead on My Career if you can, to save missing out during peak times, however you are always welcome to simply pop-by for a 10-minute chat if it’s easier for you. And, of course, I’ll endeavour to do my best to assist you however I can.

The key thing to remember? Don’t panic, you’re not alone!

Placemements: the inside view

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If you’re thinking about going on placement but wondered what it might be like, then find out more from graduates Hannah White and Daisy-May Chivers-Black who took part in our Summer Placement Scheme.

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They went on placement at The Wedding Secret, a website dedicated to connecting engaged couples with the wedding venues and services they need to hire locally for their wedding day.

Why did you decide to do a placement?
Hannah: I decided to get involved with the placement scheme as I had done the year before and found the experience beneficial. As a graduate I knew I needed to gain experience and further develop my skills so it seemed a good idea to go for an internship.
Daisy-May: The internship gave me the opportunity to gain experience in the field that I’d like to work in.

What did you do on placement?
Hannah: My job involved three key tasks on a daily basis. First, calling companies to offer a free, no obligation trial on the website. Second, writing the content for the listings of the business who signed up to the trial and then uploading this onto the content management system. Finally, helping to market The Wedding Secret via social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. I create, design and action marketing campaigns to help deliver fresh content that, in turn, helps increase the reach of the business.

How did you benefit from this and what impact will this have on your career plans?
Daisy-May: My internship has been extended and I am hopeful that I will be offered a permanent job after the placement has finished. All aspects of my job have greatly developed my existing skills and enabled me to action the skills I obtained while at university in an actual, live business environment.

Describe your experience in one sentence…
Daisy-May: Working at The Wedding Secret was a really enjoyable experience that has given me the chance to apply the skills I learnt at university, thus giving me more confidence in my ability.
Hannah: Placements are a great way to show interest, build a network of contacts and put your skills into play in a real business environment. Therefore, I would, 100%, recommend that all students do or, at least, research a placement, as the experience is invaluable!

 

 

What to Look for in a Graduate Scheme: 10 Top Tips

 

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So you’re in final year and probably thinking about what you will do with your life when you finish next summer. (By the way, it’s true: final year always goes by far too quickly, so it’s definitely a case of the sooner the better!)

Graduate schemes are great entry-level opportunities that are definitely worth considering. It’s a myth that graduate schemes are just for Business students – most of them are open to all subjects.

However, not all grad schemes are created equal. Just like when you were deciding which course and which uni to go to, different employers will offer different types of graduate schemes. Here are the top ten things to look out for when browsing:

  1. Structure
    Grad schemes come in different shapes and sizes. Some are known as ‘rotational’, which means shorter placements in different departments. So you might spend six months in Human Resources, six months in Marketing and then six months in Sales, and so on. This can be a great way of testing out which areas of a business you enjoy working for the most. However, you may want to get stuck into a particular area straight away, in which case a non-rotational grad scheme might be better. Also schemes can vary in length, but usually last one to three years, so you might want to think about how that fits in with your future plans.
  2. Flexibility
    Generally, larger employers offer a fixed structure and timetable, whereas smaller and medium sized organisations might have more flexibility. There are pros and cons to both: larger employers’ schemes might be more ‘tried and tested’ by previous graduates, whereas smaller employers might take your interests into account when mapping out the scheme – so think about what is more appealing to you.
  3. Location
    Do you have a specific location in mind, or can you be flexible? Some graduate schemes are based in one location, but rotational schemes often require you to move around the country. It’s also worth noting that grad schemes are mostly based in larger towns and cities, such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. Check out the Target Jobs Career Location guide for lists of top employers in certain locations in the UK.
  4. Professional qualifications
    A real perk of some schemes is the opportunity to get additional qualifications, particularly if you pick something like Human Resources or Accounting. These tend to be funded which is a bonus, but of course you would need to commit to further study.
  5. Support and progression
    A key feature of grad schemes is CPD (continuing personal development) i.e. making sure you are learning, developing and progressing in the role. This often means things like training opportunities or having a mentor.
  6. What next?
    It’s worth considering where a grad scheme might take you. Some employers might expect you to stay within the company, but this is often not obligatory. Search for previous completers of the scheme on LinkedIn to see what they are doing now. Have they stayed within the company or have they moved on to pastures new?
  7. Insider perspectives
    The glossy pages of an employer’s graduate brochure or website might showcase some great stories of previous graduates who have done the scheme, but do some wider research to get a better picture. Use Glassdoor’ to check out reviews (TripAdvisor style) of employers. In addition, get networking with current grads on the scheme. Connect with them on LinkedIn and ask questions – or, if possible, talk to company reps at a graduate fair to find out what life is reeeeally like at that organisation.
  8. Number of opportunities
    The number of graduates an employer takes on each year can vary from 1 to 1200. However, this does not mean that only applying to organisations that take on thousands is the best tactic. These organisations tend to have dedicated graduate recruitment teams, which tends to lead to thousands of applications. Don’t let this put you off, but be aware of the competition you might face and make sure your application is top notch.
  9. The application process
    Grad schemes often have a lengthy and detailed recruitment process, which may include application forms, psychometric tests, phone or video interviews, assessment centres and an interview in person. Again, this shouldn’t put you off, but you should be prepared. As always, the advice is ‘quality not quantity’ – identify the grad you’re really interested in, and put all of your effort into making a brilliant application.
  10. Other benefits, including salary and courtesy cars!
    Employers want the best graduates to apply for their schemes. This often means they can offer great benefits, including a good starting salary and other benefits. Aldi is well-known for offering a £42k salary and a fully expensed Audi A4! Niiice!

Find out more about grad schemes on My Career, or book an appointment with a Careers Consultant. Remember, deadlines are often before Christmas, so make sure you look as early as possible in the autumn term.

 

Careers & Opportunities Fair Round-Up

 

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Tuesday 25th October was, if you’ll excuse the self-congratulation, quite the day. We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone attended our first Careers & Opportunities Fair – a stunning 716 students and 33 employers! We hope you all enjoyed the day, and we certainly did. Our marquee in the Walled Garden was buzzing all day, and there was a fantastic atmosphere. It was brilliant to see so many of our students interacting with employers – many of whom later told us how impressed they were!

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Don’t forget to follow up with the employers you got chatting to on the day. Networking is an invaluable way of making contacts, and getting your name known by recruiters before you apply for roles is a great way to make sure that your application stands out.

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If you’d like some more advice and guidance from the Careers team, sign into My Career to check out our jam-packed programme of workshops for the rest of the term or book an appointment with one of our Careers Consultants.

If you weren’t able to make it to the Fair, don’t despair – our guide (handed out in hard copy on the day) is packed full of handy info on all of the employers in attendance, plus top tips from our team, and is now available online. Click here to take a look at the PDF!

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It wasn’t just the Fair going on, either. We had Google’s Digital Garage on-campus at Newton Park, giving talks to over 250 students about how to get stuck into digital, and the importance of having an online presence for your business. If you missed out, don’t worry – we have three more Make Your Own Career events over the next three weeks, covering freelancing, creative careers and entrepreneurship. Check out the Bath Sparks site for more info and to book your place for these must-attend sessions.

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Sion Hill didn’t miss out, either, with 100+ BSAD students treated to a fascinating session by Holly Burton from Crafts Council UK about how the organisation supports makers and creative enterprise. Take a look here to see what other workshops we have coming up at Sion Hill.

If you’ve got any feedback for us about the Careers & Opportunities Fair, we’d love to hear from you! Email us, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter to let us know what you’d like to see in future. We’ve got you covered!