As a prospective student, your current focus is likely to be on choices about which course and university are a good fit for you. One vital factor in this decision is how the course you study and university you select will support you in your career aims.
Here are some tips from the Queen Mary Careers team to help you with the choices you are making:
1. Get informed
See what the league tables have to say about the university and courses on your shortlist, get along to Open Days, watch the videos and check up what existing students are saying. Ask questions about what former students (often called ‘alumni’) on your prospective course(s) have gone on to do.
Here are some useful sites and you’ll discover others:
• www.opendays.com/ Listing of many UK university open days.
• www.push.co.uk The ‘ruthlessly independent UK university guide’.
• www.universityvideo.co.uk Videos from universities showing their campus and selling points.
• www.thestudentroom.co.uk A student forum.
• www.london.gov.uk/graduates/ Examples of what jobs graduates have gone on to do. Searchable by course.
2. Will you enjoy it?
With all the information around plus the views of friends, family and teachers, this can be a confusing time. Remember it’s your choice and it’s important that you enjoy both your course and the place you are studying.
It can be helpful to talk through (for example with a school careers adviser) the topics and areas that you motivate you. This will help you get clearer about what really interests you and the role you want these things to play in your choices.
Here’s an example of a site which can help too:
• www.ukcoursefinder.com Includes a questionnaire about your interests which links you to courses of study.
3. Explore what careers support is on offer
Once you’ve started your course, you’ll get interested in ways to gain work experience. Future employers will notice you both for getting good results and for the experience you have gained along the way.
So look into the support you’ll receive on your course (some have work placements, others have links to industry), from the faculty (department) in which your course is based (some have specific careers websites and support) and how active the university’s careers service is.
Queen Mary Careers offers you support from day one as student here, whether that’s to help generate ideas and contacts for part-time work to get some money coming in, looking at internship opportunities or exploring career options. Find out more by looking at the 'Our Students and Graduates' pages of our website.
And an example of a faculty careers website – in this case the Queen Mary School of Law: