Starting university is a time of great change, and the wealth of new information, new environments and new people can be overwhelming. For many people thinking about what they might be doing in three or four years’ time is a very low priority. But gaining some work experience in the first year is a valuable way of establishing contacts and demonstrating to potential employers that you have skills and experience beyond simply attending lectures, reading, writing essays and exams.
Sometimes it can be hard to fit a part-time job around your personal and academic commitments. I was lucky as I visited the Student Jobshop and managed to get a place on the Careers Service operated ‘work bank’ of students, who agree to work for the University when they are available. Within reason, you can work as many or as few hours as you like – at times which suit you. The types of work available include clerical or administrative tasks, distributing publicity material and helping at fairs and careers events. Being part of the ‘work bank’ combines hours that fit around you with a trusted, nationally recognized employer, the chance to develop your skills and work with people of different ages and roles – and allows you to accumulate valuable, meaningful employment experience.