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Getting to know your University Careers Department

Even if we don’t ever, have never, or will never visit the careers department we still all know where it is on campus. We all have that one friend that spends 24/7 talking to staff about potential careers. For some reason though, there is an element of fear surrounding the department. People are often unaware of the good things they can offer. Here’s why it might not be such a bad idea to pay them a visit.

They can point you in the right direction

The whole purpose of the careers department is that they know what they’re talking about. They have all the resources necessary to help you figure out what you want to do upon graduation. Or even things that you can do right now to boost your CV. They are literally a fountain of knowledge. An objective opinion is offered on the careers out there that they think might suit you; they aren’t just your Mum saying ‘I think you’d make a great teacher…’. Instead, the staff in the department look at the skills you currently have and offer advice on the various pathways you might want to follow. They are literally employed by the university to point you in the right direction; what could honestly be better?

They have heard it all before

I think that some of the reluctance from students to use their career department comes from the opinion that they are just waiting to crush your dreams with a ‘No, you don’t have the right skills for that job…’. This, I can assure you, is totally untrue. Any question you have, big or small, they try their best to help you tackle it.

All the questions you have about your career, the places you could go, or the anxiety you’re having about deciding on what you want to do have been heard before. In first year, I had no clue what I wanted to do and wasn’t even sure if my course was right for me. So, I decided to bite the bullet and make a careers appointment to see if they could help me. First year me sat in their office and literally said ‘Help me, I don’t know what I’m doing’. The advice they offered was not daunting at all. They looked at my work experience and the skills I acquired and suggested some plausible opportunities that, thankfully, didn’t seem too out of reach. Thank god.

They offer invaluable workshops and application help.

I don’t know about you, but my careers department offer so many workshops and sessions ranging from application help to interview preparation. Every week you can bet that there is a session to help you with the daunting aspects of any future careers. You know, like psychometric tests or assessment centres. The support offered in this practical sense is invaluable. Prior to the world of graduate employment, students probably have little experience with how to tackle a group interview or presentation. Even better, the people who lead these workshops know what they’re talking about. They’re employed by the University for the sole reason of helping you to succeed in these nerve-racking situations. You’ve got nothing to lose by taking them up on that offer. Go on, I dare you.