It might feel early to start planning your future in year one, and it's okay if you aren't sure what you'd like to do at this stage, but this is a great opportunity for you to start exploring your options and discover what opportunities are available to you.
So what can you do?
When you begin your time at university you might find that a part-time job will help you to have more financial independence than living on your student loan alone, or you might like to get some work experience on your CV.
The Careers Service can help you find roles that interest you and help you with your applications. Check out Careerslink, the University's own jobs board, that advertises positions from part-time and casual work, through to graduate positions. It is managed by the Careers Service and updated daily.
You can also check out the Careers Service downloadable guides, including their Finding Work in Manchester guide, or the Finding Part-time Work guide. These include information on where to look for jobs and how to write your application based on what employers are looking for.
Once you've put together your CV, you can book an applications advice appointment, here within the School or with a consultant in The Atrium.
Although graduate employers look for applicants having met their academic requirements they also look for evidence of employability skills. These are usually tested through competency questions within application forms and during interview. The Careers Service has a list of Employability skills which tells you about each of the skills and how you can develop them while at university.
The University's careers website is a helpful resource for deciding which career might interest you, including information on occupations, sectors and industries. You can also take the Careers KickStart questionnaire for feedback and advice on what to do next.
The Target jobs careers report is another questionnaire which will generate a report suggesting careers suited to you and identifying strengths and weaknesses and provide an action plan for what to do next. Alternatively, you can visit the Royal Society of Chemistry or Prospects websites to get some ideas.
Volunteering is a great way to enhance your University experience. You can make new friends and become part of the local community as well as developing new skills and experiences which will look great on your CV when you start job hunting.
Every October the University runs the Volunteering Fair. With over 70 different charities and not-for-profit organisations, that are actively looking for volunteers it's a great way to get involved in some good causes whilst getting some all-important experience on your CV. From small local community groups to large charities, there's something for everyone.
You can find most of the University Societies at the Welcome Fair in September; you can also find out further details and sign up on the Student's Union website or contact them through Facebook for further information.
Being a part of a team or society will provide evidence of 'employability skills' such as communication, team work and planning/organisation, which are essential to your CV. This will also be a perfect opportunity for you to have an insight into careers and events outside the world of Chemistry and making new connections across both the University and corporate firms.
Alternately, you can apply to create your own society from here.
The School of Chemistry values feedback from its students about the teaching they receive. Being a course representative you are able to provide feedback from your course friends and raise issues during meetings.
The UG Staff Student Liaison Committee meetings are held regularly and are a great way to raise issues and concerns about your learning experience, where staff can then help provide solutions for each issue.
Being a course representative helps you develop your communication and listening skills through gathering feedback from your peers and relaying this to members of the Committee.
Course representatives are chosen at the start of the year so if you are interested contact firstname.lastname@example.org
During the summer you will have the opportunity to sign up to become a PASS (Peer Assisted Study) Leader in your second year. PASS is a nationally recognised scheme with structured training and becoming a PASS leader would provide evidence of many essential employability skills to future employers.
As well as being both rewarding and enjoyable, being a PASS leader during second year is a great opportunity to gain valuable skills in leadership, communication and time management. After an initial training programme of interactive discussions and collaborative group work, delivered by trained SI (Supplemental Instruction) supervisors, you will be offered support throughout the year in the form of group workshops and debriefs.
PASS is a great way to improve your own skills whilst offering academic and pastoral support to your peers and really making a difference to their student experience.