Second year is the key time to begin planning for your future career. If you haven't already, take a look at the Year 1 Students page for some more ideas. If you have written your CV and decided which career is for you there are many more steps you can take during second year to build upon what you already have and continue to prepare yourself for graduate employment. If you still don't have a fixed idea of your chosen career at this stage, don't worry- the important thing is that you are actively taking steps to prepare for your future and discover which path is the right one for you.
Look at your CV and identify areas of weakness. Think of ways to develop these skills over the next year, whether that be through work experience, volunteering or just improving your grades. The Careers Service has a useful online guide of employability skills, complete with suggestions of ways you can gain or enhance your skillset, which is a great place to start. You can also download the Careers Service's 'CV Guide' for tips on how to tailor your CV to each position you apply to.
Here is a good example of a Chemistry CV which has been tailored to the given job description of an Analytical Chemist, to help guide you in your own CV writing.
You can book an appointment for applications advice during one of the weekly sessions hosted within the School by our Careers Consultant and Graduate Employability Intern. This is a great way to get feedback on your CV or on a job application you are completing.
You can also book a slot for a mock interview if you would like to practise your skills and receive feedback before an upcoming job interview.
The Careers Service also provide these services centrally, so there's always help available.
You can book all appointments for both central and Chemistry-based applications advice via Careerslink.
A great way to boost your skills and to find out what employers are looking for is to attend skills workshops. Dr Ben Carter, our dedicated Careers Consultant, alongside our Graduate Employability Intern, runs several of these workshops in-house every year, meaning that students have the opportunity to receive tailored advice.
A summer placement is a great way to get experience in your chosen career, and provides an opportunity for you to decide if it is the career for you.
It's a good way to get a step ahead for when it comes to applying for graduate positions, and if your degree doesn't include a year in industry it's a chance for you to have a similar experience during 3 months in the summer holidays.
Like Grad Schemes summer placements are advertised early so be prepared to start applying once you begin your second year (or your third year for MChem students). The recruitment process will be very similar to that of a Grad Scheme too, so expect that you might have to attend an assessment centre as well as an interview.
Remember you can always ask for help from the Careers Service for advice on your applications, or use Careerslink to book onto one of their skills sessions to help you prepare for any interviews or assessment centres you may have lined up.
The Careers Service advertises Student Experience Internships (SEI's) every year; these internships are exclusively for second year Undergraduate Students and give you the opportunity to gain some work experience over the summer break, working within your academic School.
Global Graduates is an exclusive programme for students at The University of Manchester, giving you the opportunity to meet with alumni in one of our host cities across the world, for a period of one week during July. During this time you will visit a range of host organisations and their representatives to learn more about their businesses, roles, opportunities and their cities.
The programme is open to all undergraduate students who are not in their final year of study.
Each year the Careers Service runs My Future Fest, a two day long event which is a great way to get some ideas about your future. Discover a wide range of opportunities, learn how to break into different sectors and have a chat with our exhibitors about their career journeys.
You can find out about finding work experience, connect with graduate employers and find out more about the support you can access on campus.
The link to My Future Fest 2016 is available here.
The Manchester Gold mentoring programme runs from November until April. It is run by the University and they have over 400 mentors, who are previous graduates, available to give you one-to-one help choosing and planning for your future career. It is an opportunity for you to receive personal support from an experienced professional who is keen to offer advice and share their expertise and experiences.
The programme is highly regarded by students and recruiters and, as such, is very competitive. It is, therefore, important to prepare carefully in order to submit a strong application. Applications open at the start of Semester 1 and are submitted via Careerslink. You will have the chance to express what sector/s you are interested in and what help you would like from the scheme. The Careers Service will then pair you with a mentor best placed to support you.