Although it may feel early, it is highly beneficial to start considering your career options as soon as possible and to take advantage of the many opportunities and resources already available to you. This will save you time and stress in the future and allow you to develop relevant experience and skills now, which will give you an advantage over other less prepared applicants when it comes to 2nd and 3rd year opportunities.
Employers have to go through many applications a day, therefore, it’s important to take time and make your CV stand out to employers. Having a clear, concise and structured CV will not only catch the eye of the employer but also put you through to the next stage of the selection process. The Careers service has lots of resources, from CV’s guides to preparing for an interview. If you'd like to speak with a trained Careers Consultant, the Careers Service offers guidance appointments, which is a great way to get started. They also offer applications advice appointments if you're at a stage where you're ready to get feedback on your CV and application forms. All of these services are available from first year onwards and for up to 2 years after graduation.
Managing My Future (Careers Management Skills for Mathematicians) is a compulsory course for all 2nd year single honours Mathematics students. It will be delivered by your careers service, alongside a range of graduate recruiters, with the aim of familiarising students with the skills and competencies employers look for in a Maths graduate.
Attending the two day session will give you an insight into the recruitment processes used by most graduate employers, giving you the opportunity to review your CV, practice psychometric tests and hear from recruiters about what they look for in interviews and assessment centres. Employers not only look at applicant’s degree and their degree classification but they are equally interested in the employability skills that applicants have, such as motivation, adaptability, ability to work in a team and to think critically and analytically.
Use CareersLink to search for new job vacancies, work experience, internships and other opportunities. CareersLink is a great way to set up email alerts to keep up to date with all the careers events and fairs that are happening around the University. It also allows you to book appointments for CV advice and guidance appointments with the Careers Service. CareersLink is available to students for up to 2 years following graduation.
The School of Mathematics 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 public speaking while having to give announcement in lectures, to developing your communication skills when providing course feedback to the Head of School and other members of the faculty. Course representatives are chosen at the start of the year so if you are interested speak to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find most of the societies at the Welcome Fair in September 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. The School of Maths have two mathematical societies, MathSoc and UMAS (University of Manchester Actuarial society). Both societies have active Facebook groups where they regularly post events and talks on their page, so join the group and keep updated with all their events.
Although employers look for students who meet their required grades they also look for evidence of employability skills. These are usually tested through competency questions on applications 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.
Work experience is essential to your CV. One of the options you will receive information on during your first year is tutoring with The Tutor Trust or Action Tutoring. Use your summer vacation wisely, try to get some experience with either paid or voluntary work. You can search for vacancies on the universities CareersLink pages and find advice on the Careers Service Work Experience for 1st Years page.
Many companies offer short work experience placements, Spring Weeks or Insight days specifically for first years. These often lead to guaranteed positions on Summer Internships after second year but apply early as they usually take place during the Easter break. See the relevant Work Experience Opportunities page for more information.
Working part time during University can be a good way to develop the employability skills employers will look for in the recruitment process. It’s a great way to develop transferable skills such as time management, as working part time you will have to keep a balance with your job and other commitments.
Team working is another important skill most employers look for in students, whilst in most part time jobs you will be expected to work as part of a team to achieve given goals. The University encourages students to work no more than 15 hours a week around lecture times and weekends to balance with University work load.
Book an appointment with Karen Butterworth
Need help with your CV, interview programme application or even updating your LinkedIn profile, get advice from The School of Maths Careers Consultant, Karen Butterworth.
To book an appointment with Karen you need to visit CareersLink, ‘make an appointment’, look for Maths Alan Turing Appointments and choose the appropriate time. If no results are found under the search results then all the session are fully booked. The specific date and time aren’t confirmed for the new academic year, however, starting from November Karen will be holding appointments between 1-4pm every Thursday in the Alan Turing Building.
Find out what type of jobs are available to maths graduates at the Calculating Careers Fair in October. This is a good starting point if you don't yet know what you plan to do after university and a good opportunity to find out more if there is a specific company or career you are already interested in.
Apply to the Schools' Interview Training programme in December- you'll get excellent feedback on applying for internships and interview techniques.
The application process is only open to first and second year students, so it's important to take advantage of this while you can.
For more information, see the Interview Programme page.
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, visit the Maths Careers website to get some ideas.
During the summer you will have the opportunity to sign up to become a PASS leader in your 2nd 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.