Second year is the key time to begin planning for your future career. If you haven't already, take a look at the 1st year 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. Download the Careers Service's 'CV Guide' for tips on how to tailor your CV to each position you apply to.
The Careers Service page on Employability Skills links to a useful Employability Audit which will help you to identify key skills and highlight them on your CV.
Here is a good example of a maths specific CV which has been tailored to the given job description and person specification.
Having already started the Managing My Future (Careers Management Skills for Mathematicians) course, start putting together your CV and applying for summer internships. The course is a great way to get feedback from recruiters, who will be delivering the workshops, and finding out what they look for in applicants. Use this course as a guide to prepare for your future employment and make the most of it.
Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and make sure you maintain a professional presence on Twitter and Facebook. The Careers service offer appointments to help with building and updating your LinkedIn profile, these appointments can be booked through CareersLink as application advice. The Careers service also offer workshops relating to social media throughout the year, so make the most of these sessions as they will enhance your career opportunities.
Many recruiters will look up applicants online and connecting with interesting groups, organisations and professionals on LinkedIn will impress potential employers. Adding people you've met at networking and careers events and keeping in touch online can provide you with valuable contacts for the future. If you're not sure where to start, this blog post from the careers website suggests '8 Tips for the Perfect LinkedIn Profile'.
Networking events run by graduate recruiters are regularly arranged by the University and are usually advertised on CareersLink. Networking is one of the most succesful ways to get the job you want. More specific networking events are often run by individual societies within the University and you will also find details of companies own events advertised on their careers websites. Following companies on Twitter and LinkedIn is a good way to keep up to date with events like these. Visit the News and Events page for details of upcoming events.
You may have joined a society in first year but becoming involved with the commitee and how the society runs will look impressive to potential employers, showing you have important skills such as teamwork and leadership. See the Students Union 'Start Your own Society' page for advice on setting up your own society from scratch. The School of Maths currently has two societies MathSoc and UMAS (University of Manchester Actuarial Society).
Why not book an appointment with Karen Butterworth to update your CV in time for the Calculating Careers Fair.
To book appointments visit CareersLink, ‘make an appointment’ and look for Maths Alan Turing Appointments.
Attending the Calculating Careers Fair in your second year can be very useful if you have already identified what you'd like to do and which companies you're interested in. This is an excellent opportunity to meet recruiters face to face and find out more about their summer internship programmes.
Hopefully you will already have written a CV, take some copies along and hand them out to companies you are interested in applying to. If you have researched the companies at the Fair and know who you'd like to approach, you should tailor your CV to each employer. Having a strong CV and cover letter relevant to the role you are applying to can help you stand out from other applicants.
There are various other ways to benefit from paid or voluntary work experience during the break - look for vacancies on the University's CareersLink website. They advertise more vacancies per month in CareersLink than the main national graduate vacancy websites.
The University also now runs its own paid Student Experience Internships during the summer, both within the University and not-for-profit organisations.
For the past two years, the Careers Service has offered work experience bursaries for unpaid or low paid opportunities or those involving extra costs, such as travel or accomodation. Look out for information on future funding opportunities on their bursary page.
Applications for summer internships between your second and third year open from the previous summer onwards, so it is important to research your options as early as possible. Many summer interns are offered a place on the companies graduate programme if they perform well so securing work experience now can be a real advantage.
Below are the profiles of four students who took part in summer internships before their final year. Click on their pictures to find out more about each of their roles and what they learnt.
You may have taken advantage of the Interview Training Programme in first year but now you can also apply for the programme in your second year. Whereas, 3rd, 4th and postgraduate students can volunteer to be trained as interviewers. The training is done by professional recruiters and by taking part in the programme you’ll gain an excellent insight into the graduate recruitment process and what employers are looking for in a successful applicant. Students who’ve taken part in the scheme in previous years have commented on how valuable this experience was when applying for graduate jobs and internships.
See the Interview Programme pages for further details.
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 1 to 1 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.