Your second and penultimate year at LJMU is the perfect time to gain some relevant work experience to strengthen your CV before your busy final year. This will also help you to make the right decisions about your next steps after university and enable you to expand your professional network. Building on the groundwork undertaken in your first year, you can continue to work on your career planning and further develop your employability skills:
Gaining relevant work experience
Explore internships, year-long placements and voluntary opportunities. Many employers offer summer internships aimed at second/penultimate-year students, and LJMU manages funded internships for L5 students every year. Year-long sandwich placements are most commonly advertised in areas like business, science, engineering, technology and the built environment, but some employers accept applications from students of any degree background. Sign up to Careers Zone 24/7 as well as websites like Prospects, Milkround, Targetjobs and Gradcracker, and also research vacancies on the websites of employers in your chosen sector.
Complete the ‘CareerSmart: Experience’ e-learning module to find out more about the importance of gaining relevant experience.
Continue your research into possible career and postgraduate study options so you will be able to make targeted applications in your final year. This website and our career planning guides are both useful starting points. Also check out the job profiles and sector overviews on the Prospects website.
Consider gaining some international experience. The Erasmus programme funds work and study placements in EU countries, and LJMU’s Go Global fund provides financial assistance for current students to help set up your own project or activity in another country. In addition, the University is developing new partnerships with organisations and universities abroad to give you opportunities to attend international summer schools, academic exchanges or work placements. For further information, check the LJMU website or contact the Go Abroad Team on GoAbroad@ljmu.ac.uk.
How we can help:
- The Careers Team organises a range of recruitment fairs and employer events throughout the academic year, where you can meet potential employers face-to-face and discuss available work experience opportunities. Check our event website for further information.
- Sign up to our blog for useful careers information, event reviews and news updates.
- Selling your skills and existing experience effectively on your CV is essential to secure relevant internships or placements. Book an appointment with an Employability Adviser for a CV or application review by calling into your nearest Careers Zone or phoning us on 0151 231 2048/3719.
- Attend any careers or employability sessions as part of your degree. Our Careers Advisers work closely with academic staff to plan and deliver workshops on career options and gaining relevant experience. If you would like to discuss your career plans with the link adviser for your course, come to one of the Careers Zones or call the Careers Team on 0151 231 2048/3719 to arrange a meeting.
My industrial placement year has given me a confidence boost, in the laboratory and personally. The independent work that I carried out during this time was extremely helpful when completing my final-year research project. I also have made quite a few friends amongst my colleagues!
A major benefit of my placement year was learning how to apply the technical side of surveying in reality. The placement improved my employability, developing skills including time management, communication and working with demanding clients and colleagues. It also brought me out of my shell as a professional. Finally, the placement has taught me to work smarter and not necessarily harder, which has really benefited my final-year studies.
The placement year was a huge benefit to me as I was able to gain first-hand experience of the industry, while getting paid, and it also gave me the opportunity to try out different roles. After the success of my placement, I was offered a position with the company, which contributed towards my final-year university fees while I continued to work part-time for them. It’s important to stress that if I hadn’t taken up the opportunity to complete a placement year, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now, knowing that when I graduate I have a secure job for the next three years.
Try to gain as much life experience as possible, whether that be through working, volunteering or even travelling. The more experiences you have to draw upon, the easier it will be when it comes to a particular interview or application form.
I think that summer internships and placement years are vital in securing the role graduates are looking for, especially give the increasingly competitive market. During my placement with NHS Halton CCG I was offered a permanent position, meaning I worked part-time throughout my final year. Based on my own experience and from speaking to other placement year students, I think it’s essential that placement students act like employees rather than students who are just there to gain experience. Employers will appreciate you using your own initiative and seeking to gain the most from the experience