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How Newcastle University has helped me on my career path

Before I started my Accounting, Finance and Strategic Investment MSc, I also studied my Marketing and Management BSc at Newcastle University. I am sad to admit that I did leave it quite late in my undergraduate degree to connect with the careers service and start my career planning, as the thought of the phrase ‘career path’ at the time filled me with dread.

Changing direction

I chose to study my current masters as I wasn’t 100% sure of the career path I wanted to take after my bachelors.

Although I loved the creativity of marketing, I’ve always been interested in mathematics and statistics too. As a result, I took every opportunity in my bachelors to take statistics and data driven optional modules to keep up these skills.

During the final semester of my bachelors, I decided to put these mathematical skills to greater use, by applying for an Accountancy masters. Once I made this decision, I went straight to the careers department, and started working with them on my masters application.

Accessing the Careers Team and getting tailored support

The process of seeing a Careers Adviser is so easy – I simply went to the careers service in Kings Gate and waited about 15-20 minutes for an appointment. You can even book a virtual appointment online which I would highly recommend.

The advisers are there to help with any type of careers support. On this occasion I met with a careers adviser to go over my CV and Personal Statement. They gave me great feedback which led to a complete reshuffle of my CV, and directed me to valuable resources, such as the skills and job profiles included on the PROSPECTS website to improve my CV further.

I took their feedback on board and nailed the CV for my application. I then set to work on my personal statement, using valuable resources on the careers service website and again went to see a careers consultant to review my personal statement.

This support increased my confidence in my application (and I got accepted!) and since then, it has proved most helpful – putting the hard work into improving my CV last year has greatly reduced my time in planning the next part of my career journey and completing graduate job applications this year.

This brilliant support from the careers service was in fact one of the reasons that I chose to stay at Newcastle University for my masters, although you can continue to benefit from this service for up to 3 years after you graduate.

Focusing in on the ideal Graduate Job

I have enjoyed my Accounting masters but, during this process, I’ve realised that the creativity of marketing is actually more important to me than using my numerical skills. Knowing this, I visited the Careers Service website again to further explore all the jobs available within marketing.

Personally, LinkedIn has been one of the most useful tools in my job search – I have been able to build a brilliant network of students and industry professionals. This has allowed myself to explore roles that other marketing alumni are in, to find out what interests me the most.

Recently I have actually managed to find a role – Account Manager – that suits all my key skills (customer service, data analytics, numerical and problem-solving skills, combined with my creativity) and I hope to land this or a similar graduate role.

This has made me realise that maybe my numerical skills are in fact more suited to data analytics and statistics than accountancy. I probably wouldn’t have realised I was suited to this role without studying my masters.

Through my research, I also feel I would be suited to the innovative and vibrant work environment of a large organisation with clear career progression.

Preparing for video interview and assessments

In the process of applying to these roles and graduate schemes, the careers service website has again been most useful in assisting with resources to prepare for video interviews and assessments.

I have particularly found their resources on key skills for different roles, mentioned above, useful as over the past 6 months I have been applying to a number of different job titles and tailoring my applications and preparations for each. Their practice interviews for video interviews have also been most useful in allowing myself to review my own performance and make improvements.

Next Steps

In writing this blog I myself have identified 3 key ways that I can take further advantage of the facilities offered by the university to make myself more employable and assist in setting myself on the next steps in my career path to gain a graduate job.

In the coming months I intend to:

  1. further improve my interviewing skills by using their video interviewing tools, but a 1:1 session with a career consultant after exams would also be a good idea to help in this process and something I have not already explored.
  2. further explore areas such as ‘handling potential job offers’ that I have only considered so far when writing this blog, so that I am prepared for when that day hopefully comes, and aware of appropriate salaries for different roles.
  3. seek advice from the Careers Service in gaining a CIM qualification, having made the decision that marketing is definitely for me, and take advantage of the exemptions my undergraduate degree grants me.

Top Tips for you!

If, like me, the thought of a ‘career path’ fills you with fear, ignore the dreaded question ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years’ time?’ and instead think ‘What next?’

In other words, what do you need to research? What do you need to do in the coming weeks or months? Focus on what you first need to achieve – is that a qualification, a job or a placement? If you focus on the small steps in your career path, from my experience the big 5 or 10 year question will become clearer.

Finally, my No.1 top tip would be: take full advantage of the resources provided to you as a Newcastle University student, and fully explore your career options, as you may discover interests or roles completely different to those you initially aspired for.

Remember, it is just as important to rule out undesirable career paths along the way as it is to focus on finding your ‘dream job’.

Finally, like myself in writing this, consider 3 key ways that you can take advantage of the careers service in the coming weeks and months to help yourself on a more clear and focused career path. You can do it!

 

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