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How to plan for a career while at uni

How to plan for a career while at uni

While at uni, planning for a career may feel like the last thing on your mind. However, it is worth having a think so that when you finish you don’t end up overwhelmed by the possibilities. Whether you are in first year or your final year it is good to have a rough idea of the direction you would like to take after finishing. Here is a list of a few pointers to get you thinking about your career!

  • Make a careers appointment at your university. Check the uni website for how to do this. This is a great first port of call to get you thinking about what area you might like to go into and to chat to a specialist.


  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses. This is important to help you choose what field might be best for you given your abilities. Some people are better at management, others at administrative tasks. Have a think about where your best efforts can be applied.


  • Go on prospects and research the skills required for your chosen area. They have lots of information on all the skills and training required for many graduate jobs.


  • Find a summer internship. This is great for gaining industry experience. Once you know which field you want to go into, see if you can set up some work-shadowing or work experience in your uni city.


  • Find part time work while at uni (obviously while prioritising your studies). This is good for general work experience and will show any future employer that you are good at time-keeping, punctuality and managing the stress of uni and a job. It will reap endless rewards afterwards!


  • Chat to your course leader or personal tutor about what others have gone on to do who did your subject. This way you will get specific subject oriented advice and perhaps even find someone who has done exactly what you see yourself doing.


  • Attend careers fares and workshops. Most universities hold several of these each year, often representatives from various companies will attend to advertise roles and explain how the industry works. Dress up nicely and bring along your CV, you never know, they may be interested in setting up some work experience.


  • Perfect your CV. This is important for applying to jobs especially graduate jobs. You can seek expert advice at the uni careers service and also edit it yourself.


  • Sign up to any extra training courses or work towards extra qualifications you might need. You may even decide you want to start a business or take a different route. Use the summer holidays to develop your skills in other areas – this will give you a huge advantage in competitive fields.


  • Have some good references to hand. Know who you will ask when applying for jobs. Choose your personal tutor or others affiliated with the university and keep them in the loop when you are applying for work.

Feeling on top of this should help you enjoy your uni experience all the more, you can relax a bit knowing that you have some direction!

Holly Smith Editor