University of Surrey is currently ranked 6th in the Guardian. One of the reasons is because Surrey is working on improving students’ employability and 97% of our 2013 graduates were in work (or further study) six months after graduation.
First, the professional placement programme is a popular choice for students. Professional placement year happens between year 2 and year 3 which allow us to work for a year and gain actual working experiences. With over 2, 300 partner organisations offering placement vacancies to Surrey’s students, most of us can secure a paid or unpaid placement during the year. After talking with some previous students who have done placement year, I find it essential to gain working experience in order to increase our future employability. By working full-time, it also provide us a chance to understand ourselves and to guide our future career path. As Hong Kong student or international student, frankly speaking, it is quite difficult for us to find placement jobs. Yet, Surrey provides a wide range of supports to help us to secure jobs.
The career service checks students’ CVs and cover letters and give students clear, direct information and advice on how our CV and cover letter should be improved. Besides, each faculty has their own career consultant to carrying out mock interviews and giving out advice on 1-1 basis.
For more information, feel free to check out: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/careers/
Besides, for us, students of sociology department, we got a “Professional Training Year” module. In this module, there are lectures on different skills such as writing CVs, understanding ourselves and what jobs suits our personality, interviewing skills, etc. All these skills are important during our job-seeking process. Our module tutor also supports students in our department by advertising placement vacancies, giving us advice and sharing experiences of previous students.
Lastly, while students usually start finding for placement during the first semester, some students receive placement offers until summer. Therefore, if you really want to gain experiences through professional training years, don’t be afraid of being rejected and keep trying!