Employability within and after University.

This article will explore the wide range of employability services that the University of Surrey has established in order to help students throughout their degree. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to pick a university that truly cares about the careers of their graduates. This is something that our University excels at, with our careers team having won the placement award two years in a row! If you are a perspective student, or an existing student, feel free to stick along and learn how you could develop your employability skills throughout your time at the University of Surrey.

First and foremost, the University’s careers team is made up of kind and caring individuals who will genuinely listen to your issues or concerns. They will handle your queries effectively and will ensure that your needs are met. This is shown through the different appointments that can be arranged – a one-to-one CV consultation, a one-to-one cover letter consultation and even interview practice. This just goes to show how keen we are to ensure that students feel as comfortable as they can when graduating in such a competitive job climate. Personally, I have found the CV consultation to be invaluable, the individual went through my CV beforehand and came to the meeting with personalized advice! They went through the entirety of my CV and helped me sharpen the content and develop my employability skills. I now know how to write an effective CV thanks to the careers team. In addition to that, the University of Surrey Website has a pdf file all about this, which can be accessed here.

One cannot speak about the University of Surrey’s careers team without bringing in the topic of placement. Our University prides itself with the quality of placements that are available to students. Through Surrey Pathfinder, you can browse all the opportunities that you can take as a student. The large majority of students will be able to undergo either a placement year, or a year studying abroad. Both of these choices come with an array of help and guidance, which is shown through the two awards that the University of Surrey have won this year. In 2020, we won the Best University Placement Service (Over 500 Placements), along with the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) award. However, this doesn’t mean that we will become complacent. As an institution, we want to continuously better ourselves and provide students with more and more opportunities.

As mentioned before, the Surrey Pathfinder website, gives students the opportunity to independently search for the right job. As a student, you have full control over where you go, who you work for and when you start. There are no strict deadlines and there is plenty of guidance to increase your chances of securing the position that you want. The Pathfinder website has full-time jobs, which appeal more to graduating students, as well as part-time/student positions, which could be helpful to the students who would like to get some work experience whilst at University. Moreover, the University dedicates a week every year to employability, where no lectures or seminars take place, allowing you to focus on prospects of employability. This week allows you to take part in placement talks, LinkedIn workshops and other extra-curriculum events. The fact that the University dedicates a whole week to employability, in conjunction to delivering career services all year round, represents the ethos that we hope to establish. An atmosphere where students aren’t dreading the working world, but are instead excited to overcome struggles and better themselves as young adults.

Additionally, there is a section of the University’s website titled ‘Surrey Careers blog’ which gives existing students the chance to write about their experience. This gives you a first-hand account of the various topics that concern students. You can find articles ranging from ‘Using LinkedIn as a student’ to ‘My Professional Training Year Placement at the university of Surrey Students’ Union’.  Lastly, on Pathfinder, you can find numerous workshops and webinars run by the University alongside big businesses. This gives you an insight into various topics such as ‘How to keep motivated and resilient during your jobs search’ and ‘Everything you need to know about virtual assessment centres’. As you can see, the services that the University offers just keeps growing and growing. It would be impossible to list them all.

For the last section of the article, I will be linking all the important emails and numbers that one might want in order to get in contact with these services. The official University of Surrey website has all this information and more, so feel free to check it out! If you’d like to email the careers team yourself, you’ll be able to contact them at careers@surrey.ac.uk. If you’d prefer to call them, they can be contacted through +44 (0)1483 689001.