Category Archives: Finalists

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Support and opportunities for your final year

In a year quite unlike any other…. we’re here to help you as you prepare for your final-year exams, assignments and dissertations, as well as helping you to choose the career path that’s right for you – whether you want to progress to postgraduate study or want to stand out in the jobs market.

If you are in your final year of study and need support with what to do next, don’t worry, help is at hand. We have professional teams of staff who are dedicated to helping you make the most of your time here at Kent and to help you reach your potential.

Information Services have teamed up with the Student Learning and Advisory Service and the Careers and Employability Service to offer a wide range of advice and support, from one-to-one appointments, skills development, careers events, presentations and workshops, digital resources, online guides and lots more.

More information

  • Careers and Employability Service
    • career planning, job hunting and applications, postgraduate study, volunteering, employability points
  • Information Services
    • subject support from our liaison librarians, library resource guides, research skills, digital library, software to help you study, exam help reading list, careers and employability reading list
  • Student Learning and Advisory Service
    • one to one academic advice appointments, maths and stats clinics, online study guides and video tutorials, bespoke embedded study skills sessions and academic peer mentoring (APM) training.

Check out our Finalist webpages for more information, events and support in your final year.

Celebrity CVs

Creating a great graduate CV

If you are starting to apply for graduate jobs, one of the first things you need to do is update your CV! Creating a stand-out CV is crucial when getting through the initial stage of the recruitment process. You want to make sure your CV is concise, accurate and targeted. Look at a few of our key points below, to guide you when updating your CV.

  • Accuracy. Ensure your CV is accurate and consistent, in content, grammar and spelling. If your CV is littered with errors, it could cost you an interview!
  • Concise. A UK CV should be no more than two A4 pages in length. However, if you are applying for work outside of the UK, check the country’s own requirements, as CV formats differ from country to country.
  • Tailored. Make sure you target your CV to the specific job you are applying to. Review the job specification and take note of any key skills or values they are looking for, evidencing these, where possible. Directly align specific achievements on your CV with the specific challenges of the role, to make it easy to see why you would be a good candidate.
  • Include your degree. Your degree should be at the top of your Education section, which includes your predicted or awarded grade. If your degree is related to the job, you could detail relevant modules, key projects, your dissertation title, and practical skills gained.
  • Highlight any relevant experience. In your work experience section include your most relevant experience first. If you have undertaken a placement or internship whilst at university, remember to update your CV with these experiences. You could use an impact heading to distinguish relevant and non-relevant experience e.g., Marketing Experience.
  • Include non-relevant work too! Employers want to know about your range of work experiences, and how you have developed your soft skills. Transferable skills such as teamwork and communication can be easily demonstrated through bar or retail work. However, if you have lots of experience, don’t feel you have to include everything, just include the most recent.
  • Professional development section. If you have attended any insight days, completed additional courses, a virtual internship or took part in industry competitions, which are relevant to the role, you could highlight these here.
  • Positions of responsibility section. If you have held a key role outside of your studies, such as involvement within a society (e.g., President or Events Officer) or a volunteering role – include these! They are great examples of extra-curricular activities, which can show some valuable skills including, leadership and collaborative working.
  • Use positive language and action verbs. Try using words like organised, delivered, implemented, and exceeded, to start your sentences, rather than pro-nouns.
  • Quantify your statements. Use facts, figures, and percentages, to give impact and build credibility to your statements. For example, ‘Reviewed 30 – 40 articles, per month’.

If you would like your CV reviewed, the Careers and Employability Service offer daily Quick Advice appointments, which are bookable online. Additionally, attend one of our ‘Creating a great CV’ workshops for more advice or visit our CV webpage for templates and further information.

screen shot of app

App for quick access to student advice

Check out the new MOSAIC app for students. The app brings together a collection of short videos for new, returning and final year students. Videos include advice from both staff and students about support and opportunities available at the University of Kent.

If you have feedback or would like to contribute to the app, please email studentsuccessproject@kent.ac.uk.

Student standing on beach

Student success: opportunities through the Employability Points Scheme

Business student Keerttana Sankaran shares how getting involved in the Employability Points scheme lead her to secure a summer intern position and then a part-time position during her final year.

How did you learn about the Employability Points scheme?

“I was first introduced to the Employability Points (EP) Scheme during my first year of studying at the University of Kent. Though my interest in earning points peaked during my second year, I was quite interested in entering the EP Scheme from year one. By attending numerous workshops and talks organised by the EP scheme, as well as my role as the Student Course Representative for stage 2 BBA Business Analytics and my role as the Vice-President of the Kent Marketing Society, I was able to acquire 500+ points.”

Did opportunities arise from the Employability Points scheme?

“I was offered a summer internship position at Sustainability Monitor after a successful application and interview process. As I was very interested in the role description and passionate about both marketing and research, I accepted the role of Digital Marketing and Research Analyst.

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, many student placements and summer internships were negatively affected. However, I was very lucky to have been offered a role at a company that decided to move forward with a virtual internship. Due to which, I had been able to get right into providing valuable insight into the job from day one, as I worked so closely with the marketing and research team virtually. Thus, opening up opportunities to gain technical skills like Slack and Trello, that were key to my internship.

From a marketing point of view, I had the opportunity to observe and assist with a launch project from start to finish. I was involved in tasks that involved qualitative and quantitative research and analysing data to produce reports using my excel and business analytics knowledge. I have also accumulated insights on other topics, such as research database, machine learning and taxonomy.

At the end of the summer internship, I was offered a part-time position to continue as a Digital Marketing and Research Analyst. I was very pleased to accept this role and continue my work at Sustainability Monitor.”

Would you recommend getting involved with the Employability Points scheme and why?

“I would highly recommend joining the Employability Points (EP) scheme. Especially now with an unstable Covid-19 situation the EP scheme allows students to access vital information regarding employability in the current market. From networking skills, CV writing to seminars that aid international students find employment. The EP scheme helps all students form all courses across the University to improve their chances of employment while encouraging students to try and learn from new and challenging experiences to gain points and redeem rewards in the form of work experience.”

-Keerttana Sankaran, Final year, Business Administration with Business Analytics

Learn more about how you can get involved with the EP Scheme. For each co-curricular activity completed, students can claim ‘Employability Points’, which can be cashed-in for the chance to apply for exclusive internships, work placements, vouchers and more.

To do list, pen and glasses

Applying to graduate schemes and jobs

As we come towards the end of a very different autumn term, everyone is in need of a well-deserved rest! If however, during the vacation period, you are looking to apply for graduate opportunities, below we have a few ways in which you can do this and how to prepare for the application process!

Graduate Schemes
If you are in your final year, you might be applying to graduate schemes. Graduate schemes are structured training programmes, providing you with responsibility early on, skills development and hands-on experience. Opportunities for 2021 start, are still available to apply to, but deadlines are coming up soon!

  • Where to find graduate schemes? careers.kent.ac.uk, Prospects, Milkround, TARGETjobs, Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and Bright Network all advertise schemes!
  • Access our Finding a graduate job workshop on Moodle: DP4450 for advice when applying
  • Attend our skills workshops to prepare for the assessments (virtual assessment centres, application forms, interview workshops coming up!). Book online Target Connect

Graduate Jobs
It’s important to remember that graduate schemes aren’t the only option for graduates, and in fact only a small percentage go on to a graduate scheme. You can find graduate jobs in big and small / medium sized businesses, across all industries. Entry-level roles can be available all year round, so keep looking on job sites for opportunities as we head into the spring term.

  • Where to find graduate jobs? Our Find a Job webpage has many useful job links.
  • Tip! Ensure you CV is up to date before you start applying! You want to make sure your CV includes your degree, any relevant experience (internships / placements), as well as, any extra-curricular activities that you have undertaken whilst at university (e.g. societies, Ambassador and Student Rep roles, volunteering).

Preparing for the application process

If you are in the midst of going through the recruit process, you could be asked to undertake various assessments. These can range from psychometric tests, video interviews and assessment centres. To help you prepare and feel confident when completing these, we offer many opportunities to practice!

  • Practice psychometric tests and video interviews via Graduates First. Practice numerical, verbal, situational judgement, game-based and assessment exercises are free to use! Login on the Graduates First website
  • Have your CV / Application reviewed by an Adviser. We have online appointments available during term time and the vacation period. Book a Quick Advice appointment
  • Attend a virtual skills workshop to help you prepare for interviews, CVs and selection tests. Workshops are running until the 18 December!
  • Book a practice interview with an Adviser, to help you with your interview technique, and receive feedback for self-development. Book a Practice Interview
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Gaining experience during lockdown

If you are looking to gain some work experience, don’t let lockdown deter you! We have put together a few ways in which you can gain experience and develop your employability skills, many of which can be done remotely.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a rewarding way to gain experience and develop your employability skills. There are numerous charities and organisations looking for help, including remotely. A few of these include:

  • NHS Responder Volunteers
  • Canterbury and Herne Bay Volunteer Centre
  • United Nations Volunteers
  • Translators without Borders
  • Zooniverse – research projects
  • Be My Eyes
  • TechSoup

You can also log your volunteering hours with the Kent Volunteering Scheme!

Virtual Internships

Virtual internships are flexible, online opportunities, where you can undertake remote experience. Many virtual internships exist in areas such as tech, marketing and social media roles. Some employers will give you project work to complete over a period of time, and you may have regular catch-ups with the employer.

Others are more flexible, allowing you to complete them in your own time, such as The Forage, which offers free open-access virtual internships. Great for building your commercial awareness! Opportunities include those in Law, Design, Tech, Investment Management, Banking and more!

Courses

There are lots of online courses you can explore, many of which are free. Whether that be something to complement your degree, or you want to learn something completely new, such as coding, a language or digital marketing. Find these on sites such as Coursera, The Open University and Future Learn.

We also offer free courses through Study Plus. We have a variety of online workshops, bookable online, covering a range of topics including: meditation, resilience, project management and photography!

You are not only learning something new, but having this on your CV will show your professional development outside of your degree.

View more resources for gaining experience, on our How to develop your skills at home guide.

You can also access the guide, plus all of our other resources and slides on our Moodle page: DP4450.

Multicoloured pencils joined to make a circle

Lockdown: Study Plus free online events and workshops

During lockdown, why not make the most of all the online Study Plus and Careers events? Develop your skills and meet others with similar interests.

Session include Photography, Editing and Proofreading and Resolving Conflict.

Wednesday 11 November 14.00-15.30 – Introduction to Project Management 

Projects are happening all around us and in the workplace it is likely that you will find yourself either involved in a project or managing one.

The aim of this course is to share some tools and approaches that will help you set-up and deliver your project successfully.

Saturday 14 November – 10.00-14.00 – Emergency First Aid 

An introduction to Emergency first aid. This will be a 4 hour event.
Please note we have limited spaces available so book soon to avoid missing out!

To promote the concept of continuous personal development, positive curiosity, and resilience to succeed.

  • What is a growth mindset
  • Fixed mindset v Growth Mindset – 5 key areas
  • The power of ‘yet’
  • The role of feedback
  • Define what it is and why it is important
  • Common barriers to good time management
  • Understand different types of time management issues, strategies, techniques and tools to address these.
  • Know what their own time management issues are
  • Leave with practical plan specific to their needs

We are living in exceptional times. Lockdown took us all surprise and for many of us it meant reimagining the way we work and manage our lives. But as we ease into this ‘new normal’ what are we doing to ensure that our approaches are as inclusive and emotionally intelligent as possible? You are graduating into a world that is more digital and global than ever before, and this session has been created to give you space to think about your role in making that space accessible and safe for you, and others. This session covers:

  • Why does being inclusive matter: the ethical and business case
  • Power and Privilege and its impact on our working lives
  • The Equality Act 2010 and the legal context
  • Harm reduction: action planning and behavioural changes

No matter who you are, if you interact with people there are bound to be times when we are required to have difficult conversations. Most people would rather not have the conversation, will try to avoid it if possible or hope it goes away, or sometimes we may address the situation ineffectively and potentially make it worse. This course is designed to give you the skills and confidence you need to have those challenging conversations in an effective way.

By attending this course, you will learn:

  • the common reasons why we avoid having difficult conversations
  • principles that will help you get the best out of challenging situations
  • understand common motivations with challenging behaviour
  • how to be assertive

Many organisations now expect all employees to help write quality web content. These skills are a great asset to any company and your career, whatever your academic background and job role.

Whether writing web pages, a corporate blog or helping to build a social media campaign, this session will give you the basics for writing compelling online content. It is highly interactive including group discussion and practical exercises.

During this taster course you will:

  1. Be provided with tools to help you identify your core values, i.e. what matters to you.
  2. Experience increased clarity as to your core values and feel more connected to your own potential and deeper sense of purpose.
  3. Be provided with tools to build self-confidence and curiosity to approach experiences and feedback from a positive and constructive angle.

Learning Outcomes:

  • How you can use the rule of thirds to compose your images
  • How to use layering and  negative space in your images
  • When to change the aperture on your images

The focus of this session the focus will be around language, phrasing, championing and challenging. We will share best practice models, research and advice to ensure attendees feel confident to talk about Equality and Identity in an inclusive and thoughtful way. In the workshop we will explore:

  • Can I say that? Looking at current news stories and challenges
  • Exploring what we mean by ‘tone of voice’ in organisations
  • Guiding principles and best practice
  • Weaponised language and reclaimed words
  • Surgery session

This 2-hour workshop course will provide you with useful communication and leadership skills that will enhance your ability to build relationships and gain respect.

By attending this workshop, you will learn:

  • practical skills to build your confidence when communicating both personally and professionally
  • how to communicate like an influential leader
  • what is needed to build rapport.

Editing and proofreading are transferable skills that will be valued in any job role. At work, you will need to check your own emails and reports. Your employer may also ask you to check other people’s work as part of your role. This session will give you the skills, tools and resources to check written work effectively. It is highly interactive including group discussion and practical exercises.

By the end of the session, participants will have:

  • Understood the need to manage yourself, the team, and the task!
  • Examined their own personality style and therefore how they may manage
  • Explored Problem Solving and Decision-Making tools.
During the second part of this taster course, you will explore how your key values from part 1 are crucial to your chosen career and how to approach your careers and job search from a place of creativity, authenticity and possibility.

Check our Target Connect to see all the Study Plus and careers events on offer. 

Need a place on campus to join online lectures or seminars?

Do you need somewhere on campus to watch a lecture online? Want to join an online seminar but don’t have anywhere to go?

Whether you need a student PC or have your own laptop/device, there are plenty of study spaces on both campuses you can use as an alternative to the libraries.

Study Hubs

There are Study Hubs across the Canterbury campus with socially distanced PCs, laptop spaces and printers. View the Study Hubs map. View the Guide to Study Space and PCs on the Medway campus.

Teaching rooms and PC rooms

You can also use lecture theatres, seminar rooms and PC rooms while they are not being used for teaching. You can now view live room availability online:

If you are already outside a room and want to see if it’s available for you to use, scan the QR code outside the room and it will show you!

QR code on teaching room door

Phone screen after scanning QR code

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Mental health support

There’s a lot going on in the world at the moment, and students are being faced with challenges not yet seen before, which might make you more vulnerable to feeling anxious, depressed or just low.

Whether or not you have struggled in the past with mental health issues, take a bit of time to actively focus on your wellbeing and remember that whatever you’re going through, support is available at Kent.

What mental health issues can the University’s Wellbeing Team help with?

The Wellbeing Team can help with issues such as stress and anxiety, panic attacks, depression, eating difficulties, sleep problems, low self-esteem, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Is there any professional mental health support offered by the University?

The Wellbeing Team consists of Mental Health Advisers, Counsellors and Student Mentors. Mental Health Advisers are specialist practitioners who can offer mental health advice and support. They can provide short term focused interventions to promote wellbeing and support students to develop coping strategies, and help put in place an ILP or ‘inclusive learning plan’ if required.

We also have a free confidential Counselling service for all Kent students.

What about additional support?

There are many ways you can access mental health support. Togetherall offers 24/7 online mental health support overseen by qualified therapists. You can also give Canterbury Nightline a call to speak to a trained student volunteer about anything that may be troubling you during the night.

There are lots of charities such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness who have many online resources. See our mental health webpage for more ways to access support.

Are there any wellbeing events or groups I can join at Kent?

Take a look at the Student Support and Wellbeing events calendar to meet others and find ways to support your mental health. There are regular events such as the online Wellbeing Café, International Wellbeing Group, student mindfulness sessions, social groups for autistic students and more.

Don’t forget to follow the Student Support and Wellbeing Team on social media @UniKentSSW for mental health and wellbeing free activities, events, peer support groups and online resources.

What should I do if I need urgent mental health support?

Please see our emergency support webpage for information on urgent mental health support.

How to make the most out of Progress Profiles

Students have told us that it can be hard to know how well their studies are going. We created Progress Profiles to give our students a clear understanding of their performance. We think it is important to have regular conversations about your studies with your Academic Adviser. Progress Profiles can help focus these conversations.

Your Progress Profile is now available via a web based platform. It’s a summary of your academic progress to date and it shows your attendance and attainment. Your Progress Profile can be accessed directly from the Student Guide.

Screen shot of Student Guide showing Progress Profiles link in menu bar

Need help using Progress Profiles? Watch the video below for a detailed explanation of how Progress Profiles work and how you can make the most of them.

 

What do I do if I feel like I need some support?

We hope your Progress Profile will help you feel enabled to steer your studies. However, we recognise that in some cases it may make you feel like you need some support. Please do not feel like you need to work through this alone. We encourage you to speak to your Academic Adviser or to take a look at our student help webpages to see how you can access further support.