8.2 Making the Most of Your Time at University
Alongside the achievement of a good degree, employers are looking for students who have maximised the use of their time at university and got involved in a wide range of extracurricular activities. Many students help in the running of societies which helps to build personal skills such as communication, leadership, problem solving and team working.
Work experience in general can greatly increase your chances of receiving a graduate job offer. To explore opportunities for gaining experience both on and off campus, visit our Experience Portal: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/services/careers/workexperience.
Both employers and postgraduate course providers will expect you to be knowledgeable and assertive about the intellectual and personal skills which you have gained during your degree course. They are concerned about what you can do, in addition to what you have studied, and will require you to substantiate the claims you make when making applications. They will look at your past experiences, choices and behaviour to find evidence of these skills. If you want to access a range of skills workshops around both academic and professional skills, check out http://www.warwick.ac.uk/services/skills.
If you are hoping to find employment in the UK after graduation, and English is not your first language, think about ways in which you can improve your conversational English. To be successful at an interview you will need very good verbal communication skills, and sometimes our international students – despite having excellent academic results – will not be able to progress beyond this point because their spoken English isn’t good enough.
The Centre for Applied Linguistics (CAL) runs classes for our non-native speaking students: see ‘Learning English’ at http://www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al. You can apply what you have learnt by joining clubs and societies and regularly mixing with
students who are native English speakers.