A level results day – getting ready to join Queen Mary

It is the big day!  The day when a nation of local photojournalists ask excited people to jump up in front of their camera clutching a piece of paper!


I must admit that thinking back to my A-Level results day still brings me out in a cold sweat, but luckily I ended up on the course I wanted due to the work experience I’d undertaken all the way through Sixth Form.

Anyway, you’ve done pretty well haven’t you?

You’ve been accepted to join us at Queen Mary, University of London and things are about to get pretty exciting (and perhaps scary!) over the next couple of weeks.

Well if you’ve got some time before you travel to Mile End for the first day we suggest you spend about half a day doing a little preparation to help with getting some part time work. Not only will this give you some extra cash and help you meet new people, it will also help you develop skills (like team work) that are important for finding work when you finish at Queen Mary.

I’ve asked a few people what their top tips are for students about to join us at Queen Mary so here goes….

Volunteering is a great way of making a difference in the local community as well as meeting new people and developing skills and experiences that potential employers are looking for in graduates.  There are so many different volunteering opportunities to get involved in that there is something to suit everyone. Take a look at www.qmsu.org/volunteering to take a look at what’s on offer, and apply now before the Freshers’ rush!

Sarah Gifford, Volunteer Manager at QMSU Volunteering

In the first couple of weeks it is sensible to try and find some part time work. We have an event for on campus roles called ‘Experience Works’ on 2 October. Before you come to QM make sure you get a CV together. A guide is available here http://www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/students/resources/index.html

James Weaver, Employer Engagement Manager

Check out QTemps which is great way of finding short term paid work on campus and locally all the way through the academic year. Keep an eye on www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/qrecruit for the latest vacancies

Toby Yeung, QTemps Coordinator

When you arrive at university look for clubs and societies where you can get stuck in doing the things that you love: drama, football, computer games … whatever it is that you enjoy!  Being an active part of clubs and societies is not only a great way to make friends, it’s also something that employers look for and can enhance your CV when you are looking for part-time work or work experience.

Abi Sharma, Deputy Head of QM Careers

The graduate job market is a competitive one so you need to start preparing for it from day one at University. Ludicrous but true! Most organisations expect graduates to show an interest in their firm that involves more than looking at their website. One way to take action now is to attend career events which will be listed here, following the employers that interest you. A cover letter that shows you have engaged with them throughout your degree will really help

Dr Tracy Bussoli, Careers Consultant for Researchers (PhDs and Postdocs)

Volunteering in your local community is a great way to boost your CV credentials whilst also giving you invaluable transferable skills to take with you into university. If you’re struggling to find an opportunity that interests you, then create one! Think about developing or creating your own community projects over summer. This shows real leadership and innovation and puts you in a good position when it comes to developing your skills further in society committees once you join QMUL

Sarah Sarwar- President QMSU 2013-14

If you are an international student, make sure you enrol in some activities and societies that have a good mix of different nationalities and cultures – this will ensure you get the most benefit out of studying in Queen Mary plus a great opportunity to practice your English

Dr Maya Mendiratta , Careers Consultant to School of Physics & Astronomy and the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.

As the coordinator of QProjects, a local work experience scheme at Queen Mary, I work with a number of local charities and organisations offering placements and most of them want a QM student to start in September. To even be considered for most roles, you have to start looking and start applying early! http://www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/workexperience/QM%20projects/index.html

Lindsey Shirah, QProjects Coordinator

So there you go, that should get you started. Also keep an eye out for Insight Days. These are great ways to find out about some of the larger organisations that recruit from Queen Mary, and can be a handy first step to getting an internship. We’ve details of this on our website at – http://www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/students/58419.html

See you in a few weeks!

James Weaver
Employer Engagement Manager
QM Careers & Enterprise Centre


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