What’s that we hear? The sound of students across the country opening up their A-Level results? The screams and shouts and tears of joy (hopefully) as you realise that all those hours of highlighting text books and writing notes on tiny revision cards has paid off. You’ve got the grades! You’re off to study at the best university in the country, Queen Mary!
So what now? We know that this is both an exciting and potentially scary time for all of you coming to join us in September. But don’t worry – lovely bunch of people that we are we have put together a handy little selection of tips and advice to help you prepare for what’s in store.
‘University is all about experience. Joining societies, playing sports, exploring London, taking interesting classes, meeting people from around the world, volunteering, learning new skills – this is what life as a student is about. So try to be open-minded and participate as much as you can in everything that Queen Mary and London has to offer. Not only will you then look back on this as possibly the best period of your life (it’s a cliche but it’s true!) but you will also learn so much that will help you when it comes to careers and life after uni.’ Shannon Diggory – Employer Engagement Assistant, Careers & Enterprise Centre
‘If part-time work is going to be essential for you, try to start preparing for this before you even enrol. Come September the Careers & Enterprise Centre is inundated with hundreds of students looking for part-time work. Get ahead of the game by checking out our jobs board, Job Online, before you arrive. The Mile End and Whitechapel campuses are not far from Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford which has dozens of clothes shops, restaurants, coffee shops and other retail units. We’re also a stone’s throw away from the financial heart of the city and lots of potential office jobs. Start having a look around and seeing what part-time work is available.’ Heather Campbell – Information Assistant, Careers & Enterprise Centre
‘Get involved in our Students’ Unions activities. We have over 200 student led groups to choose from in Societies, Rag, Student Media, Sport and Volunteering. The first step is joining, then later on take the opportunity to lead one of these student groups. As well as being fun, rewarding and a great way to make friends, more employers are looking for this sort of experience from graduates, which means you can develop yourself through extra-curricular activity you enjoy.’ Alvin Ramsamy – Societies Manager, QMSU
‘Since starting the Enterprise Programme in 2012 we’ve awarded funding to over 40 student entrepreneurs, and helped hundreds more to kick-start their businesses via advice, training and networking events. Students have pitched a variety of ideas to us, ranging from social enterprises aimed at increasing diversity in the medical profession, to ideas for new social apps with ambitions to rival Instagram and Facebook. We want to inspire more students to get involved in enterprise either whilst studying at Queen Mary, or after they graduate. So if you have ideas, no matter how early stage, come and speak to the Careers & Enterprise Team to let us help you take your first step.’ Rachel Brown – Enterprise Coordinator, Careers & Enterprise Centre
‘If you’re a language student and are thinking of working during your year abroad, try to gain as much work experience as possible during your first year at QMUL. Speak to Careers about internships, part-time jobs and volunteering opportunities. Get involved with university life too by joining a QMUL society through the Student Union. It’s all great experience and will put you in good stead by the time you start applying for jobs abroad in your 2nd year, as you will be competing against your European counterparts most of whom already have 2 or 3 internships under their belt.’ Birgitta Hall – Year Abroad Development Manager, School of Languages, Linguistics and Film
‘Before you join us at QMUL something to do is take a look at your CV. We’ve got a great guide available here and between packing your essentials and waving goodbye to your parents take a look at things you could put on your CV. There are plenty of great opportunities for part time work on campus, and we’ll be showcasing these at our event ‘Experience Works’ on the evening of 2 October in The Octagon. Having a CV in time for this will be very useful! Also take a look at some of the vacancies on our website www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/qrecruit where we find temp and internship opportunities for QMUL students and graduates.’ James Weaver – Employer Engagement Manager, Careers & Enterprise Centre
And if all these tips aren’t enough, we’ve put together this handy video so that you can hear from some of our students about their time at Queen Mary.