Welcome Week is underway, and there are plenty of activities taking place on campus. After you’ve gone through the enrolment process and have officially become a Reading student, you’re free to attend and enjoy all of them. There is so much going on, that you really need to start using the University’s student portal, Me@Reading, asap. So go on there and check out the events listing!
It’s not only during Welcome Week that you can attend a slew of activities. There’s life beyond Welcome Week as well because that is when JobFest is taking place. This is the first important career-focused event that you’ll attend during your first weeks (back) at Reading.
Located in the Dome behind RUSU on Wednesday 3 October, 12pm-4pm, JobFest is a great opportunity to find ways to boost your employability skills as well as try something new. Whether you want to find a part-time job, sign up for a mentoring scheme or learn more about volunteering, here you’re bound to find a way to develop your skills and interests.
It is not too early to think about your future during the first few weeks at university. We’re not talking about finding your career path, securing an internship or a placement before you’ve even settled in at the university. Things like getting a part-time job to boost your bank balance, discovering volunteering opportunities or joining a student society are closer to what you can do now in your first year to prepare for the future.
If you’re a returning student, in your mid or final-year at Reading, JobFest is the perfect opportunity to discover how we do mentoring at Reading, get involved in volunteering projects, find out about entrepreneurship initiatives at Reading, meet and talk to students who did a Professional Placement Year or get started on your career in your final year.
Part-time Jobs Fair
If you’re interested in part-time work in Reading, you’ll be able to meet employers and discover available roles at the Part-Time Jobs Fair. Over 25 companies will be attending, so you’ll have plenty of vacancies to choose from. ‘Getting a part-time job in your first year is a great way to earn money, make friends and build up your work experience. If you are new to the area or don’t have any work experience, the University’s Campus Jobs service is a great place to start. We advertise paid part-time work in academic departments or central services such as Student Recruitment, Alumni and Catering.
You can apply for positions that work around your studies – some students prefer to apply for a part-time job where you can work a small number of hours each week (normally 5 to 10 hours, and no more than 20 hours per week), such as this IT Service Desk Operator vacancy now live.
Last year 1,962 students worked through Campus Jobs and between them were paid over £1.8million. This is a great time of year to apply for work with 361 students needed to fill 11 different roles currently available.’ (Jay Russell, Campus Jobs Manager). CampusJobs are pretty busy all year round, but they still have time to talk to everyone who’s interested in getting part-time work. They’re on Facebook and Twitter, have their own website and a physical office on the ground floor in Carrington. Pop in, say hello and snag a job.
If you’re more of a self-starter with entrepreneurship abilities, you’ll be surprised at the many initiatives available for you at Reading. Meet with HBS professionals at the Entrepreneurs’ Corner, and they’ll flag all opportunities, events and guest lectures that you can attend throughout the year. They also have many initiatives running during the year, so it’s worth asking about that as well and how you can get involved.
Careers and Employability Zone
It may be that you are in your first year and want to learn about taking the first steps in your career. You may be a mid-year student with very little work experience looking for a placement or a finalist who has no idea about what to do after graduation. At the Career Expert Bar, there’s a free place for everyone who wishes to get started on their career. Our Careers Consultants will be there, ready to answer all your career-related questions, discuss your plan of action or help you create one and point you in the right direction. Most importantly, they will be handing out tokens for free ice cream at our Ice cream van.
A big part of getting career-ready and being prepared for job applications is creating a LinkedIn profile. You can do that yourself. Have a look at these useful articles where our experts guide you through the process of showcasing your experience and highlighting your achievements. Your profile photo is quite important as well. We suggest you forget about selfies and photos with iconic landmarks form your last summer trip and instead have a professional photo taken at the LinkedIn Photobooth. Make sure you wear a white shirt or some other formal item of clothing.
Mentoring is very important for us at Reading, and, at the University, there are several mentoring schemes dedicated to students at different levels of study. STaR Mentoring is for first-year students who need support to settle in at the University and PAL is for all those who need help studying. In Careers, we have our own mentoring scheme dedicated to penultimate-year undergraduates, Thrive Mentoring. Getting involved provides you with a year of collaboration with a successful professional. Working with our mentors will enable you to create an environment where you can test out your aspirations and talk through any ideas you have about graduate life.
Whether it’s to find part-time work, discover volunteering opportunities or learn about resources to prepare for the future, you should definitely come along to JobFest. This is a great chance for you to find ways to boost your employability skills from the first day (back) at Reading. Make sure you take your time, look at as many opportunities as possible, talk to people, grab some flyers and freebies and enjoy yourself.