As part of our Graduate series of blogs, podcasts and infographics coming up throughout February, we wanted to explore the theme of staying at the University of Reading in a working capacity instead of studying. So if you love the Reading campus as much as us and are wondering what sort of opportunities you could pursue following graduation, read on!
Whilst your focused on the more visible aspects of the University, you may forget that we are a very diverse and large organisation hosting many different departments and functions (not just academic). For example, did you know we have large departments for legal, finance, IT, payroll, design & print, HR, procurement as well as Health and Safety and technical services amongst others.
A consideration to factor in is that the University does not offer it’s own graduate schemes, so the types of jobs you may start off in will be entry-level however don’t let this put you off, as the invaluable experience you could gain will be worth it in the long run (+ University of Reading is an excellent place to work and a great employer).
Some of our recent graduates (who also coincidentally had campus jobs throughout their time at Uni) have moved into roles such as:
- Assistant Student Recruitment Officer – Assisting with attracting students to the University, attending fairs, arranging and attending outreach activities and information sessions with comprehensive schools, co-ordinating school groups when they come to campus and overseeing teams of student mentors or ambassadors.
- Venue Lead – We’ve had a few of the exceptional bars team members go on to become assistant and venue leads after they graduated. Often responsible for the hiring and managing of new staff as well as policies and procedures linked to particular bars/establishments on campus. If you’re interested in events management or hospitality management this route is a good one to take.
- Careers Mentoring Assistant – One of the 2019 graduates is now a Careers Mentoring Assistant, maintaining relationships with external mentors, marketing and corresponding with students about the scheme and participating in wider careers projects.
- Events Assistant – This type of role often crops up in areas such as Careers, or Events and we’ve had recent graduates go into these roles, often before moving up to other positions at the University.
- Student Services Reception Administrator – Often a good entry-level role for those looking to go into a wide range of areas (from student services, administration, admissions or student information systems).
- Campus Jobs Administrator – Last but not least, one of our help desk team who graduated in 2019 became our Administrator during the summer months, they have now moved away and gone into a new role within a HR and Pensions consultancy.
If you are keen to work at the University, start looking for jobs early, if you are due to finish your exams in May/June, you’ll want to be set up to take on the job ASAP if you want to stay in Reading without a break. We recommend looking regularly on www.reading.ac.uk/jobs and setting up alerts for job areas you are interested in.
One thing that many graduates or upcoming graduates may be nervous about doing is contacting the informal contact details, we definitely recommend this and it often looks good at application stage, get your questions in early and find out if the job is really for you.
If you are considering an academia route, you may want to consider further study or sponsored PhD’s or following a PhD you may wish to look for the Postdoctoral research roles that the University regularly posts within the academic schools.
If you’re keen to keep a connection to Reading University or the Campus but don’t necessarily need to be a University of Reading employee, you may want to consider some other options:
- Enterprise Centre – This modern building is situated on the Earley Gate side of campus (near Agric, Art etc) and is home to 30 small/medium enterprises, particularly interesting for those looking to go into marketing, software development or digital consultancy as quite a few of the companies situated in the Enterprise centre are technology based. You can find a list of the companies in the building here: https://suite.endole.co.uk/explorer/postcode/rg6-6bu
Why not have a look at their individual webpages, are they hiring? Maybe follow them on Linkedin or head hunt their directors/managers and drop them a message showing your interest in their company and job opportunities.
- Knowledge Transfer Centre – This service is actually part of the University, they create research and project agreements with external companies and firms in the Thames Valley region whereby they create KTC Associate positions which are targeted at University of Reading graduates. The aim of these fixed term positions (usually 1-2 years) is to assist or perhaps even lead on a specific project or research assignment that a Company wishes to undertake with advice and guidance from the University. The great thing about these roles is they are well paid, you still retain a connection with the University and a member of the KTC team as well as gaining invaluable experience that employers will be looking for.
- University of Law/ College of Real Estate – Did you know that non-University of Reading providers rent space on our campuses? You may wish to look up the University of Law and also College of Real Estate which are both based out of London Road campus. These organisations may also have their own recruitment requirements.
However, if you really have a desire to do a Graduate Scheme and are solely interested in going into professional/ administrative positions within Higher Education then the Ambitious Futures Graduate Scheme is something to consider. Those successful go onto an 18-month scheme allowing them to carry out placements at their host University (generally the one they studied at), as well as placements at other establishments around the UK.
For further information check out the Ambitious Futures website here: https://www.ambitiousfutures.co.uk/
It can be an overwhelming time, figuring out what you want to do after graduation and starting to apply for roles. Don’t forget there is support available to you, make use of it! Speak to the Careers Team (you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to see them on 1st floor Carrington) as they’ll have dedicated careers consultant responsible for your subject area (or area of work you’re interested in) who can sit down with you and help you plan out a schedule for applying for roles and point you in the right direction for where to look.
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