I thought it would be useful therefore to give you a few general recommendations about how you can improve your job prospects while you’re at university.
1. Choose a top university with a worldwide reputation.
Studying at a top university will give your degree extra recognition from employers. It’s good to check with people already in the industry - they might be able to give you advice on the good schools for their area. You can see Cardiff’s high rankings and worldwide impact on the Research website: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/rae/results/
2. Study hard.
It may seem obvious but applying yourself and making the most of opportunities will give you an extra-edge over other candidates. Extra-curricular activities like guest lectures, field trips and additional seminars will broaden your knowledge and provide networking opportunities.
3. Maximise your potential.
In the work-place it is important that you can be creative and apply your knowledge effectively. Cardiff offers ‘Student Enterprise’ – a free programme designed to give you the opportunity to develop and practise entrepreneurial and business skills: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/enterprise
4. Get advice and meet employers.
Job-hunting can be tricky and even seasoned professionals need some advice. Most universities offer careers advice. Cardiff’s Careers Service has a specialist international adviser who can offer assistance on choosing a career, interview techniques and improving your CV/ résumé. At Cardiff we also have a regular programme of events where potential employers come to campus and meet students.
5. Enhance your résumé.
Employers don’t want robots. They want interesting people who are driven and able to work in teams. Your employment prospects are enhanced if you can demonstrate your talents outside of academia. You can, for example, get involved with a student society or join the Student Volunteering Unit. You can find out more about student societies on the Students' Union website: http://www.cardiffstudents.com/activities/societies
6. Get experienced.
Work experience is a great way to show you can apply your studies. You can get work experience by taking a part-time job, or opting for an undergraduate degree with a year in industry. The Careers Service also runs some ‘taster’ sessions and these are very popular.
7. Network and build lifelong friendships.
Cardiff University has 27,000 students, more than 3,000 from outside the EU and more than 5,500 staff. Professors and other staff will offer you advice and direction. Other students, both from your own country and other countries, can also provide valuable insights.
Do you have other ideas? Any good tips you can pass on to other students? Comment below.