During her undergraduate studies, Angela had a student role in the careers service, which led to an interest in pursuing a career as a higher education careers adviser at Manchester Metropolitan University
What did you study?
At Wrexham Glyndwr University, I did an English degree and graduated in 2012. I was lucky enough to do another degree in Library Information Management at the same university and graduated in 2016. I then completed a postgraduate diploma in careers guidance at Coventry University, graduating in 2020.
How did you get your job?
I decided to do the careers guidance qualification while working in a university careers service. I started as a careers assistant while studying my English degree, and returned to the service after I graduated. My job turned into a graduate role as a student employability adviser and took all opportunities to learn new skills and help with a range of projects and events. I realised I wanted to work more closely with the students and graduates I was helping in my role. I found the vacancy on the AGCAS website and applied, highlighting my postgraduate diploma in careers guidance, previous experience and my desire to progress my career.
What's a typical day like?
I start the day with checking my diary and calendar for any planned meetings or sessions. I will then deal with email questions from students, schedule the workload into my tasks and if any marking needs to be done on our Future Skills programme.
I have 12 guidance appointments available a week, which last for 30 minutes. If I have guidance appointments in the afternoon, I will do my pre-appointment research in the morning, go over the presentation and session plan activities. I usually do four appointments either in a morning or afternoon. After every block of four appointments, I write up what was discussed in guidance and the action plan agreed with the student.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy working with students, looking at their starting career path or their career journey to date. Every guidance appointment is unique and keeps the careers adviser role exciting and interesting. It's also the best feeling in the world when you can see you have made a difference for a student and they have a way forward. Also careers research and CPD is fun as there is always something new to learn about the labour market, careers and guidance techniques. Every careers adviser has different methods to conduct guidance appointments and sessions, so learning from your peers as a reflective practitioner is encouraged.
How has your role developed?
I'm still new to the role but I have already had the opportunity to get involved with so many great projects and events. My career ambition is to have a specialism in widening participation careers guidance. Also I would like to complete a Masters in the future. I also want to learn more from our more experienced careers advisers.
In what way is your degree relevant?
My English degree has helped me with CV and cover letter reviews by understanding grammar and spelling. My degree in Library and Information Management helps me assess legitimate careers resources and to teach students on how to do the same. The postgraduate diploma has been essential in understanding how theory underpins our practice and how to develop an effective session plan.
What advice can you give to others wanting to get into this job?
Try to get a variety of work experience to ensure the role and university is right for you. I have work experience from three different universities, which all functioned differently based on student demographic and the careers service structure. This informed my decision to apply to a university that aligned to my interests, values and career goals.
Keep learning from your peers and always ask for help if needed: careers advisers are a supportive group. Always share information you have learned to help others in your profession too.
Find out more
- Read about what's involved as a higher education careers adviser.
- Take a look at MMU’s Careers and Employability service.