December, 2015

Your university can help you nurture essential skills and gain experience which is highly sought after by employers

There's a variety of ways you can develop these skills and gain relevant experience while at university. Let's explore some of the main examples.

Temporary work at university

Working on campus in a temporary position can look good on your CV, as employers will be impressed that you are able to juggle study and a job. The positions are often flexible, allowing students to work around lectures or exams.

Universities always require temporary workers to help out with a range of different jobs, including:

  • administration or IT work;
  • bar, hospitality or promotional work;
  • library positions;
  • and skilled roles such as photography or translating.

Vacancies can often be filled within hours, so if you are interested in a particular job then apply quickly.

Some roles may not be widely advertised so it's worth approaching the area of the university that interests you to enquire about potential temporary work.

Working in the students' union

These roles can look particularly impressive on your CV. Most of these positions are full time and applicants are usually nearing graduation or taking a year out during their degree.

In order to secure a role in the students' union (SU), you normally have to campaign around the campus to win votes. Once elected you will receive an annual salary and be expected to sit in the job for a full year.

Job titles and positions will vary depending on which university you attend. They can include:

  • Education officer - primarily responsible for tackling any educational or learning issues faced by both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Media officer - in charge of everything media-related, including student newspapers, magazines, and TV and radio stations.
  • Societies/sports officer - works to increase the number of students taking part in societies or sports at university.
  • SU president - the student voice for the university, the president is responsible for the other officers and the strategic development of the SU.
  • Welfare officer - deals with any non-academic concerns that students may have, from accommodation, sexual health or personal issues.

You can also apply to become a course representative, with at least one position available for each year group on every course.

University sport

Sport at university can provide more than just regular exercise and a break from academic work. It can help nurture key skills that employers look for, especially for those involved in the executive teams or sports committees.

For example, you could be a chairman, secretary, treasurer or the captain of your team. These positions enhance skills such as leadership; communication; teamwork; and organisation, no matter what sport you play.

To find out more about university sport and what opportunities there are, visit British Universities and Colleges Sport.

Student societies

If you're into a particular activity or hobby then joining a society can be an excellent way to meet like-minded people. You can make contacts that may be useful in your future career and learn new skills which could enhance your employability.

If you cannot find a society to suit you then contact your SU and submit an application to create your own. Societies can usually be grouped into the following categories:

  • Academic - societies based on university schools or subjects. Examples could include history, law, languages or physics.
  • Charitable - various local or national charities will have societies to let students get involved in various activities and fundraising.
  • Faith or cultural - nearly all religions and cultures will be covered, reflecting the multicultural student population in the UK.
  • Hobbies or interests - from the Doctor Who Society at the University of York to more common societies like chess, poker or yoga, there literally is something for everyone.
  • Political - whatever your political stance, there should be a society that fits your needs.

Visit your SU website to find out what weird and wonderful societies are on your doorstep.