Introduction

The Careers Department has a specialist team of staff and many resources to help you to make decisions about your future. Resources are used in the weekly tutorial programme and special events are planned throughout the year to ensure you make informed choices about your future. You may also book careers appointments regarding advice and guidance, on a one-to-one basis, at any time.

Careers Interviews 

We have an established careers team and can provide careers interviews for students who need impartial information, advice and guidance. Students sign up for interviews in the careers department, in room 113, with each interview lasting about 30 minutes. You may book as many interviews as is necessary during your time at College.

Employment, Apprenticeships and Training Schemes

Increasing numbers of students are choosing to undertake opportunities offered by Apprenticeships, including Higher Apprenticeships and Degree Apprenticeships. We have links with local businesses as a result of their attendance at our annual Careers events (see below). e.g: BT, Larking Gowen and Constable VAT.

Self-employment

A number of our College students have started their own businesses after College and the Careers Team can provide guidance and support in this area.

Employability Skills and work-related experiences

You naturally have skills that will help you during employment but we feel you need to be made more aware of skills you have and how to develop skills to show examples for future employers. You can develop skills across a wide range of activities some of which might include: Paid work; Volunteering; Work for family/friends; Work experiences; Community projects; Hobbies; Clubs and societies; Sporting activities.

University (Higher Education/HE)

Students wishing to go to university (in the UK or abroad), or other Higher Education institution, are supported in this by a range of activities. Personal Tutors write references for students’ UCAS applications. A large amount of support is available throughout the application process (for example, every application form is reviewed by four members of staff before it is sent).

MOODLE VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)

The information we make available for students is also available on ‘MOODLE’. The Careers MOODLE page has lots of research opportunities and helpful information. This starts with tools such as KUDOS for students who have little idea of their plans, through to ‘how to’ guides for University applications. Job opportunities, apprenticeship vacancies, employer engagement, open days and university and higher education engagement are all communicated through these pages as well as in the daily Student Bulletin and on the display screens around College.

Seeking opportunities

Students will receive support and guidance in seeking opportunities that exist for them and developing openings for themselves. For example, Journalists can start by writing articles for the college magazine, writing a blog, offering to write articles for local/club newsletters or just getting involved with these groups.

Volunteering

Increasing your employability skills is a vital part of education. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop and improve skills whilst contributing to the local community. In this context we have a range of links with organisations such as St Helena Hospice, Community 360 (formerly CCVS), Larchwood and NCS (National Citizen Service).

Annual Events

(These events have taken place virtually during the pandemic)

Careers Fair

At the Careers Fair every year we welcome over 100 exhibitors. This event is aimed at first year Advanced Level students as a means of encouraging you to begin thinking about their options after College. Second year students looking for employment opportunities or who have Higher Education queries are also encouraged to attend. A range of Higher Education representatives, employers and Year Out providers attend. The event takes place in the Multi-purpose hall where representatives are able to display marketing materials and answer students’ queries. The event is run alongside the student progress review process, therefore ensuring that you have free time to attend.

Career Progression Event

The highlight of the careers programme is the Career Progression Event. This takes place when first year students return after their spring assessments. You have a choice of over 400 40-minute talks and workshops, from which you choose 12 to attend. A number of the sessions are organised and delivered by College teaching staff, with other presentations being offered by employers, Higher Education representatives, Year Out providers and former students. The programme gives you a real insight into your options and choices for the future after College.

Volunteering Fair

A volunteering fair is held during the day on the College Concourse towards the end of September.

Other specialist activities

Support for those applying for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine

The Medics Programme is a comprehensive 2 year programme of activities for students applying for medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. It covers the application process for these highly competitive courses as well as the necessary skills for interview and for the UCAT and BMAT examinations. We assist students in preparing an individual personal statement, which reflects their strengths, and advise them on the necessity of appropriate and extensive work and volunteer experience. We provide one-to-one advice on the best Universities to apply to based on their personal profile. Ex-students now studying these courses or having completed these courses at university often return to share their experiences. We also involve qualified outside speakers, visit the local hospital for a medical careers day and a taster day at ARU Medical School and ensure students are well-informed on other available opportunities and resources. 

Weekly meetings in the second year involve discussion of topical news items, ethical issues and comprehensive guidance on interview techniques. Many college staff give up their time to help with both one-to-one and MMI mock interviews. Students are given feedback on their performance and advice on interview dress.

 Student quotes:

‘The medics group has been really supportive during my medicine application. They really helped me realise the realities of applying for medicine and all the work that needed to go into it. They are great at giving us deadlines for important things we need to do to support our application and help spread it out over the two years so you’re not rushing when it comes to the medicine application deadline in September of year 2. They are also so helpful with interview prep, providing us with mock interview opportunities and always being on hand to support us’ Ellie

‘’An amazing way to prepare for medicine applications, on-going and one-to one support form dedicated and knowledgeable tutors as well as opportunities to commune with fellow applicants and learn from each other’s experiences.’’ Dominique

Oxbridge

In the Autumn Term, an initial introduction to Oxbridge meeting is held to explain what Oxford and Cambridge universities are like and what the College does to support applicants. In January, the Principal has individual appointments with those students who have outstanding GCSE results and advises them on potential Oxbridge applications. Another open meeting is held in February for students who may have missed the November session, and in March former students who are now at Oxford and Cambridge return to brief our students on their experiences. A trip to Cambridge is organised in March to Emmanuel College, our link College in Cambridge, where students have the opportunity to talk to admissions tutors. In the Summer Term, potential applicants have one-to-one meetings with one of the Oxbridge team to discuss next steps. This is followed by a session in the Careers Progression Event with detailed advice on preparing personal statements, and each student will be advised to make appointments with appropriate subject staff to help them work on Personal Statements. Applications are sent off to UCAS in September. Mock interviews are organised in November and December, and where written tests are required, College subject departments advise and help students to prepare. There is an Oxbridge site on Moodle with more detailed information, and is regularly updated about taster days and other opportunities available at both universities.

Pre-Teaching

The ‘Pre-Teaching’ Additional Study is a means by which year 12 students who are considering a primary school teaching career can gain work experience in a primary school, especially if they are considering studying Primary Teaching/Education with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at university. In addition, talks are made available to all students, delivered by educational professionals, during the year. At the end of year 12, an information pack regarding the Primary Teaching degree application process is provided for all Pre-Teaching students, plus further support as required. From these experiences, some students discover that teaching is not the career they wish to follow and, for others, Pre-Teaching enhances their decision to teach, either via the 3-year subject degree route followed by a 1-year teaching qualification, or via a Primary Teaching (QTS) degree. 

Work experience will take place as and when Covid-19 restrictions allow. In the meantime, this has not prevented students from undertaking Primary Teaching (with QTS) courses for 2021 entry to university. Interviews have been held online and Literacy and Numeracy Skills Tests have been replaced by universities’ own tests.

Lawyers

Lawyers is a programme of learning and activities designed for students who are interested in a career in law. It is mainly aimed at student who are not studying A-level Law or BTEC Applied Law. The course will cover the basics of the English Legal system and looks at how the law is made and used. Core skills such as debating and public speaking will be covered via activities such as mock trials and presentations and participation in national competitions such as “The Bar Mock Trial” and “The Legal Apprentice.”

Career paths will be considered including looking at the variety of legal professions and the availability of alternative training paths such as apprenticeships. Guidance will be given on personal statements, interviews and, where appropriate, the LNAT examination. A range of speakers will be invited, many of whom are former college students, to talk about their jobs and routes to their careers

Tutorial Programme

Every Thursday students are with their personal tutor for a 40-minute tutorial session. Some sessions during the year offer information on careers and progression. Personal Tutors can offer guidance and advice to students about their future plans and can refer them to the Careers Department.

Work-related Learning/Employability

Work-related learning takes many forms and is both implicit and explicit in your individual programme of study and curriculum areas. Subject lessons will all have elements of employability skills within them. E.g. Law explains how courts are structured outlining a number of careers opportunities. Business looks at the recruitment process, including the application process and legislation around recruitment and selection which assist students in their own employment.

External speakers for subjects provide opportunities for careers advice and information, as well as delivering a subject specific topic. The Career Progression event external and internal speakers provide information on career progression from subjects, as well as information about alternative routes into careers.

Year Out

The College has a Year Out Adviser who offers 1-1 appointments for students on request.  These meetings are tailored specifically to meet each student’s interests, budget and aims for a gap year experience.  Traditionally, we have advised upon volunteering (UK and abroad), working (UK and Abroad) and round the world travel experiences.  We aim to help students have a fulfilling and meaningful gap year, and can recommend companies that tailor their experiences specifically for student gap years.  The recent covid-19 pandemic has led to huge disruption, not just to international travel, but also to the volunteering industry.  Contact with students is via the Student Bulletin and promotion at Careers events.  With advice and guidance changing weekly in response to the pandemic, we recommend 1-1 appointments to point students towards up to date information. .