Hear from LSE alumna Joanna (BSc Social Policy) on how she made the most of our services while studying here:
First, I think that congratulations are in order; congratulations on being able to call yourself a student at one of the UK’s top universities! Studying at LSE will give you so many amazing opportunities to learn not just about your chosen programme of study but also to equip you for life after LSE and the world of work. I highly recommend making as much use of LSE Careers as possible during your studies. It’s a fantastic service which is able to provide you with support and guidance whatever situation you are in.
While studying at LSE it is almost impossible not to overhear fellow students talking about what career they want to get into and how many internships they have been offered over the summer holidays. It can at times feel overwhelming, particularly if you don’t feel like you have a set ‘career plan’. LSE Careers hosts specialist sector-specific Careers Fairs where you are able to meet with potential employees and to find out what you need to do in order to ensure that you are on the right path to career success.
What I found invaluable at LSE is the opportunity to book an appointment with a careers consultant. Some careers consultants have specialist areas of knowledge, for example LSE Careers has an adviser who works with students who have a disability. They are able to give specialist knowledge and advice on issues that may be lingering in your mind such as disclosing, reasonable adjustments and the UK law. All careers consultants are able to give you one-on-one support and guidance. Whether you know exactly where you would like to be in five years’ time or you feel overwhelmed, their vast knowledge is bound to leave you with a new idea in your mind. They can help you find your strengths (as well as help you to be realistic about areas you are not so strong in) and give ideas of what career may be suited to you. I recommend going to events run for your specific department. You can make the most of the other students by sharing your experiences of looking for jobs and share ideas of how to frame your skills into keywords so that employers are immediately drawn to your application.
CareerHub is the platform where you are able to look for jobs, book an appointment with a career adviser and book events which are being run by LSE Careers or employers. Once you have found a job which you are eager to apply for, a career consultant is able to sit down with you and look over your CV and cover letter, giving you suggestions as to how to improve and helping you remember a skill which you have learnt that you had long forgotten about. I still sometimes use the CV and cover letter which I left my own LSE Careers appointment with as a starting point. Ultimately, you leave your appointment knowing that you have a very strong basis to start applying for jobs, which puts you in a positive mentality – I am a firm believer that positive thoughts, result in positive outcomes.
If you have secured an interview I really recommend making use of the practice interview appointments. You will be able to practise your interviewing techniques in a safe and secure environment, ensuring that you come across as confident and professional during your interview (even if you don’t totally feel it at the time!)
Perhaps you are in your final year and are starting to think of life after LSE…what happens next? In my opinion what really makes LSE Careers stand out is that you are able to access their services for up to five years after you graduate. It is reassuring to know that once you finish your studies, LSE Careers are still there to support you.
Finally, I will leave you with one last piece of advice: Make the most of LSE Careers. Look on their webpages, go to the events which they are running, network with employers and your fellow students; don’t be afraid to ask for some advice or tips. Book an appointment with a careers consultant to get support with writing the best CV and cover letter and start to look at what skills and experience you will need to secure your ‘ideal graduate job’. Finally, enjoy your time at LSE; it will go by unbelievably fast!