What if I haven’t been able to think about my career last term or attend any events yet?
That’s absolutely fine – it’s never too early or too late to get started! We know that depending on what you’re studying and at what level, as well as your personal and social commitments, it can feel like certain times of the year are better for thinking and planning than others! From events with our careers consultants, employer-led breakfasts and seminars to specialist events like Meet an Alum, volunteering, International Development Events Programme (IDEP), and LSE Generate’s entrepreneurship workshops there’s something for every career interest and aspiration.
We run a lot of our ‘core’ events every term as well (such as how to write effective CVs) so if you missed them last term, browse and book on CareerHub. New to CareerHub? It’s very easy to get started – simply login with your LSE username and password (any problems, see our contact details at the end of this blog). We also offer much more than events – there’s volunteering and job opportunities; appointments; careers information; a quiet place to ask us your questions get started on your planning; exclusive subscriptions, books and free takeaway resources plus much more!
What do I do if I don’t know what I want to do?
We’re here to help all students – whether you know what you want to do or not. We know it can be difficult to find the time to think about your future job options/getting work experience when you’re concentrating on your studies so we’ve created a tool that can help you do this from the comfort of your own room. Career Builder is an interactive guide to help you navigate the career planning process and find the most appropriate information and resources whatever stage you’re at in the job/internship hunting process. There’s also an interesting concept of planned happenstance which is worth exploring.
Give Career Builder a go, check out what services and resources we offer, and then book an appointment with a careers consultant to go through your career options! You also have the option of having a longer guidance apppointment.
Who and what are careers appointments for?
Careers appointments are for all students at all levels – and as we always say, it’s never too early or too late to get started. There’s a lot we can help with, such as:
- CVs, cover letters and application forms
- applying for a PhD and PhD/research careers
- assessment centres and interviews
- career options (including if you’re not sure what you want to do)
Simply login to CareerHub (with your LSE username and password) and choose your topic and time!
How do I keep up to date with what’s going on?
- CareerHub is the place to access nearly all of LSE Careers resources including event and appointment booking
- this blog is updated daily with the latest news, events, and career insights from our consultants and guest bloggers
- we send you a weekly newsletter direct to your LSE inbox with all important news, interesting jobs, and upcoming events
- follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
- and the Careers website also lists events as well as being an all-round amazing resource!
Should I apply for an internship or graduate scheme?
There is no straight answer to this question and it needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. For some roles eg. front office roles in investment banking, it is likely that you will need to show previous experience if you are to have a chance of securing a graduate role. In this instance it might make sense to apply for an internship immediately after graduating. Some organisations will also be happy for you to apply for both, in which case spreading the risk might be the right approach.
The best thing is to contact each organisation directly and ask them! If you’re considering the possibility of applying for more than one role in the same company, check their website or contact the recruiter directly to check whether they would expect you to use different cover letters for each. We’ve also put together some guidance on finding an alternative internship.
Should I wait until I’ve met employers at events before applying?
It’s up to you to do a bit of self-analysis and decide if your application is ready, if it’s as good as it can be. If you have the relevant experience, are confident that you are showing that clearly and have articulated convincing reasons why you are interested in the company and the role, it might make sense to send the application off.
If you feel you’d benefit from gaining more insight into the organisation, then it’s probably a good decision to hold back, keeping in mind that in some instances jobs are filled on a first come basis. You’ll probably still find it beneficial to come to our employer events as this can give you useful information for completing your application from and preparing for your potential future interview!
How many organisations should I apply to?
We find that students will apply for between six and 15 jobs, though this is very individual. You need to consider carefully your overall workload, the importance of spending time preparing the best, most targeted application you can, rather than taking a more general approach. LSE Careers can help with that, whether it’s by giving you the chance to meet employers, talk to alumni about what it’s like to work in a particular sector or organisation, or by reviewing your CV, cover letter or application form.