Posted by: laurabrown9 | July 27, 2015

We’ll be back!

Careering Ahead posts are temporarily on hold while we are recruiting our new team of bloggers to start next semester.

If you are a Newcastle University student or recent graduate interested in writing a guest post for Newcastle University Careers Service, please feel free to contact us at or 

Posted by: juliamayglen | June 2, 2015

My Interview Advice

For my NWE summer internship I had to have my first job interview. I got really good feedback from the manager who interviewed me and I was offered not only the internship but also a full time paid position until the end of September. So here is a list of the best advice I received and what I found useful in my interview.

1.   Dress appropriately.

Making a good first impression is very important, and wearing appropriate clothing is one aspect of this. This doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a suit and supressing all personality, but remember you are entering a professional environment.

It also helps if you learn to iron.

2.   Make eye contact and smile!

It seems obvious but being friendly and personable is really important. It is very likely that the interviewer will be working closely with you if you get the job. Smiling a making eye contact shows you are confident and personable.

3.   Relax.

Perhaps the best advice I received was to take a second to think before answering a question. Having a moment to think about the question and what you want to say will stop you getting flustered. And, if you misheard the question, or even forget the original question half way through answering, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question!

4.   Ask questions.

My interviewer told me that I was one of the only candidates to ask questions. Asking questions shows that you are genuinely interested in the job and the company. If is really useful to have a couple prepared before your interview.

5.   Do your homework.

Research the company and talk about aspects of the company or the job that particularly interest you. This may include certain events, products or anything happening in the industry. It shows that you have put thought into your application and are enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

6.   Bring examples.

Bring a copy of your most up-to-date CV. This means you can refer to it if you get stuck, or you can give it to your interviewer if they don’t already have a copy. Also, bring examples of anything you might want to show off, for example your writing, posters or flyers you have made. These will demonstrate your skills, your organisation, and will make you memorable.

7.   Be honest.

Don’t lie about what you have done, or areas that you do not have experience in. As a student or graduate you are not expected to have a huge amount of experience. What is more important is enthusiasm and a desire to learn. If you are honest that you have not done something but are keen to learn this can be good for employers.

So, if you have got an interview: well done! Remain calm, stay cheerful, and let your enthusiasm show!

Posted by: juliamayglen | May 29, 2015

I know what you did last summer…

Last summer was my gap between second and third year. All I wanted to think about was holidays, seeing friends, and just relaxing before my final year of education.

This summer it is my gap between third year and… well, I don’t really know what.

For every soon to be graduate the question ‘so, what are you doing next year?’ seems to follow you around everywhere. ‘Are you moving back home?’ and ‘Have you got a job yet?’ are questions that most of us do not yet know the answers to.

I decided that before I can answer these questions I needed some experience in a work place: something that would help me decide what kind of job I should I actually be applying for.

My first (and fortunately final) stop on my search was the Careers Service Website, on which I found the Newcastle Work Experience programme. NWE offers a range of different internships at local businesses and charities. Opportunities range from app development to digital marketing.

I decided to apply for a couple of internships in the events and marketing field, as this is an area I have considered working in. After the application process I managed to secure two interviews, and got an offer from Disability North to be their Events and Marketing Assistant.

I am really looking forward to the opportunity to gain experience in a professional working environment, and see if events and marketing really is the career path I want to pursue.

If you are looking for experience in whatever field, I recommend checking out NWE’s opportunities for this summer!

Posted by: emilygilmour | May 10, 2015

Public speaking: It isn’t so bad after all…

Did you know that 56% of the UK’s population are afraid of public speaking?

At some point in life, most people have to speak in public, whether it be for an interview, in the workplace, or even a speech at a wedding. Yet studies have shown that public speaking is one of the biggest fears for the UK population. So what can we do about this? Well, I suppose the best thing to do is practice. I overcame my fear at a national competition for a society that I am part of, Enactus Newcastle.

Read More…

Posted by: clairebyron | April 17, 2015

The power of mentoring

Every so often on Careering Ahead we include a guest post if we think our readers would find it interesting. The following is from Helen Hayes, Placement Officer (Mentoring) at Newcastle Uni Careers Service…

‘Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction’, John C. Crosby.

Most people have had an informal mentor at some point in their life – family members, friends and colleagues can all help us to find direction. But have you had mentoring to help with your career?

Career Mentoring is a programme run through the Careers Service which pairs students with mentors working in the North East. Over a series of at least four sessions you can chat to your mentor about your career plans, concerns and ideas. Mentors can use their experience and knowledge of the workplace to give you an insight into a specific career.

Why mentoring? Well, let me rewind… in 2010 I finished my Masters and took up my role on a graduate scheme. It was going swimmingly until we were all made redundant six months in. What was I going to do? How could I plan a different career path? I worked with a mentor who helped me through the whole process – over a series of sessions we worked through everything from finding out what was most important to me and setting career goals, to writing a plan to help me get there.

Read More…

Posted by: davidjamesnaylor | April 2, 2015

Rising From the Ashes- Lessons Learned from my Assessment Centre

It’s never a nice feeling to miss out on something you feel could have set you up in your ideal industry. I’ve just missed out on a placement that felt perfect for me- a year working at Warner Brothers, which would have revolved around the exciting task of communicating their social responsibility programmes to a global audience as a corporate intern.

Big of a kick in the career-nuts then, but alas, each failure is but a stepping stone on the river of life (or something like that). Onwards and Upwards… Read More…

Posted by: abbiegilligan | March 15, 2015

Need to get some work experience?

So I’ve just reached the end of my Newcastle Work Experience placement! It was 100 hours long, starting back in November and finishing mid March. Waking up at 6:30am to commute to North Tyneside was definitely not my favourite thing, but getting a taste of an area I’m interested in and developing my skills made it worthwhile. Not to mention, earning while learning (£700)! I’d do it all over again!

Today’s job market is this vicious cycle where in order to get experience you need experience, proving difficult to really get started. Newcastle Work Experience is a great way to complete a placement during term time and in Newcastle/the North East, so no need to go too far afield! Developing skills in the workplace whilst still studying for my degree has really helped me understand the direction I want to be heading in post-graduation.

NWE placements for summer are available on the universities “Vacancies Online” portal with more being added everyday. The experience is great, and the money’s not too bad either…

Apply today, I couldn’t recommend it enough!

Posted by: juliamayglen | March 9, 2015

Plan B

So what do you do when you get rejected from the job you want?

If you read my last post you will know that I went for a Sabbatical Officer role at the Union. The job application for the Sabb. role was a campaign. The students vote and the elected winner gets the job, it’s all student politics.

I didn’t get the job… so what now? For any one who gets rejected from the job they want, what is the next step?

If I’m honest, I’m kind of looking forward to applying for a job which hires based on merit, as opposed to popularity. Will I come to regret saying that? Probably. Do I sound bitter? Probably.

So on to the next thing.

Read More…

Posted by: emilygilmour | March 8, 2015

The perks of having a part-time job on campus

… and what Newcastle University has to offer!
Here at Newcastle University, there are a variety of different jobs on campus that we can apply for. From Student Ambassador to Jobs on Campus, there’s always some opportunity that you can get your hands on. I’m a Student Mentor, and the job doesn’t require me to work regularly, so it would be ideal for those that are wanting some experience (with a bit of cash). However, there are varying degrees of responsibility for each different position, meaning that there is a job for everyone. Here’s a little run-down of just some of the opportunities we have at Newcastle:

Read More…

Posted by: emilygilmour | March 5, 2015

Step aside Simon Cowell, I’m the new judge in town…

OK, so perhaps I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but let me tell you a bit about my role as a judge on the student panel for the TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards.

Read More…

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