I always have known exactly what I’m going to do: clear aim, bright future. I have been applying for jobs during my university years to obtain relevant skills. I am social secretary of XX society, I had 3 internship experiences, I volunteer at weekends…
Let’s be realistic and honest here, who actually knows what is ahead of us? I mean – most of us just finished one of the most demanding exam in our lives, career? Really? I’m not denying people who are determined and driven in their early 20s, but surely, there’s got to be someone who is not that organised and keen, someone like me?
I was never clear about what I’m going to do, I was lost in my first year. The thing I always asked myself is: I’m now in University, I’m happy. BUT – is that all? What am I supposed to do after this? It’s like you don’t know what to do after achieving one goal. Everyone around me sound like as if they know exactly what they are going to do, and they are already preparing themselves for graduation; as if they have full control of their own lives. Their spirits only make me feel even more anxious. To make things worse, being an international student, I suffered the problem of cultural shock.
Anyway, life goes on. Instead of choosing to live in a depressing and empty uni life, the first thing I did to restore my life is to look for a job. International students here will know the pain. Firstly, we have to get a National Insurance Number, which can only be done via phone call, 0345 600 0643. (I know it is annoying, how can they not have it on the Internet?)
Plus, given the restriction of Tier 4 student visa, international students are not allowed to work over 20 hours during term time, plus we cannot apply for any ‘self-employment’ job, i.e. basically all ‘work at home’ opportunity. (Check your visa to make sure you have the permission to work in the UK!)
As a student looking for the first job, whether you are local or international, the lack of experience is common. But the sad truth is, it is almost impossible to locate a job with an empty CV. Here are a few good points to start:
- Passport to work: job shadowing opportunities offered by university. Location including Castle Leazes, Civic Centre, etc. a certificate will be given once you’ve finished the programme
- JobsOC: paid part time roles offered by university. Jobs including admin work, cleaning and more! (Applications open on 9th March!)
- Volunteer: those lucky few who does not have problem with student loan should definitely take advantage of volunteering! University’s SCAN is a good point to start, you can even go out of the campus if you want!
- Clubs/Societies: not only is joining clubs and societies a good way to engage in the university, but also a great chance to show employers that you’ve got positions with responsibilities. Julia has already shared her satisfying experience with societies on ‘How Societies Helped Me’.
The most important thing is – don’t panic, keep your options open and try as much things as you want when you still have the time! I always thought I’m the only one who feel like this, but honestly, so many people out there have the same problem. Good luck! 🙂
P.S. Click HERE to look out for more tips for international students!