Employability advice from university staff
We asked you to tell us how staff helped you with your employability, either before or after your international placement. The results are in and here are the top 25...
"Take every opportunity to shine; whether it's staying 15 minutes late to tidy up or take on an extra project, it'll all make the final review much better."
"Remember that not all language graduates go onto jobs specifically related to their language (i.e. translators, teachers, etc.) and to consider work experience in many fields. Your languages will still come in handy!"
"They made us really motivated so we would be able to do everything with confidence as soon as we arrived abroad."
"Make the most of your extra-curricular opportunities."
"They made us use an e-portfolio tracking our progress and linking it to key skills."
"We had to think about how our choices we made on our year abroad would impact what type of job we wanted to look for in the future. For example, those of us working as language assistants were asked to think about whether we wanted to be a teacher later."
"They advised us to have a CV in the foreign language already prepared, as well as photocopies of most documents."
"We were told to take up a language course during the placement and to get involved with local activities."
"Remember to keep up a blog/diary of things you've done as examples to look back on."
"They helped us with administration - e.g. they allowed me to write an essay instead of sitting an exam in a foreign language."
"Say yes to every opportunity as it often leads to better things, and even if it doesn't, it demonstrates initiative and willingness."
"They gave useful advice on how to become a better teacher."
"We worked on our CVs in language classes."
"They sent us plenty of emails detailing various internships, study placements and jobs available to us."
"One or two of my lecturers advised me to steer away from an easy au pairing job or university placement and go out into the real world and work for a year. This is exactly what I have done! I have worked in schools for a year and lived both alone in an apartment and then with a native family who speak no English and loved both experiences! At the risk of sounding clichéd, get out of your comfort zone and show that you can handle something new and different."
"My university offered a weekend course for beginner ESL teaching."
"They organised welcome home meetings with presentations and further employment opportunities within the department."
"They talked us through how to write a CV in the French style to find a placement in France and what to expect in interviews."
"They checked CVs/application forms and offered advice about giving private English lessons."
"There was a really useful placements register with details of ex students' previous placements and contact information for employers."
"They reminded us that the very fact that you're doing a year abroad looks good on your CV. Also to network and try to make long lasting connections as you never know when they'll come in handy."
"Staff emailed me new positions/companies available, checked up on how the application and interview process was going and checked my CV/cover letter for grammatical errors."
"I worked as a language assistant so the process was pretty straightforward, but my Personal Tutor did write me a letter of recommendation - I was very grateful for that!"
"We had an employability gala with university alumni."
"They gave us access to resources during our time away to improve our language skills."
And one for luck...
"Just be yourself."
Did your university staff give you any career advice before your placement? Let us know!
Please order our free Global Graduates postcard pack for your school/university so we can help you promote international opportunities and languages to your students. You can also see the list of universities we cover on the site so far, with articles and answers written by their students. For more information, please contact us!