How to advance your career prospects from day one as an undergraduate student

Students sitting outside on campus

The course you choose to study at university will open loads of doors for you. You’ll be able to take all the theoretical and practical knowledge you’ve developed throughout your studies in order to dive into the world of work.

Here at Stirling, we also offer you plenty of chances to gain new skills and advance your career prospects outside the classroom.

At the start of every year, we ask all new and continuing students what stage of your career planning you are at, and the answers vary from “I don’t have a clue what I want to do after I graduate”, through to “I know exactly what I want to do and I’ve got a job lined up”. And to be honest, most students are in the first category! But no matter what year or stage of career you’re in, finding your future career starts now.

You might be unsure what you want to do, and exploring the options with your subject; you might be wanting to develop specific skills and grow your networks; or you might be ready to compete in the graduate jobs market. By taking advantage of extracurricular opportunities and exploring your passions in between lectures and seminars, you can explore, develop, and eventually compete successfully.

Here are a few ways you can boost your employability and explore new career opportunities from the moment you set foot on campus.

Join a club or society

Here at Stirling, our students love to share the passions and interests that make them unique. That’s why we have more than 70 societies and 50 sports clubs to choose from, including our three award-winning student media outlets. If there’s still nothing on offer that interests you, we can even help you start your own club.

Not only will joining a club help you to find new friends with a similar interest, but you’ll also be exposed to all sorts of new ideas and develop new skills. You can even choose to take on a leadership role within a club, which is a great way to showcase your team-building skills, boost your CV and work towards a My Stirling Award (an award that recognises your extra-curricular achievements!)

Find your club >

Become a class representative

Throughout your time at Stirling, most of the modules you’ll take as part of your course will appoint a student class representative. It’s this individual’s role to act as a point of liaison between staff and students – offering positive and negative feedback in order to influence the way each course is run so that students are getting the most out of their time at university.

Class representatives also report back to their fellow students on what’s happening with the course. This is an amazing way to develop communication, public speaking, advocacy and negotiating skills – and it will show employers that you’ve got confidence acting in a solution-focused role to initiate real change.

Learn more about class representatives >

Become a Faculty Officer

If you want to take your enthusiasm for your course to the next level, you can take on the position of Faculty Officer, available at both undergraduate and graduate level.

Faculty Officers work closely with academic staff and the Student Union to represent all students and act as the student voice across the faculty. They also support course representatives, and Faculty Officers are paid an honorarium for their work.

Find out more about Faculty Officers >

Take on a Sabbatical or part time Officer position

Do you want to get more involved in the Students’ Union? It’s possible to take a year out from your studies and take on paid role with a specific remit within the Students’ Union. This is an amazing way to develop your leadership skills and test out your knowledge in a working environment.

If you don’t want to take time out of your studies, the Union has plenty of part-time opportunities such as taking on the role of an Executive Officer within the Union. These Officers are part time volunteers with specific remits (like sport, housing, media, communities and so much more).

They work with their fellow Officers and other members of the Union to provide support on campaigns and projects. This will demonstrate to future employers that you’re passionate, organised and like to make a positive difference within your community.

Discover more about Officer roles >

Do some volunteering

Volunteering is an amazing way to enhance your time at university, boost your CV ‌and (most importantly) give something back to the community.

Volunteering is an unpaid activity in which you’ll typically help out a charity or not-for-profit organisation – either on a one-off or a more regular basis. Volunteering is a great way to expose yourself to new ideas, learn and develop new skills and explore and discover new interests that could influence what you’d like to do for a career.

Learn about volunteering >

This list is by no means exhaustive – in fact, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our Careers and Employability Service has been ranked 1st in Scotland and Top 5 in the UK (UK International Student Barometer (ISB) Benchmark and Global ISB Benchmark 2018). They are here to help you to achieve your career goals, whether you’re exploring, developing, or competing, both before and after you graduate. So, what are you waiting for?

Start advancing your career >

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