Student Hub

Find support and guidance for every step in your career planning.

How we can help you plan for your future

Whether you’re not quite ready to think about your career yet, or have a career in mind but arent sure how to get there, we can support you.

Select the statement that applies to you

Try thinking about the stage you are at with your career planning by selecting the statement that applies most to you below. 

    • Im not ready to start thinking about my career yet

      Not everyone is ready to start thinking about careers. Perhaps you want to concentrate on your degree. Or perhaps thinking about what you want to do with the rest of your life is too overwhelming. However, it doesn't have to be like that. Take it one step at a time.

      First steps:

      • Interests and Motivations: Think about now, rather than forever. Think about what interests and motivates you at the moment. 
      • Using your degree: Your degree is a good place to start next. Think about careers that might be linked to this, or try a different direction. See how to use your degree.
      • Think about your skills: These might come from your course, part-time work, volunteering, hobbies or interests. You will have more than you think. What are your strengths, what would you like to develop further?

      Next steps: 

      • Make the most of our events while you are here. We have a mix of inperson and online events throughout the year. 
      • Take part in Career Lab. Our programme for undergraduates has a range of opportunities each year to help develop your skills, experience and confidence. 
    • I have no careers ideas yet but want to start my thinking

      Knowing that you want to start thinking about your career is good. Now it's time to start exploring your options.

      First steps:

      • Using your degree: Your degree is a good place to start next. Think about careers that might be linked to this, or try a different direction. See how to use your degree.
      • Job sector guides: Start exploring different career ideas, some might be geared towards your degree, some might not be. Get a feel for what different jobs might be like.
      • Think about your skills: These might come from your course, part-time work, volunteering, hobbies or interests. You will have more than you think. What are your strengths, what would you like to develop further?

      Next steps: 

      • Make the most of our events while you are here. We have a mix of inperson and online events throughout the year. 
      • Take part in Career Lab. Our programme for undergraduates has a range of opportunities each year to help develop your skills, experience and confidence. 
    • I have a career in mind but I'm not sure how to get there

      You know what you'd like to do. Now it's time to find out more about it. Look at the entry routes, whether you need further training, what experience you need to build. Also, look at the wider sector, read job profiles, find out what it is like and how to get in. Remember, there may be different ways to reach your goal. And there may be other things you haven't thought of yet. Remain flexible.

      First steps:

      • Job sector guides: Use our sector guides to start your research. You will find sector overviews and job profiles, as well as training routes and ways to gain experience.
      • Networking: Find out how people started their careers. Ask them directly, or use your existing networks or social media.
      • Volunteering: Think about volunteering while you are at Sussex, some careers actively require it.

      Next steps: 

      • Make the most of our events while you are here. We have a mix of inperson and online events throughout the year. 
      • Student internships and experience: Look out for insight opportunities in your first year and summer internships in your second year.
    • I have a career in mind and intend to gain relevant experience

      If you have something (or things) in mind, the next step is to try it out. Getting experience will help you decide if this is what you would like to do.

      Some sectors will have defined routes you can take, others will be less clear. You might need to gain experience through volunteering or relevant part-time work. Look out for internship and placement opportunities, too.

      Sometimes you might need to take a creative approach, and research and apply speculatively to employers. Talk to us about your plans and we can help you through the process.

      First steps:

      • Student internships and experience: Look out for insight opportunities in your first year and summer internships in your second year.
      • Job sector guides: Different sectors will have different ways of gaining experience. Our sector guides have links to relevant job sites, employers or voluteering opportunities.
      • Volunteering: Once you have finished your studies, you may have some time to volunteer before you leave Sussex. Some sectors actively require it. It is also a great way of building new skills and experiences.

      Next steps: 

      • Make the most of our events while you are here. We have a mix of inperson and online events throughout the year. 
      • Apply for jobs: Start applying for jobs and opportunties.
    • I am ready to apply for internships, placements or graduate level opportunities

      You know what you want to do. Now it's time to find the opportunities and start putting together quality applications.

      Look for internships, placements or graduate opportunities in different sectors. The availability, and types of opportunity, will vary between sectors.

      Some sectors have different entry routes. These might involve building experience through volunteering or taking entry-level opportunities. Also, working in smaller businesses (SMEs) or organisations can give you instant responsibility and a broader range of experience. 

      Remember, there might be more than one way to get where you want to be. 

      There will also be different application methods, from online applications (often followed by psychometric tests and assessment centres) to CVs/covering letters and speculative approaches.

      First steps: 

      • Look at internships, placements and graduate opportunities
      • Job sector guides: Use our sector guides to start your research. You will find sector overviews and job profiles, as well as training routes and ways to gain experience.
      • Apply for jobs: Make the best applications you can. Tailor them to the positions you are applying for. Prepare for selection tests and interviews. Keep practicing and refining. 

      Next steps: 

      • Make the most of our events while you are here. We have a mix of inperson and online events throughout the year. 
      • Networking: Find out how people started their careers. Ask them directly, or use your existing networks or social media.
    • I have been applying for opportunities but have been unsuccessful

      Dealing with rejections can be hard. It can leave you doubting yourself and your career choices. Here is some advice to help turn things around.

      If you have been applying for opportunities, but have not been successful, try to think about the reasons why. If you are rejected at the application stage, it could be time to analyse your CV or application forms for clues. It might be that you are not selling yourself well enough, or that you do not yet have the skills or experience that the employer is looking for.

      If you are getting to the interview stage, it means that employers think you are capable of doing the job, so it is a matter of improving your interview technique.

      First steps:

      • Take a look at your CV. Does it meet the requirements of the job description? Did you tailor it for each application? Does it look good and is it readable? Do you think the employer actually read it? Try to look at it through the employer's eyes. If you have the experience they need, is it easy for them to find? If you don't have the experience, how will you try to gain it?
      • Writing about your skills. Make sure you understand the skills that you have and are able to articulate them. They might come from your degree, work experience or interests. Make sure you highlight the ones that each employer is looking for.
      • Interviews. If you are falling at the interview stage, try to work on your preparation. Know your application inside out. Be ready with answers to standard questions. Use the STAR technique to structure your answers. Practise in advance and learn how to deal with your nerves on the day.

      Next steps: 

      • Make the most of our events while you are here. We have a mix of inperson and online events throughout the year. 
      • If you are lacking the skills and experience that employers are looking for, do some research into what you might need. There might be a variety of ways you can gain this, from volunteering to further training to entry-level jobs. Our sector guides will help give you an overview.

         

    • I am ready for further study

      For most postgraduate courses you need to apply to them directly, rather than through a central admissions system. For many courses there will be no application deadlines, either, although there may be some relating to scholarships or buraries. You will probably need to write a personal statement (possibly a CV, too) as part of your application. Think about how you will fund it, too.

      For some vocational courses (e.g. law, teaching, psychology, medicine) you will apply through a central clearing house. There may be a deadline for these, and you can apply for multiple courses via one application.

      First steps: 

      • Look into further study – search or courses, try to find out how they are taught and assessed. Go to open days if you can. Find out about funding, such as scholarships and loans. 
      • Use our sector guides – some sectors will have particular training routes which require further study e.g. teaching, law, medicine and allied health, psychology, accountancy, libraries or museums. Others might be made accessible via conversion courses. some courses may be funded, others not.
      • Consider studying abroad –  many Master's courses are taught in English, and may well be cheaper than studying in the UK. Scholarships may be available, too.

      Next steps: 

    • I am thinking about starting my own business or social enterprise.

      If you have an idea for a new product, service or something with a social impact, you can explore your options now. There are stories to inspire you, as well as events, funding you can apply for, and one-to-one support while you are a student at Sussex.

      First steps:

      Next steps:

      You can also find out about the full range of support you can get, including funding opportunites, stories and inspiration. For more help and support contact entrepreneurship@sussex.ac.uk.

Further help and advice

If you need careers advice you can book an appointment with one of our careers consultants via CareerHub. 

You can also talk to a member of the careers and entrepreneurship team by:

  • visiting the Student Centre Welcome desk, 8.30am-5pm, Monday-Friday
  • calling 01273 075700, 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday
  • contacting us with your enquiry.

You may also want to: 

  • take part in our programme for undergraduate students – Career Lab – where you can develop your skills and experience
  • join a careers event – we have in-person and online careers events throughout the year
  • find us on Canvas and access advice on career planning.

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