This point in the year, where A-level students are often finalising university applications, tends to result in a range of repeat articles about what employers want from graduates. Worth a glance, therefore, at that old chestnut in the Telegraph’s latest incarnation of the article.
A more stimulating and interesting take on how keen people are to impress employers comes in the form of this Craigslist experiment. Be careful with your data! But the point remains that applications for jobs vastly, vastly outweigh the number of places available. As school students you’re used to teachers making space in the group for you, welcoming you no matter what, creating opportunities for you. A brutal reality check about how the world won’t help you out is something you need to be braced for. It’s a jungle out there.
If you want more evidence of how bleak the economic picture in the west is, and how hard it is to get (and keep) a job, check out these depressing articles: new graduates are taking jobs for substantially lower pay than those a few years ago, and people are going to work despite being seriously ill in some cases, so desperate are they to avoid giving a bad impression. (Ironically, it can be counter-productive to do this. Having ill workers or students can actually reduce performance in some circumstances by infecting others! But this is a measure of employee fear in some firms.)
All is not misery. Here’s an interesting video on how to get a job at Dyson, one of the UK’s most innovative employers; an article explaining that degrees are not the only route to success; and an interesting article about getting girls into science – why do people think you have to advertise in lipstick to get girls’ attention? And remember just how wide a range of people can achieve success in any field, and how hard teachers work to support you if you’ll help yourself: I recognise this myself from the crazy, and valuable, process of supporting DBS’s own Oxbridge applicants over the past month.
Read this stuff well and get a deeper sense of the jobs market and your careers future. Use ISCO if you’re a member, make best use of PSHE careers activities, and book and effectively use your meetings with careers staff. Use the excellent Prospect site too. Because bad careers advice ruins your future. You get good advice and support here – just make sure you follow and use it.
We’re now down the the point where you can only get personal statement support from the following places:
- Sunday and Tuesday lunchtime seminars (this week is the last week)
- you have 2 half-hour meetings you’re allowed with me in total this year (if you haven’t already used them!) – come book them with the booking sheet just inside the door
Or you can buy external support (like paying for a subject tutor, only for personal statements instead of subject learning) – if you want to know how to use the service we’ve checked and approve of, come and ask me: we use experienced staff working in Europe who understand the UCAS system well. The advantage is that they will be able to give you a lot more time and depth of feedback than tutors in school will. They can even be more “hands on” and write sections for you more fully than tutors will, or know how to.
If you want to purchase some support, come and ask me for details and I’ll put you in contact. You pay them (either online or through the school) and email the work to them. More details later.
If you are seeking entry to the US university system within the next 2-3 years, you might want to attend this forthcoming event. Not only will you be able to meet representatives of a broad range of excellent universities, you will be able to hear the system explained to you from first thoughts through to final stages of application.
This is not just relevant to year 13, but years 11 and 12 as well – if you are thinking of entering the US university system, go along and hear about it!
On the week starting Sunday 3rd June, the first after Study Leave finishes, Year 12s will be devoting the whole week to preparing for the next stage of their career after A-level. For some this will mean planning placements, experience or applications for full-time employment, while most will be planning a conventional university application. (Even so, the changes to fees have made the “automatic conveyor belt” to UK universities for British-passport-holding students no longer such an automatic choice, and everyone ought to be considering worldwide universities.)
The week will be devoted to
- choosing universities
- writing personal statements
- organising work placements to enhance CVs
To aid students in making these choices, we have organised two trips in the week – to DIAC (the universities in Dubai), on Tuesday – and to NYU in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Both trips return before the end of the school day and cost 40AED each for transport costs only. Download the letter, including the booking slip, and complete and return it (cash only) to the Head of Careers as soon as possible – there is some competition for places.
Not only will the visits enable students to get a good “feel” for universities (the facilities, the lifestyle, the workload), to ask relevant questions of Admissions Directors and meet real students, they will provide a refreshing break in the week to enable students to think clearly and continue to develop their choice effectively. I strongly recommend all students go on both trips – but make sure you book at least one. (Students not attending a trip on a given day will instead be working at school with staff supervision on their personal statements.)
There’s a Universities Fair in Dubai next week – suitable for anyone of about age 13 upwards who may be planning for the future. It’s 5-9pm Thursday evening and 3-9pm on Friday and Saturday at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The phone number to find out more is 04 3355001