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Preparing for your job search during your master’s

MSc student, Emily Philpott, explains the career support she's been getting from the University and how it's helping her with her job search.

I'm currently studying for an MSc in International Development with Economics. I chose the course because I liked its interdisciplinary nature; it covers economics as well as aspects of politics, management and sociology, and offers the opportunity to complete a dissertation or undertake a practicum during the summer.

This is actually my fifth year as a student at Bath (I did a placement year during my undergraduate degree), so needless to say I’ve had a wonderful time!

Planning for after graduation

The graduate scene this year certainly looks a little different to what many of us had expected. There are still plenty of opportunities though, and studying for an MSc has given me much more clarity regarding the areas of work I’m most interested in.

I have two different routes in mind for after graduation. The first is to follow a career in international development by working at a think-tank or non-profit organisation. Edtech (education technology) also really appeals to me. The second is to join a consulting firm with the view to specialising in international development. Overall, I hope to join an organisation where I can use my existing workplace and research skills whilst developing new ones, all to drive meaningful change.

‘The careers support I’ve received from across the University has shown me the importance of focusing my job search and how to use the experience of my master’s degree to make my applications stronger.’
Emily Philpott MSc International Development with Economics

Using the careers support services

This year I have taken full advantage of the University’s careers support services. Securing a job amid a pandemic has presented lots of novel challenges, many of which involved adapting to a virtual recruitment process. This is a far cry from what I’m used to, but the events from the University’s Careers Service have proven invaluable for adapting to a new, virtual environment.

Every week, an email from the Careers Service lands in my inbox, including a list of the upcoming sessions open to postgraduate students. I attended a session on virtual interviews, which revealed to me just how different these are to the traditional face-to-face method of the past. The Careers Service advised on how to conduct yourself online – covering everything from lighting and furniture arrangement to posture and body language. I’ve learnt that small details like this make such a difference and help you come across much more professionally.

I’ve also been in touch with the lovely Careers Advisors, who gave me some much-needed direction at the start of the academic year. They really helped me develop my plans for after graduation and put a list of resources together to aid my job search, which provided some great direction for me on navigating the job market with a postgraduate degree.

Outside of the Careers Service, I also received some amazing support from my departmental practicum advisor, who proof-read and provided feedback on my CV and offered advice on how to use my MSc and set myself apart from other candidates.

The career support I’ve received from across the University has shown me the importance of focusing my job search, and how to use the experience of my master’s degree to make my applications stronger. Through the Careers Service events, I also feel fully prepared for a virtual recruitment process and ready to put my best foot forward.

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