University of Bath

Careers information for first year students

Find out about the top three careers actions you should explore in your first year.

Make the most of your first year

Make the most of your first year - it's a fantastic time to explore what you are capable of doing and what you're interested in.

It's never too early to start thinking about your future. Your first year is an ideal time to gain experience and skills. This is particularly important if you are considering applying for a placement, internship or want to gain work experience as part of your degree. You don't have to do things that are directly related to your degree, the crucial thing for your future employer is that you are able to demonstrate your initiative and skills such as organisation, flexibility and business awareness.

Below are the three essential actions for your first year.

1. Explore options

If you're concerned you have no idea what to do when you graduate, are feeling overwhelmed by all the options available to you or are frantically searching for the perfect internship, stop right now! Choosing the right career is a process that takes time and requires some self-awareness and focus; it rarely happens with an overnight flash of inspiration. Explore the Choose a career pages. Specifically explore the following:

  • Develop your self-awareness by taking one of our online personality tests. You can better understand your strengths and values; giving you some clarity about what is important to you in your future role.
  • Explore the What do Bath first degree graduates do? and What do Bath doctoral graduates do? pages and look at the career destinations of graduates from your degree subject.
  • Check out the What can I do with my degree? information from Prospects which enables you to focus on options available to you with your degree.

Talk to a Careers Adviser

Book an appointment with one of our expert Careers Advisers who can help you define what you want from your career and can give guidance on planning your next steps. See our Careers Service appointments page for more information.

2. Gain experience

This can include joining a club or society, accepting a position of responsibility such as representing your year group on a Staff/Student Liaison Committee (SSLC), volunteering or undertaking part-time work. All these are a great way to meet new people, boost your CV and most importantly develop the skills that employers look for. Explore the Get work experience pages. Specifically look at the following:

  • Download the Finding work experience guide, which is packed with advice on how to find internships, volunteering opportunities and applying for part-time work.
  • Look at the vacancies listed on MyFuture which lists jobs and work experience opportunities aimed specifically at Bath students.
  • Consider participating in the Bath Award, which allows you to bring your experiences together and helps you to present actual examples of your skills and competencies. This awareness is the first step to writing effective CVs and applications. Have a look at the Students' Union's Bath Award page for more information.

Summer Internships Fair

The Summer Internships Fair is usually held in November and is a chance for you to meet employers and find out about the range of paid work on offer for the following summer.

Find out more about the Summer Internships Fair.

Volunteering and gap years

For voluntary work search MyFuture as above.

Use the resources listed in the work experience section of our resources catalogue. Also look at our own Directory of charities, volunteering and gap year opportunities.

Part-time jobs

Part-time positions for current students are handled by Jobs within the Students' Union. Visit their web pages to find out more about the part-time positions they are advertising as well as local three month internship roles.

3. Write a CV

Creating a CV will help you focus on your skills and experiences. Keep yours up-to-date in case you find an internship or opportunity that you need to apply for at short notice, and so you have a record of what you have done. Having a good CV will also make life easy in your second year when you apply for placements and internships. Explore the Succeed in the selection process pages:

  • Download the Application, CV and cover letter guide, which has lots of tips and useful advice on writing an effective CV along with examples.
  • Attend a skills workshop where you can learn about what employers look for in CVs and learn how to present your skills and experiences with impact. Sign up on MyFuture.
  • Get CV feedback from one of our Careers Advisers by booking an appointment on MyFuture.

How to find us

We are located in the Virgil Building, on Manvers Street in the city centre. View details about our location and opening times.