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How to kickstart your career while you study

How to kickstart your career while you studyFind out how to lay the foundations for your career while you're studying - without missing out on university life.

Do a little extra

Employers love people who go above and beyond, and university gives you plenty of opportunities to do that. Participating in a sport or society is good - taking a role on its committee is even better.

Luckily, none of this has to be a chore, since whatever your interests there'll be societies to suit you. Not every extra-curricular activity is equally career-boosting - but they're almost all better than nothing.

Write everything down

You'll gain a lot of useful experience when you're studying, sometimes in unexpected places. If you rely on your memory to keep track of it all, you won't remember everything. Try to write down your experiences or achievements somewhere you'll be able to find them again. This could mean keeping a regular diary or just making notes when something particularly interesting happens.

Later, you'll be able to look over these notes when filling in job applications or preparing for interviews.

Start looking

It's never too early to start jobhunting. Even if you don't apply, looking at opportunities can help you to work out the kind of roles you want to apply for and tweak your CV. But you might also be able to find summer work, internships or graduate schemes that you can apply for even when you're still studying. This can help you to move into work quickly once you graduate.

Keep an eye out for university-run careers fairs to make the hunt easier.

Build a network

Making contacts can make a big difference to your career, and university is a great place to do it. If the career you want is closely related to your course, then department events are a great place to start, as you'll often be able to meet guest speakers from the industry. Otherwise, relevant student societies can provide similar opportunities.

Don't underestimate your fellow students, either: in a couple of years, they might be able to tip you off about an opportunity or put in a good word for you with their employer. As an extra benefit, this way of boosting your career is remarkably similar to socializing.

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