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Careers and Employability Service

The Careers and Employability Service (CES) offers an extensive range of careers oriented services, including CV writing sessions, interview advice, presentations by major employers and general career advice. They can also help when you are are applying for jobs, internships or placements, developing their CVs or when you are invited to attend assessment centres as part of a recruitment process. The CES team produce a Careers Handbook every year, with advice and details of upcoming opportunities, workshops and sessions. Access and download it here.

Located in the Portland Building, University Park campus. they also offer an on-line enquiries service. Arts Faculty staff from CES run drop-in sessions throughout the year. The drop-in times for 2017/18 are:

  • Monday 2-4pm, Humanities Foyer
  • Tuesday 1-3pm, D-Floor (CES offices), Portland Building
  • Thursday 11.30pm - 1pm, Humanities Foyer

You can also book appointments via MyCareer and follow the Careers and Employability Service on Twitter or Facebook to keep up to date with upcoming events and workshops. 

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Employability in the School of English

There are a number of opportunities to take part in one of the School's placements and volunteering schemes, which run throughout the academic year. These placements allow you to apply your research interests to a range of career sectors and gain valuable work experience. Recent placements have involved publishing, digital marketing, archival research and maintenance, supporting literacy-learning in local schools, and more! 

The Director of Employability for the School of English is Dr Kevin Harvey who will be happy to meet students to talk through their plans. Please email him to book an appointment. 

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Career Choices for Graduates in English

As with many Arts graduates, English graduates find themselves faced with a myriad of choices when it comes to selecting a career. Some will have a very clear idea from an early stage as to what employment path they wish to pursue, while others may take some years to find the role that is right for them. No matter what your initial choice may be, you will find that the abilities that you have developed during your time at Nottingham will have equipped you well for the demanding and often highly changeable nature of the twenty-first century workplace.

To see examples of skills developed during your career choices of previous graduates, you can visit the Careers and Employability website. You could also look on the following external websites:

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Nottingham Internships Scheme

During your studies, you have the opportunity to take part in the Nottingham Internships Scheme, working closely with local businesses and enhancing your CV. A number of our students have successfully completed the scheme and videos about their experiences can be found here

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When applying for jobs, courses, and other opportunities, you will likely be asked to provide the names and contact details of people who can provide you with a reference. A reference is a recommendation where the referee vouches for your qualifications, skills, and suitability for the opportunity that you are applying for. Academic members of staff in the School of English regularly receive such reference requests and consider it part of their role to complete these for students. However, please note the following points:

If you wish to ask a member of staff to act on your behalf as a referee, you MUST contact them in writing at least two weeks in advance of the reference deadline. This is partly to comply with data protection policy, as academic members of staff will be unable to write you a reference unless you obtain their WRITTEN permission beforehand (e.g. by email) to act as a referee. For each reference, you must also give your referee your written consent to disclose data about you. This is particularly important if you wish your referee to mention any periods of suspension or ill health.

It is expected that you should go to your Personal Tutor for a reference in the first instance. Your Personal Tutor can comment on overall academic performance across all modules taken and provide general information. For more subject-specific applications, you may additionally request that a particular lecturer provides you with a reference, but should note that staff are not obliged to provide a reference for students who are not one of their Tutees and, at very busy times of year, it may not be possible for them to do so.

If you plan to make a number of applications, you MUST gain permission to name a particular member of staff for each one: you should detail each opportunity that you are applying for (though you may request a reference for more than one opportunity at a time), and should not assume consent in the future because it has been granted at some point in the past. It is suggested that you offer some explanation of why you are making the application that you are, mentioning aspects of your experience at University that it might be relevant for your referee to highlight in their reference. You should also let your referee have an up-to-date copy of your CV for use when writing their reference for you.

If you intend to apply for a postgraduate programme of study, please be advised that it is far better to submit one well-written application, tailored to the institution that is the best fit for your interests, than to apply for several diverse programmes at once. If you do plan to make a number of applications, please also be advised that it is unlikely staff will be able to write multiple individual references, each of which is tailored to a specific programme.

In academic references, staff are usually asked to comment not only on a student’s academic performance (e.g. marks awarded, quality of written work) but their overall professionalism; this includes such qualities as punctuality, personal organisation, and reliability. You are therefore advised to do all that you can in your interaction with all staff in the School, throughout your time studying here, to ensure that staff can comment favourably on these aspects. Please also note that, if staff do not have evidence of particular qualifications or skills relevant to the application being made, they will not comment on them in their reference.

If you are required to complete an online form as part of your application, which will then be sent on to your referee for them to complete their part, you MUST complete all relevant personal information first. Your referee will not do this for you. 

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Further Study

Some students may decide that another year (or more) of study may give them an edge when it comes to seeking out a career. Here are some useful websites with further information about PG study opportunities:

Prospects - Graduate Courses Website

English Subject Centre

PGCE teacher training

MA opportunities in the School of English

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