Inspiration for Active Career Decision-Making

This final instalment on career decision-making will provide you with two practical approaches to active career decision-making and hopefully give you some inspiration in your career journey too.

In this edition we will look at Emma Rosen’s radical sabbatical 25 before 25, where she tests out twenty-five different occupations in the pursuit of the ideal career, and, secondly, a practical instruction to active career decision-making from Carol Eikleberry who places experiential learning at the forefront of making career-decisions.

1. Emma Rosen the radical sabbatical 25 before 25


“When you were seven and someone told you that being a video game designer was a ridiculous idea and wasn’t a real job, you believed them and tried to forget about it. Or there might have always been two or three things that you have longed to do and, even though you may have picked one of those, not being able to explore the other two things has left you feeling unfulfilled in the career that you do have.

“I had a major quarter-life crisis. So major that I quit my job and spent a year trying out 25 different careers before my 25th birthday. The jobs I tried ranged from archaeology in Transylvania, tour guiding amid violent protests in Venezuela and investigative journalism with a national newspaper, to working as an extra in a major movie, alpaca farming in Cornwall and assisting a crisis team during the terror attack on Parliament in March 2017.

“I hadn’t given career advice a thought since I was 17 and even then I hadn’t given it much consideration, just always doing what I knew would enable me to enter the next stage in the game.

Picture1“There were plenty of more technical skills that I learned  too, like website design, social media management, SEO, building a brand and audience, press engagement and conducting interviews.

Picture1Emma added she also saw her softer people-focused skills improve.

“I could demonstrate that I could be very adaptable, quickly build relationships and embrace change – I could walk into a new team or situation and get on well with everyone (I had done the awkward ‘first day of work’ 25 times).

She said: “On the JOB TODAY hiring platform and instead of pursuing one, linear career path, we’re seeing more young Brits than ever before take on multiple freelance, part-time and casual roles to shape an exciting career that works for them.

“We recently commissioned new research with our job seekers and found that 40 per cent of Brits are already working in part time or freelance roles – a clear sign that today’s generation aren’t afraid of taking charge of their careers.”

Emma now works as a Writer and Speaker. Emma says that communication skills in both verbal and written form have been the most important by a large margin.

2. The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People (Carol Eikleberry 2001).

71rMNx1JCPLThis is a book I read during my early years in practice and found this particular section on active career decision-making a useful and sensible take on career development for others to follow – despite its name!

  1. Make a list of occupations that are most attractive to you. This should be between two-ten occupations, as this will help on research time. If you have more than ten rate them all in terms of preference and create a secondary list to come back to.
  2. Learn about them. Carry out online research in order to identify required skills, qualifications, availability of jobs and projected salary, inter alia.
  3. Talk to people who do that kind of work. Ask the questions that haven’t been answered by your reading. Your goal is to find out what the job is like, so that you can determine whether you like it. Talk to between two-three professionals from the same occupation.
  4. By now you should have narrowed your list down further. The next step is to get some first-hand experience for the final few contenders. This could be paid, volunteering or shadowing.
  5. When you are ready, take some time to think about the advantages and disadvantages of your remaining options. Your final career choice won’t be so much right or wrong as it will have positive and negative consequences.
  6. Make a choice. Now that you are informed about your options, reason, intuition, or a combination of both will help you decide.
  7. At the appropriate time, start looking for a job or the appropriate training

    We’re still here to help!

    As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Career decisions: “I don’t know what to do after University, what do I do?”

This week’s theme for Careers Steps to Success is all about different techniques for effective career decision-making. The online presentation (see My Careers Centre: Techniques to Finding a Future Career) identifies five different approaches with useful tools to enhance the process:

5 approachesFirst and foremost, this is a decision that has to be made by you. You know yourself best and are most likely to adhere to your own choices. Secondly, we need to clear about what the question is and what it is asking in order to solve it.

A little bit about career decisions

A career decision is a commitment to do something, this could be the status quo or something different. It can be one big change or a series of smaller decisions. Try not to regard career decisions as life-long unless, you want them to be. This is because, we, as individuals, have changing preferences and needs coupled with living in a variable and dynamic world.

Careers Advice Online forecasts that the average worker will have between five to seven career changes in a lifetime and change jobs as frequently as every 12 months. The Financial Times produced an article informing readers to expect at least five career changes in a lifetime. Conversion Masters, in-house training and transition into other forms of employment will all contribute to these statistics.

“I don’t know what to do after University, what do I do?”

Providing an answer to the question “I don’t know what to do after university, what do I do?” is the holy grail of all Careers Advisers and most students that we meet.

First of all, don’t jump straight in, to answer the question directly ignores the premise of the question per se. Let’s break this question down:

(1) “I don’t know…”

When it comes to career I don’t know can mean something ranging between: I have absolutely no idea, right through to, I have a number of options and can’t decide, with, I have thought about profession X in the past somewhere in the middle. Where do you see yourself?

Being clear about this allows for more precise help around:

  • Career exploration from scratch
  • Understanding alternatives and suitability
  • Narrowing down your interests to the best choice

(2) “…what to do…”

Action CycleThis part is often a where do I start question. The most important thing is to take action. Action implies experience as a result so taking action. Action can be taken in the following ways:

What stage should you start at?

(3) “…after University (‘Graduation’),”

I have two perspectives on this. Firstly, post-graduate study will be a viable option for Graduates to continue developing by enhancing existing skills or learning another academic discipline.

Secondly, University is a place of growth and development, if you feel you require time for more development, give yourself more time! Treat your Graduation year as a growth year before making a bigger decision. You could try different jobs and/or trainee positions, volunteer, shadowing and internships to give you a taste of different types of occupations.

Thirdly, if you feel ready then start applying for roles.

What are your thoughts?

(4)  “…what do I do?”

Take action when you feel able to do. Thinking can quickly turn to worry or an impasse when new information and experiences are not added therefore it is critical to act. the commitments that you make should be proportionate to the stage you are at. For instance, if you are still exploring interests it would be disproportionate to invest large amounts of time and resources while you are still considering a number of other areas.

In summary, solving this question will require you to take action (i.e. what do I do?) and This will mean starting broad and becoming more focused as you narrow your options down. Consequently, be empowered by change and try not to place a life-sentence to any prospective career change. Plan for the short and medium term, and aspire over the long term. If you want to make a big decision have multiple steps and a back up plan. If you have lots of smaller decisions check regularly on the overall direction.

Lastly, reflect on your development periodically and talk through your ideas with a careers professional.

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Career Thinking: the ultimate chicken and egg conundrum

Picture1Keeping in with the Easter theme. The more I’ve experienced, both as a student and a worker, the frequency of this analogy in my choices…how do we decide on a career options? or worse still, how do I even get started thinking about career?

If you have met me or read my previous blogs, you will know that I studied Law as an undergraduate and had a water-tight ambition to become a Solicitor. It was only when a Careers Adviser asked me why and how I’d come to that decision that I realised how flawed it was. Cutting a long story short, this led to a profound crisis of identity.

Why is this story important to you?

Two reasons:

  1. It took me some time to solve this problem but I solved it and continually do.
  2. Career thinking is a process and not just a feeling – sadly, we spend less time thinking about our long-term future than we do buying the latest phone or planning a night out with friends.

First thing first, don’t panic!

It doesn’t matter where you start whether it’s reading about career, networking, employment, volunteer work, talking to a Careers Adviser an Academic…just start!

There is a fine-line between thinking and worrying which is why, I think, that we spend less time thinking about our career than other things – answers don’t come easy.

Instinctively, the next people to connect with are peers because you’re all in the same boat right? Possibly family too? Then, last but not least do it tomorrow or stick with your gut feeling and what you know.

These are important factors to take into account but they need to be combined with crucial second opinions from professionals, i.e. Careers Advisers and professionals within your area of interest. Their views will be independent and offer practical steps for progression.

Remember, this is a process!

Be methodical about how you approach things. Some will find a lucrative and/or their dream career by chance, but for many, this process alone limits options and possibility too much.

Factor in some methodical approaches alongside and happen-stance and you will have a greater pool of options to pick from.


Don’t just stick to what you know because this approach often means less choice. A little exploration doesn’t harm your existing ideas if they are the right ones anyway. Secondly, start this process as soon as you can because knowing the bigger picture early leads to better career decisions and provides more time to act on the options available.

Prospects: what can I do with my subject and job profiles are great depositories of information on career options.

What do you want from career?

Knowing facts about jobs and professions is important but understanding what you want from career is critical. You don’t need to know what job you will have for the rest of your life but the small questions often help answer the bigger ones.

  1. What do you want work to look like?
  2. Who or what might this involve?
  3. What do you want from work?

Your current situation

This is something that is often overlooked until you hit a dead-end or you’re in over your head. Understand your situation first, get other opinions and listen to your gut instinct too.

Check finances, logistics and availability of an occupation in your area before possibly overcommitting. Do you have children or family commitments? Do you want to take some time out before jumping into the next big thing?

Strengths and preferences?

Strengths and preferences are a good guide to be an effective and happy worker. Anybody reading this who has had a job they hate will vouch for this.

List three strengths of yours in relation to things that you do and care about?

Additionally, identify the types of environment, people, duties and equipment you prefer to work in?

Critical check-list

  1. Research all available options
  2. Talk to relevant organisations and professions
  3. Try it out with some volunteer work, placement/internship or shadowing
  4. Reflect on its suitability to you – repeat if necessary

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Have a happy and safe Easter from everybody at Hope






8 Tips for Masters Personal Statement Writing

a) Planning Stage

Tip 1: Read the information carefully

Does the description come with a brief or particular information to include in the statement? This could include emphasis part of your current studies, work experience or even a brief research proposal.

It is also common for there to be a word limit or character limit (always check with or without line-spacing).

Tip 2: Research

Effective research is important for two reasons:

  • One, to make sure that the course and university are a good match for you.
  • Two, that you can demonstrate to the reader that you have intentionally picked their university and course because it fits your needs and assures them that you have the credentials to study the course at Masters level.

Research the university, its age, specialisms, status and reputation.

Research the department and identify expertise, research and prominent staff that would benefit your study. Are the professional links to organisations and employers?

Research the course. What modules interest you? For instance, are there modules that will expand your knowledge or consolidate it? Does it have a placement or work experience opportunities? Will there be guest speakers? How might you want to shape your research?

Tip 3: Reflect

So far, all of the planning described has been about what the university does or it wants from you. The personal statement a chance to showcase what you have to offer. This might be the first time that you can talk with confidence about your journey and what your career plans are.

Reflect on the milestones in your academic career so far. Describe your academic interests currently and for the future. What is your skills-set, knowledge and experience to date? What are your career aspirations? What do you do outside of academics that you’re proud of?

b) Drafting

Tip 4: A clear and logical structure with a beginning, middle and ending

As with any good story or essay the ending always re-visits the beginning and the middle describes the areas for determination in greater detail.

Once you have planned your structure always draft in a word document first.

The beginning should be a clear outline of:

  • Who you are and where you study?
  • What you are applying for and where?
  • A short overview of why you think you are a strong candidate for the course?

The middle will be more detailed descriptions of your introduction, for example:

  • Why have you picked that particular university and course?
  • Information about your current studies and its relevance (where appropriate)
  • Relevant work experience, volunteering and part-time employment other skills and that you can handle multiple commitments.
  • Hobbies and interests outside of study are not an essential part of the statement although they do demonstrate personal qualities and, possibly, that your outside interests match your academic interests.
  • Be clear about what you want from your career and where do you think the course will take you?

The ending lets the reader know that you are concluding by reiterating your interest in the course and what makes you a suitable candidate.

Tip 5: Language

Be professional in your tone and avoid acronyms and abbreviations (without first using full name), slang and informal language. Try to be objective and factual as much as possible as this will determine if an offer is made.

The reader will be most interested in what you have done and what you think rather than what you feel. Avoid statements like, ‘I love’, ‘I enjoyed’, ‘I hate’, etc. The reader will interpret your passion from your descriptions and demonstration.

Try to be positive in phrasing your descriptions such as: ‘I demonstrated’, ’I can/have’, ‘I enhanced’, ‘I developed’, ‘this enabled me to’, etc. Contrastingly, avoid passive language wherever possible, such as: ‘I had to’we learnt’, ‘this made me’.

Tip 6: Proof-read

Firstly, check that the messages and points you are trying to convey get across and have a logical flow and structure. Don’t just rely on spell-checker. Read thoroughly for spelling and grammar issues and casing – names should always start with a capital letter.

c) Submission

Tip 7: Second opinion

By this point you should be able to tell the proof-reader what to look out for and give you professional feedback. This might mean some re-writes and updates.

Try to get feedback from people who regularly read and review personal statements. This should include a Careers Adviser and an academic where possible.

Tip 8: Submit…stop reading it!

If it is an online application, copy and paste the statement from a word document to the application. Contrastingly, if the application asks for an attachment document of your personal statement then save and submit as a pdf. Doing this will avoid formatting errors at and ensures that your document cannot be altered.

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via email, telephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Conversion Masters, Other Subjects and Career Change

photo-1499244571948-7ccddb3583f1At the start of my final year I decided that I didn’t have a professional interest in my subject anymore. Thinking and accepting this are two different things entirely. My inner voice would say:

 “This has taken three years so your stuck with it

             What will your family say?”

                          Everyone else seems fine about this

                                     …okay smart guy, what will you do instead!?!…stick with this!”

Ultimately, the only person who can make a decision on this is you, because it’s your future. But what I can confidently tell you is that there is life after the Bachelors for those who stick with their subject and those who don’t.

“Be brave about your future and try not to follow the crowd, they could be feeling the same as you”

If you do decide that you would like to study a Masters, but not in the same subject, there are a wealth of other subjects and conversion Masters that just may be the perfect fit for your tastes and careers aspirations.

What is a conversion Masters?

Conversion courses are intensive postgraduate programmes that allow individuals to pursue a career that their undergraduate degree or professional career hasn’t prepared them for. They’re usually vocational and last between a few months and several years, depending on the qualification and whether you choose fast-track, full-time or part-time study (per Prospects).

Conversion course information

Types of conversion Masters

MSc in Psychology: this is typically one year in duration (full-time) and provides Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) giving the student a British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation and a rote to become a Chartered Psychologist.

LLM in Law: this is typically one year in duration (full time) gives eligibility for training to become a Solicitor (LPC or SQE from 2021) or a Barrister (BPTC).

Medicine: this is available as a four-year fast-track course (full time). Some courses will accept students from any degree disciple whilst others may require a relevant subject such as Biology or Chemistry. Relevant work experience is essential.

Nursing and Allied Health Masters (pre-registry): these courses are typically two-years in duration (full-time). In relation to Nursing, training is available in the following four areas: adult, children, learning disability or mental health.

Other Allied Health Masters include Dietetics, Physiotherapy and Occupational Health, inter alia. Either route will give you Health and Care Professions Council Registration (HCPC) in order to work with patients and clients.

Engineering: these can range from one to two years in duration (full-time). Many will come with an integrated industrial placement. Although some providers accept non-related degree candidates, numeracy and science-based skills are paramount.

Social Work: this will normally last two years in duration and is a combination of assessments, dissertation and integrated placements. Completing the course will qualify you as a Social Worker.

“As well as traditional conversion Masters there are a plethora of Masters subjects that consider graduates from most degree disciplines”

Teacher Training?

Teacher training could also be the career change that you want and with options to train in a university or a school-setting. The added value of teacher training is that the funding stream is separate from Masters so you could do both (but not at the same time). Teacher training is available in Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Further Education age-groups as well as specialisms and subject expertise.

Get into teaching

A second degree in Nursing?

There is also an exception to student finance allowing prospective graduates to study a second degree in Nursing with a second undergraduate loan (instead of a post-graduate loan). This is advantageous because the undergraduate loans are combined rather than separated and repayments are exactly the same with or without a second student loan. A degree in Nursing will take between three to four years to complete.

Financial support in healthcare careers

How much does it cost?

As with a traditional Masters, prices vary. Where the course runs for two years (full time) there are bursaries available or where the course is an Allied Health course it is possible to apply for a second undergraduate loan in order to cover the two years.

Masters loan information

Will a conversion course enhance my career?

Before committing to a conversion course, ask yourself:photo-1528716321680-815a8cdb8cbe

  • Is the qualification necessary for my (future) profession?
  • Is the qualification valued by employers?
  • How many graduates get jobs after doing this course?
  • Will it lead to a PhD or further study? (per Prospects)


“Knowing what you want, what it requires and what you need are the road to success”

Prospects provides to pages to aid your research regarding jobs related to your prospective Masters and a catalogue of job profile (see below). The Qualification section will give you clear information on the essential requirements of any occupation of interest.

What can I do with my subject?

Job profiles

How do I apply?

Most Masters are applied directly through the providing university (occasionally, this will be through UCAS). However, Masters in Nursing, Teaching and Social Work will require a UCAS application.


Prospects conversion courses

UCAS post-graduate

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via email, telephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Thinking about studying a Masters?

IMG_0046This is a lowdown of everything Masters to help you decide if it is right for you and to know some of the potential benefits for your career development.

What is a Masters degree?

A Masters degree is a Level 7 qualification (Bachelors degree is Level 6) with full-time programmes typically being one year long (some can be two years in duration).

Where a degree is broad in nature, Masters tend to focus on refined aspects of a field in greater detail. Class sizes will be smaller and work will be intense, faster and more advanced than its undergraduate counterpart.

There are various titles of Masters awards to be familiar with. Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MSc) are the most common, although others include:

LLM      (Master of Law)                                        MFA   (Master of Fine Arts)

MArch (Master of Architecture)                         MLitt  (Master of Letters)

MEd     (Master of Education)                             MMus (Master of Music)

MEng   (Master of Engineering)                          MSt     (Master of Studies)

MBA    (Master of Business Administration)

Lastly, Master of Research (MRes) is predominantly studied from distance, with an independent research project taking up around 60% of a student’s overall time.


Integrated Masters

An integrated Masters is a programme that combines an additional qualification (usually with an undergraduate degree or sometimes a PhD). This means you will study a single programme instead of two separate programmes over a four-year period instead of three.


How is a Masters graded?

50% or above for a Pass;

60% or above for a Merit; and,

70% or above for Distinction.


How much does a Masters cost?

Fees for Masters vary from course-to-course and each institution. According to UCAS fees average £11,000 per year although Arts and Humanities subjects tend to be cheaper than the average, with STEM and Medical courses often costing more.

Student loans are available (£10,500 approx) as well as scholarships and bursaries, Research Council grants, employer sponsorship and crowdfunding.

It is also helpful to point out than an integrated Masters can be financed entirely from an undergraduate loan (four years) rather than a separate post-graduate loan. This means that you will pay less back later in your career (gross salary of £25,000 or above per year).


Will a Masters get me a job?

Masters degrees are regarded highly by employers, however, a Masters can’t guarantee you a job on graduation. 77% of all working-age postgraduates were in high-skilled employment compared to 65% of graduates (2017).

Masters are also an essential requirement for some professions, such as Psychologists, Lawyers, some Social Workers and Medical professionals, inter alia.

Additionally, having a Masters could give you the edge over other candidates in an interview, lead to accelerated career progression and/or allow you to specialise within a profession.


Can I do a Masters with a 2:2?

The short answer is, possibly. Most providers will insist on at least a 2:1, however, many providers will consider an application with a 2:2. The institution may ask for an explanation about your classification and why you should be considered. Others may also factor in work experience as well as your dissertation grade.


Which course is right for me?

It is tempting to go on gut feeling, be blinded by the name of an institution or as whimsical as whether a campus that looks snazzy and modern. A gut feeling about a place is important but not the only important factor to consider.

Use the advanced skills that got you to this stage in your academic career and create criteria to compare against courses and providers. Below are some ideas to get you started:

  1. University reputation
  2. Department reputation and staff expertise
  3. Career prospects
  4. Taught or research Masters
  5. Course content
  6. Links with industry
  7. Location
  8. Fees and funding
  9. Support and facilities


Sources of help

Prospects (Masters degrees):

Target Jobs (Why do postgraduate study):

(What can I do with my Masters?):

The Guardian (Don’t choose a masters before taking these four steps): guardianfoursteps


GOV.UK (Funding for postgraduate study):


We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability Service is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via email, telephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Placement & Internship Programme Blog: Lucy Slater – Marketing Assistant

We have started a series of Q&A blogs with students who are on or have completed a role as part of Hope’s Placement and Internship Programme (PIP). We wanted to highlight the incredible contributions Hope students have made to organisations, businesses and charities. PIP was created to provide Hope students with bespoke work placement opportunities related to the university’s degree courses and prospective career paths and industries appealing to students.

PIP opportunities are extracurricular and usually involve flexible and part-time hours, though some have been created with full-time hours for Easter and summer periods. Many are based locally in Merseyside and the North West both to ease access for students but also to help local businesses and charities grow. Roles may either compliment the skills and talent base at the company, address skills gaps within the organisation and also are flexible and cost-effective ways to launch new short-term projects and deal with capacity issues. Our students bring fresh ideas and approaches and a high-level of work ethic.

We strive to find opportunities that not only improve a students’ employability, learning and assessments scores, but also provide a wage for the great work they do. Only Hope students and graduates can apply for PIP opportunities as our Placement Officers work with organisations to provide for many that first rung on the graduate job market ladder.

First up in our series is Lucy Slater, a final year Business Management and Marketing student.

CAREERS: How did you find out about the placement/internship?

Lucy: I followed the Hope Uni Careers Twitter and Instagram pages (HopeUniCareers). They posted about the opportunity and I found the details on the My Careers Centre job search in My Hope that they posted the link to.

C: What is the role and company, what do they do?

L: I work for MMA Defence, a self-defence martial class company, as a marketing assistant. The company hosts self-defence classes/seminars and charity events. My role is to market the company and raise awareness of the classes and events through social media and leafleting in order to raise awareness of the company and grow the start-up brand online.

C: Were you looking for this kind of role or was it something you hadn’t considered?

L: I  wanted a paid placement that would give me marketing experience as this was related to my degree and the career I wanted to enter after university. This paid placement is exactly what I was looking for. I work remotely which allows me to work from home in my own time creating social media posts and marketing material

C: What was the application process? Do you have any tips for application forms/interviews?

L: The application process consisted of completing the initial application form and sending my CV. I was then invite to interview. I received a lot of help with my application and updating my CV from Oliver at the careers centre. Oliver assisted in ensuring my application contained information the company was looking for, that it identified my skills and experience in relation to the job description and person specification the employer had outlined and he helped me to update my CV to professional standard.

C: What does a typical day on placement look like? What do you enjoy most? How does it differ to study?

L: After a day at university I have the responsibility of editing a continuous marketing report that establishes ideas for the company and creates schedules for the upcoming social media posts. It has aims and objectives as well as future goals for the company and how I plan to achieve them. I enjoy this placement as it gives me flexible working hours alongside my studies and experience in an industry that I find interesting.

This placement also offers me opportunities to work in different roles and to earn more distributing leaflets before and after university, This is good for students as it is an opportunity to make money around your studies. During this work I have met other students working on the placement and we have worked together on certain projects. It has been fun to work with other students in the same position as me and working on a project that we are excited about due to having autonomy to be creative.

C: What skills have you developed?

L: This role provides me with real-life experiences of how companies are run and real-life experience of marketing a company.

C:Biggest achievement/challenge?

L: The biggest challenge has been creating awareness as the company is a start-up. It was difficult to have so much autonomy in the beginning for a company that didn’t already have procedures and processes in place. However, this became a benefit of the job as it allowed me to use my knowledge from my degree and put it in to practise. The company’s growth has been a success as the number of returning members has grown enormously and students from my marketing degree now attend the classes.

C: What are you doing now?
I’m still in my third year of uni and I have worked for this placement for 3 months. However, I do intend to remain with the company as it has been insightful to watch it grow and succeed. I have worked alongside the owner to overcome challenges and I enjoy seeing the success of MMA Defence grow. Once I graduate from university I intend to continue this placement as a part-time job hopefully alongside my graduate job unless opportunities arise as the company continues to grow.

C: What have you learnt/How has it helped?

L: This role has increased my confidence in my own ability to put my knowledge of marketing in to practise and produce effective processes. My knowledge of the marketing industry has also increased through my research and working alongside the owner as they set up a new business. My degree is marketing and business management and it has been enlightening to watch and help a new company be created.

An additional note it’d like to make is it is that the careers centre has helped me a lot by finding this placement and offering it to students, secondly by helping to ensure my CV and application were up to a great standard before sending it. Additionally, during the placement the team has continuously encouraged and supported my work. I believe this placement will definitely help me to stand out in the job market once I have graduated due to the experience and knowledge it has provided me with.

C: Thanks Lucy! For anyone reading wanting to know more about MMA Defence and the services and classes they offer please see their website for more information 

Thank you for reading this inaugural blog post of the series. PIP opportunities can be found via If you follow the LHU Placement and Internship Programme profile in My Careers Centre  you will receive automatic updates when new opportunities are posted.

If you are an employer interested in creating an opportunity please contact a member of our placement team:

Oliver Back –

Jen Ratcliffe –

CAREER ENHANCEMENT AT HOME SERIES: Brush up on your online interviewing skills

I hope everyone is safe, staying in and following government guidance around the COVID-19.

With more and more uncertainty surrounding the current restrictions in place, there is obviously a big impact on graduate recruitment.

Many graduate recruiters have withdrawn from their normal, face to face, recruitment practices. They are following government guidelines on social distancing and working from home etc. We are hearing from many of the graduate recruiters that they still intend to recruit, their practices are changing. They are moving as many of their selection stages online as possible. There are more online Interviews and assessments taking place, we anticipate this to grow even further over the coming months.

I thought it would be useful to direct you to some resources we have at Hope which can help you to prepare for online selection processes.

stack of newspapers
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For teaching specific interviews we have resources on My Careers Centre here.

We have articles on:

The DOs and DON’Ts during a video interview

4 tips to prepare for a video interview

What hiring managers want from your on-demand video interview

The what, why and how of digital interviews

How to handle a preliminary phone interview

Tips for a successful telephone interview

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Interview simulator and tutorials

We have a range of interview related learning opportunities which give you the opportunity to learn about the 101 most common interviews, understand the do’s and don’ts for answering and the motives behind each question.

You can practice interviews, watch your answers and learn about the different techniques trusted by employers to maximise your chances of success.  Click here to access the resource.


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Also check out our tutorials on:

Researching before your interview

Questions to ask at interview

Using the STAR framework

If you would like to chat to a Careers Adviser online visit My Careers Centre to book an appointment. 

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CAREER ENHANCEMENT AT HOME SERIES: Online / Microvolunteering – (counts for SALA)

Continuing with our career enhancement at home series, today I am promoting online and Microvolunteering.

Microvolunteering is based on the idea that many people doing small actions can make a big difference!

You can volunteer from the safety and comfort of your own home.

You can opt to undertake small tasks for a wide range of causes. Tasks could be anything from photo-tagging, proof reading, signing and sharing petitions, letter writing, surveys for any reasons such as health, wildlife and environmental conservation.

Any Microvolunteering work you do will count towards your Service and Leadership Award, click here to find out more about it.

There will be loads of opportunities which you could find on the internet, here is some to help you get started:


Child rescue alert

Child Rescue Alert is a system designed to alert the public, as quickly as possible, to an abduction or other high risk child disappearance. Statistics show that the initial hours after a child is abducted are crucial, and a sighting by a member of the public can lead to the safe recovery of the child. Child Rescue Alert can be applied anywhere in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland at local, regional or national levels.

An Alert can be sent directly to individuals – for example by text message and email – and reach many more people  through broadcast media such as television, social media and digital billboards.


be my eyes

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.


It’s costs the person playing the album absolutely nothing, but the more the album is played, the more money is raised for SurfAid via Spotify’s royalty payments. So we’ve made donating to a great cause so easy, you can even do it in your sleep.

Charity Miles – stay safe follow government guidelines for exercise times.


LibriVox volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain (books no longer under copyright), and make them available for free on the Internet. Practically, this means we record books published before 1923. All our recordings (including yours, if you volunteer for us) are also donated into the public domain.


UN Volunteers

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Online volunteering allows organizations and volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world, from any device. Online volunteering is fast, easy – and most of all, effective. When skilled, passionate individuals join forces online with great organizations working toward sustainable development goals, everyone wins.



Participate in research of all kinds, from classifying galaxies to counting penguins to transcribing manuscripts. Whatever your interest, there’s a Zooniverse project for you.


Garden Birdwatch

Help with research into garden wildlife by joining the Garden BirdWatch network: -server was down due to demand on their bandwidth


There are other ways to help with the community effort during the COVID period:

NHS volunteer responders


Liverpool Council



We at Hope are also co-ordinating volunteering opportunities during  COVID-19,

E-mail with any other volunteering opporunities and we will update this blog.



10 tips to use ‘lock down’ to your advantage

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We’re all facing uncertain times at the moment and with face to face classes cancelled it may feel like University is over. While it’d be easy to sit around and storm through your newest PS4 game or laugh your day away on TikTok, when things go back to normal you might wish you’d used your time differently.

We’ve put together some top tips to keep you on track and to get the most out of your spare time whether you’re still on campus or have returned home.

1. Still attend ALL your classes!

This is a dream come true, you don’t have to leave your bed to make that 9AM Monday morning lecture. Attend and engage with your online sessions from wherever and however you’re most comfortable. Couch, bed, cat on your knee? You do you.

2. Catch up on allllllll the things

Missed classes, helping your coursemates, extra reading…things come up and stuff gets pushed further and further down the to-do list, we get it. Now is the time to tick these extra bits off your list. It’ll clear your inbox and your conscience – no more ‘I’ve got so much to do’ anxiety

3.Get ahead

Even better than catching up is getting ahead; have a look at Moodle, could you do next week’s reading this week? How about making a timetable? Put all those colourful pens and washi tape to good use – think about when will you study/work/relax during this time. If you really want to go for it, start thinking about next year and how you’re going to spend your summer.

4.Do your research

Have you looked in to future careers? Are you on track? Do you need think about getting more experience? These are big questions, but important ones. Read around your degree, where does it take people? Try and come up with some transferrable skills you’ve got from university that you can apply to different job roles. You don’t always need to go into a certain industry because that’s what your degree was in. Read studies/stories/articles in fields you’re interested in, you never know when it might come in useful.

5.Get some rest

Take this time to have plenty of breaks, follow Government guidance but make sure you get some kind of fresh air or exercise each day. Go for a solo walk and focus on anything that’s not work/uni/virus related: local wildlife, how nice the daffodils look, what people have done with their gardens. Pop on your favourite music and go for a solo run, play a yoga video from YouTube or try your hand at baking something new. You can work at a slower pace now and really recharge those batteries.

6.You better WERK

So what about those bits between rests? Now that you don’t have as many social commitments and don’t have to travel to university for classes, you may find yourself with MORE time on your hands. Make sure you use that for good, there’s a ton of things you could do that would give you a great advantage on your CV. Learn a new skill, do an online course, listen to audiobooks, volunteer remotely…employers want employees with industry skills as well as soft skills.

7.Give yourself something extra

Thought you didn’t have time for SALA? Now, you do! The introduction and core talks are being delivered remotely and the skills developments can be done by completing online courses or watching online talks/lectures (not course lectures tho). All of the tasks are on My Careers Centre where you can also complete online personality tests to find out more about yourself and how you work.  


There are LOTS of people around us in need, especially now. Lots of charities will be glad of the extra help so approach a local organisation and see what you can do. It’s vital that you volunteer safely, even if you feel fine you may be putting vulnerable others at risk so follow any instructions you’re given. It doesn’t have to be official volunteering either, you could engage (safely) with your community; offer to call elderly neighbours to reduce feeling of loneliness, if someone is isolated with young children offer to pick up some shopping for them next time you go for essentials – you can leave it on the doorstep to avoid close contact.

9.Spend time with loved ones

Some of you may have now returned home, this means extra time with your family when you would have normally been at university. Cherish that and enjoy the comfort of being home, if your family members are at home too why not do things together to help pass the time? Get mum to teach you the family secret to a perfect Victoria sponge or dad to teach you how to change a tyre. If your family aren’t blessed in the vocational department you could try boardgames to give yourselves a break from a Netflix binge. Maybe give Monopoly a miss though…

10.Get thinking and reflect

What do you want to do after university? Reflect on this academic year, would you change anything you’ve been doing? If you’re Level C or I; could you do anything differently next year? How might you engage more on campus? What do you want to achieve?

In all of this, the most important thing is that you keep safe and well. Avoid going out with your mates – this isn’t Easter break, it’s a shutdown to prevent the spread of a lethal virus. How you use the time is ultimately up to you, but you have a wonderful opportunity here to do something different and make yourself stand out to employers.

What will you be doing in your spare time? Tell us your top tips for working in the shut down and we’ll feature a selection in our next blog! (Comment or email