1. Planning & Architecture First Year
As a First Year Planning or Architecture student, you will be prioritising settling into your course and generally getting involved with opportunities and supports offered across the University.
Some useful early career information, planning and development opportunities to start thinking about and engaging with include:
1. FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH MYFUTURE, DEGREE PLUS, CAREERS SERVICE/CONSULTANTS AT THE SGC AND THE CAREERS WEBSITE.
- All Queen's receive a free MyFuture account. This allows you to view jobs, view/book into extra-curricular careers workshops, employer talks, or one-to-one appointments with a Careers Consultant. Just download the App or go to www.qub.ac.uk/myfuture and use your Queen's email address as your username and normal Queen's password to log in and view. You should also look out for MyFuture
- The Degree Plus Award offers over 150 approved extra-curricular work experiences, early professional development programmes, global/international experiences and community and voluntary experiences (both inside and outside Queen's). Check out the Degree Plus website, ask your Careers Consultant or contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have queries.
- Look out for your Careers Consultants and Student Helpers from the Careers Service based at the Student Guidance Centre (SGC) and across the campus. You will meet your consultant at talks/workshops within your course; at Careers/Degree Plus workshops and Pop Ups across campus (including DKB, McClay Library foyer and Careers Fairs) or via booked MyFuture Appointments
- This webpage for Planning & Architecture students is hosted on the Careers website where the Careers Service also provides general careers information on its website on topics such as how to prepare for job applications and interviews.
2. COME ALONG AND TRY OUT ONE OR TWO CAREERS ACTIVITIES OF EVENTS DURING YOUR FIRST YEAR.
You will find 4 key Themed Weeks/Deadlines heavily promoted to all Queen's students each year. The offer lots of opportunities, information and guidance that will help you to build your CV and will also help you to gain understanding and practice of how to effectively articulate your skills and experience to employers and others e.g. to help you get summer work, placements and eventually, a graduate job. These events are:
- October Career Fairs and January Work Experience Fair in the Whitla Hall. Any student can drop into the fair and browse the employers and opportunities on show. The Work Experience Fair in January is particularly relevant to Level 1 and 2 students who are gaining a placement; internship or other work experience.
- Go Global Week: "Come to Go Global Week to meet the organisations that can offer you the experience of a lifetime to study, work or volunteer abroad"
- Degree Plus Award (certificate presented to qualifying students along with their Degree Parchment at their graduation ceremony) . You will notice promotions for two types of accredited activity (Route A or B). You can get involved or apply for Degree Plus at any time from first year through to Final Year. The Degree Plus website includes an 11 minute induction video to tell you what Degree Plus is, the benefits of getting involved and how to gain a Route A and or Route B accreditation.
- Development Weeks: Open to all students, including First Years. You will see short events and workshops advertised in January and more significant career development programmes, tours and internships offered in May.
In addition, you can choose from a range of short "SKILLUP" workshops. These are advertised in MyFuture and take place at lunchtime or Wednesday afternoons at different dates throughout the year.
- These short 2 hour workshops offer employer insights to any student of any level (attend 4 as a Degree Plus Route B activity). They cover topics such as:
- Develop Your Commercial Awareness
- Know Your Strengths
- Ace Your Application
3. THINK ABOUT HOW TO MAKE USE OF YOUR SUMMER BREAK TO GAIN WORK OR OTHER EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR DEVELOPING CV.
Getting involved in some of the events suggested above will build up your understanding of the sort of experiences that are available, are of interest to you and show you how to apply to them. You may find the job search sites in Section 5 below useful.
- 2. Planning and Architecture Level 2/Mid Course
LEVEL 2 PLANNING: Pre-Placement Careers Workshops and Employer Events are embedded within your course.
MID-COURSE PLANNING & ARCHITECTURE (ALL) KEY MESSAGES AND EVENTS
1. CHECK BACK ON THE SUGGESTIONS MADE FOR FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ABOVE TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE NOW FAMILIAR WITH THE MAIN CAREER ENGAGEMENT TOOLS AND EVENTS (ONLINE AND ON CAMPUS)
2. ATTEND AND MAKE THE MOST OF ANY COURSE EMBEDDED, CAREERS SERVICE, EMPLOYER OR PROFESSIONAL BODY EVENTS THAT YOUR SCHOOL HAS ARRANGED (PARTICULARLY WITHIN THE lEVEL 2 PRE-PLACEMENT MODULE EMBEDDED PROGRAMME)
3. CHECK, CLEAN AND PROFESSIONALISE YOUR ONLINE PROFILE
- We have all heard the expression that "First Impressions Count". This applies to your online image as well as your personal image when you meet a potential employer in person, via skype or in a telephone conversation.
- A well considered, professional profile and effective use of social media resources, such as LinkedIn, can also help you to draw an employers attention to you in a positive way and can be helpful in enabling you to identify "hidden jobs".
- Check out the Careers Service 8 tips to creating a professional online presence and developing you online network.
4. CONTINUE TO BUILD YOUR SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES: Look for more challenging experiences from Level 2 onwards - e.g. degree relevant work experiences, international opportunities or participate in extra-curricular management/leadership development programmes (e.g. check on some of the Degree Plus, Route A experiences within the "Professional" strand or choose an activity from Go Global or the Development Weeks)
5. START TO MEET, NETWORK AND CONVERSE DIRECTLY WITH RELEVANT EMPLOYERS
- Talk with exhibiting employers, placement students and recent graduates at October and January Careers Fairs in the Whitla Hall
- Attend on and off campus Employer Events (e.g. as advertised on MyFuture)
- Make use of professional bodies e.g. Student membership of the RICS, RTPI for Planners RIBA, RSUA and/or RIAI for Architects. The often offer networking opportunities that they offer opportunities for student members. Queen's also has links and offers some free student memberships of the Institute of Directors to a limited number of students.
- Learn how to pitch to an employer in order to catch their interest (e.g. via a 30 second elevator pitch or speculative applications/calls)
- Make use of online networks
6. DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE IN EFFECTIVELY SEARCHING AND APPLYING TO JOBS (AS PART OF THIS, YOU WILL NEED TO BE READY TO PRACTICE AND TAKE FEEDBACK ON HOW BEST TO ARTICULATE YOUR ACADEMIC, PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL STRENGTHS AND EXPERIENCES TO EMPLOYERS AND OTHERS)
- You wil find tailored Job Search Facility in your MyFuture account (contains jobs and placements that employers have asked Queen's to advertise to students)
- Examples of Job Websites- See MyFuture and other example Job Search tools below)
7. CHECK OUT THE JOB SEARCH AND PREVIOUS DESTINATIONS OF STUDENTS FROM YOUR DISCIPLINE: See the previous destinations of graduates (Section 4 below) and the job search tools in Section 5.
- 3. Planning & Architecture Final Year UG/PGT
Ideally, by Final Year you have built up a range of work and other career development experiences, possibly also added an international and/or the Degree Plus Award to your CV (as outlined in the information for Level 2 and Mid-Course students above). You should also be ready to seek out opportunities and showcase your profile of academic and work-related achievements to employers. To do this effectively, you will find it helpful to check the following:
- Make use a range of job search web tools (see Section 5 below). (E.g. MyFuture, Grad Cracker and the other examples shown in the job search section below.
- Make use of Careers Service advice, practice and feedback opportunities to produce effective CVs, Cover Letters and job applications.
- Prepare, practice and deliver at interview (may include telephone or Skype interviews)
- Where applicable, practice and get familiar with other assessment centre selection instruments that employers may use such as psychometric tests, delivering presentations, group exercises and negotiation challenges)
- 4. Graduate Job Destinations of Previous Planning/Architecture Students and Careers Support for Alumni
EXAMPLES OF GRADUATE JOB DESTINATIONS OF PAST PLANNING & ARCHITECTURE STUDENT
Architecture Examples Roles
Architect, Architectural Assistant (Part 1, 2 or 3), Lecturer, Researcher, Research Assistant.
Architecture Employer Examples
McGurk Architects, Jstico & Whiles, Van Dijck, SPACE Group, McCann Moore, Hall, Black & Douglas ArchitectsUniversity/College School of Architecture,
Examples of Employers who have hired Planning & Architecture Graduates in Recent Years
Belfast and other City Council Planning Offices, Queen's and other Universities, Local Estate Agents, Chambers Homes, National Grid, Choice Housing Ireland Ltd, Clyd Shanks, PWC, NI Housing Executive, Terraquest Solutions Ltd, White Ink Architects, STW Architects, Todd Architects & Planners, H&SA, London Borough of Lewisham, jacobs Engineering.
Examples of Environmental Planning Graduate Job Roles
Urban/Environmental Planner, Consultancy Work, Research work, Development Assistant, Manager/Supervisory roles, Estate Agent, Analyst, Immigration Associate, GIS Officer, Conservation Associate.
CAREERS SUPPORT FOR PLANNING & ARCHITECTURE ALUMNI
AS a graduates of Planning & Architecture at Queen's University Belfast you may access the full range of CES services, including one-to-one Guidance Appointments and CV checks, for up to two your following graduation.
Your MyFuture account will remain live in order to allow you to view jobs and book into opportunities and appointments.
You may also find it useful to make use of the wider Queen's alumni community by connecting to the University's Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) and their world-wide graduate networks.
- 5. Job Search Tools and Sector Information
Understanding Graduate Schemes
There is not a strict definition, but graduate schemes tend to be defined by the following criteria:
- Operated by large organisations e.g. Civil Service, HSBC, BP.
- Fixed term – usually 18 months – 2 years. Most people are offered permanent jobs with the organisation at the end of the fixed term. These are jobs with some additional study/support elements. Many operate a rotational system so that graduates spend some time working in different departments.
- Well paid – they usually have better pay and benefits than other graduate options.
- Competitive – when you hear in the media c.80 people applying for every graduate job, it’s generally graduate schemes they are talking about. Some organisations set entry requirements of 2.1 or above and some set UCAS requirements. There is also usually a long recruitment process.
- Timeline – most (but not all) are open for applications in autumn and many (but not all) close by December.
Graduate schemes are not the only route to a graduate job! Most graduates find graduate level work outside of graduate schemes
Job Search Site Examples for Planning & Architecture Students and Graduates GENERAL/ANY GRADUATE OPPORTUNITIES PLANNING & ARCHITECTURE JOBS RESEARCH JOBS
- Terraquest (GIS and other Planning jobs)
- GIS Jobs (Total Jobs Search Link)
- Transport for London: Graduate Jobs & Placements
- FinTRU - Local Company