Getting a graduate job at the end of your studies is probably one of the main reasons why you have come to Queen's to study for your Degree. Careers Advisers and support staff are available to help you to develop opportunities to gain valuable and relevant work experience and offer a series of work-related learning experiences through a huge variety of programmes.
Placement Learning and Work Experience
The Value of Volunteering
Volunteering may help you to develop important employability skills like self-confidence and team-working. It has the potential to present you with new challenges, develop wider skills associated with the specific job role and may help you focus your career choice. Apart from what it says about you in terms of your personal integrity and commitment to valuable community, environmental or other projects, it is also often provides a platform for students to make their first step into work experience.
- For further information, check out the information on provided within the Degree Plus website on Volunteering.
- You may also find it helpful to check the on the local opportunities advertised via the Volunteer Now website.
- European Voluntary Service: Click here to view the European Commission's "Youth in Action" website
- Add an International Dimension to your Queen's Degree
Internationalising your Queen’s experience can be a great way of developing personal and employability skills, experiencing exciting new cultures, gaining a more global outlook and perspective, as well as – and definitely not to be forgotten – an opportunity to meet new friends and have fun.
A wide range of opportunities are available to Queen's students including Erasmus, Study USA/China and India, Teaching in Thailand, US-NI Mentorship programme, AIESEC, AIESTI and BUNAC.
For further details on all of the above click on the weblinks below:
- International and Exchange Programmes (This includes Erasmus, Study and Work abroad options, Exchange programmes and Summer Schemes)
- Further Opportunities for Queen's students to Study or Work Overseas - click here
- AIESEC (Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce)
- IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience)
- BUNAC (British Universities North America Club)
- US-Ni Mentorship Programme: An opportunity for around 25 students and recent graduates to spend 1 year working in a paid mentored work placement within a corporate/business environment in the USA
- How to make the most of Work Placements opportunities offered as part of your course
There are lots of good reasons to put the effort in to gaining graduate-level work experience alongside your Degree qualification. For example:
- to develop valuable experiences that will help you to evidence your skills in a manner that will impress future employers
- to gain a greater understanding of the graduate work environment and prove that you can adapt quickly to it.
- to develop important valuable networks that could help you when you graduate
- many students find that work experience is very motivating and helps them to focus more clearly on their goals when they return to study
- to help financially during your studies
There are two main types of work placement offered as part of many courses at Queen's
- Compulsory placements that must be successfully completed
- Optional placements (details of these will be provided via Course Handbooks/information and your Adviser of Studies)
- Gain work experience by working for Queen's
Every year, different departments in Queen's will employ students to undertake relevant paid work for the University. These posts are advertised in Queen's Online by OnCampus Jobs.
- Develop Your Own Work Experience Activity
An overview of opportunities which you can develop is provided on the Work Experience webpage. This includes guidance regarding summer vacation and part-time work during term. In considering the range of opportunities, you are also encouraged to consider opportunities for promotion/upskilling in any existing part-time jobs which you may have (please note that we we strongly recommend that you should not work for more than 15 hours maximum per week during term time).
Programmes and Work Related Learning Opportunities
Why do employers value Degree Plus?
From an employer's perspective, Degree Plus accreditation indicates that the applicant has a work ethic that has motivated them to make good use of their time at Queen's and to gain additional experiences beyond their studies for their Degree. It also lets them know that Queen's has checked for evidence that the candidate has genuinely engaged in the experience and has presented evidence of their level of involvement to the University (i.e. the experience(s) have been formally validated by Queen's University Belfast).
2-3 Quotes from a employer re Degree Plus
For further information regarding Degree Plus, including some feedback from students who completed the Award previously, please click here.
- What is "Insight into Management" and why do Queen's students value it so highly?
List of the top 10, some quotes, pictures and casestudies
- What are the most popular Career Development Programmes for Arts, Humanities and Social Science students?
- Which programmes will help me most when it comes to preparing myself for applications, interviews and selection procedures?
Skills for Success
- I am a particularly able and ambitious students and have high aspirations for my future career. Is there anything further that might help me to gain a further edge?
Alumni Career Mentoring
Frontrunner Leadership Programme
How Can We Help You?
"I am unsure of career options"
Click here if you would like to read some information on what your career options are, what to do next and how to improve your chances of success.
Click here if you feel you would prefer to talk one-to-one with a Careers Adviser (you will find that there is a Careers Adviser specialist for your School as well as a specialist Adviser for International Students)
If you prefer, you may also e-mail your Careers Adviser with one or two questions via e-guidance (answered within 5 working days)
- "I want to improve my chances of securing a graduate job"
There are many positive steps that you can take to increase your chances of success in competitive local, national and global graduate job markets. Work Experience and Alumni Career Mentoring are two beneficial and clear option that are open to you. There are also many other valuable experiences available to students who want to make the effort to make the most of their time at the Univerisity. Click here to find out more, including how to gain accreditation for the activities you undertake via the Degree Plus Award.
Every year graduate employers ask Queen's to advertise thousands of graduate jobs and work placements. In addition to this, Careers, Employability & Skills (CES) also offers you hundreds of workshops (including Lunchtime Workshops and the Skills for Success Programme) and experiential opportunties throughout your studies. All of these are uploaded to Queen's Prospects Events and Job Vacancies for you to see. The first time that you enter this site, you will need to register for Queen's Prospects. Once you have done this you will be able search, book and apply to various jobs/activities. Signing up for Queen's Prospects is another relatively simple and advantageous step for you to take and we strongly recommend that you do so.
A quick overview of all the Events being offered by Queen's Careers over the next two weeks can be viewed via the "Whats On!" and Events on Campus this Week icons on the careers website.
- "I would like to undertake an international experience during my time as a student. What are my options?"
Over 600 Queen's students took up the chance of working or studying abroad last year. There are a wide variety of options, with Erasmus, University Exchange Programmes, Study USA, BUNAC, Teaching English in Thialand and the Brussels Study Tour being among the most popular.
For Further information regarding how to add an international dimension to you degree - click here
- "I would like some help in producing my CV, Application Forms and in preparing myself for interviews."
Careers Advisers are often asked for guidance and feedback to a student who is preparing e.g. an Application Form or going to a work placement or graduate job interview. There are a number of options for getting help with this:
- For a specific application or interview, you may prefer to discuss your application/preparations one-to-one with the Careers Adviser for your School.
- Alternatively, you may prefer to attend one of the Lunchtime workshops, Skills for Success or other workshops on CVs, Applications and Interview that are advertised via the Queen's Prospects, Events and Job Vacancies advertising tool (if you have not used this previously, you will find it simple and advantageous to you to sign up).
- For a quick question, you may also like to email your adviser using e-guidance
- "What Careers Fairs are there at Queen's? When do they happen and how can I make the most of them?
Each year a large number of Careers Fairs are run by CES at Queen's. Any student from any discipline is welcome to attend any fair.
In the days running up to the biggest fairs, lunchtime workshops to guide you on how to prepare to get the most out of Careers Fairs are run. Again, these are advertised on Queen's Prospects, Events & Vacancies (If you have not already done so, you will need to sign up to use this tool)