My Job Hunt Adventure:

Thriving as an International Student in the UK

Welcome Readers, back again with a new blog elucidating a new experience today that the UK exposed me to. Living in one of the vibrant student cities of the UK; Preston and studying at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), I have come across a rollercoaster of demanding, frenzied, and fulfilling experiences in the job hunt. As you embark on your academic journey here, I understand that finding part-time employment opportunities can be both exciting and challenging. But fear not! In this blog, I will be guiding you through the process with a sprinkle of enthusiasm, my experiences, and a dash of interactive fun.

Remember that your university is always there with multiple opportunities surrounding you, you just need to stretch your arms and legs. Being a student at UCLan, I’ll plunge you into exciting job opportunities within my dynamic campus, the University of Central Lancashire!

UCLan Careers Service – a Platform to Success:

Imagine strolling into the UCLan student center's first floor, heart pounding with anticipation, clutching your modest CV. As you approach the UCLan Careers and Student Support desk, a friendly face greets you, immediately putting you at ease. With a warm smile, she guided me to her desk, where together I embarked on a journey to transform my CV into a masterpiece. With expert guidance, you can refine your CV and craft a captivating cover letter, all while honing your interview skills to perfection. Their dedicated team of professionals is committed to ensuring you shine brightly in the competitive job market. But that's not all! They go the extra mile, suggesting invaluable job search apps like Handshake, Student Circus, and Career Edge. The university holds part time, full time, apprenticeships, internships and every kind of job fair within campus time and again which I watched out every time and believe it’s helped a lot. These apps are treasure troves of opportunities, featuring both on-campus and off-campus jobs tailored especially for students like you. So, banish those fears, take a seat, and embrace the wealth of services your university offers. Together, let's embark on this exhilarating adventure toward unlocking your full potential!

On-Campus Gems:

Who said work can't be fun? UCLan offers a plethora of on-campus job opportunities that not only help pay the bills but also enrich your university experience. As an international student representing your country you can apply to become a student ambassador, campus tour guide and show off your charming personality, wit and capability to represent UCLan internationally and your country at UCLan spreading the UCLan spirit far and wide. Of course, it is not an easy job but worth a try. With flexible hours and a supportive environment, these on-campus gems are the perfect way to balance work and play. Besides, in my case, UCLan has a Student Union(SU) which opens its vacancy for front of house, administrative assistant jobs and other student jobs within campus. You should always watch out for such vacancies.

Local Job Portals - Your Digital Playground

Get ready to embark on an exciting digital adventure! Preston is a bustling hub of online job portals just waiting for eager job seekers like you to dive in. Whether you're navigating through the vast opportunities on Indeed, exploring the listings on Reed, or perusing the local offerings on Preston Jobs, the possibilities are truly endless. Let me share my own thrilling experience with you. I was armed with my laptop and fueled by determination, I delved into the world of online job hunting. I found myself captivated by the myriad of part-time gigs and internships available, each promising an opportunity for growth and experience in my field of interest. As I scrolled through the listings, I couldn't help but feel a surge of excitement knowing that the perfect opportunity was just waiting to be discovered. So, with a steaming cup of tea by my side, I dove headfirst into the job hunt, fueled by the promise of new experiences and endless possibilities.

Regardless, I felt that job hunting exposed me to a bunch of failures, disappointments, and rejections from simple jobs. Honestly, finding a job is itself a hard job. I applied for jobs online to the point where it became my habit to spend at least 30 min applying to any type of part time job daily, dropping in stores physically to ask for vacancies and dropping CVs. I know you might be thinking it’s embarrassing but you gotta do what’s on your hand. You may get instant rejection, some may reject you after an interview, anything can happen, sometimes it’s luck, sometimes it just does not work out. In all this, you learn to accept defeat, rejection yet never to quit. Some of the jobs are posted online through Recruiting Agencies. These jobs are normally zero-hours contract jobs. You may also get a permanent job depending upon the availability. Yet if you are still struggling, you can print out your cv and drop them in potential stores which may provide you a job. There is a saying “When a door closes, a window opens.” After an exhausting job search for at least 2 months and over 200 applied jobs I was recruited by an agency which provided me shifts occasionally. Just for a reminder, every company has their own set of rules it runs in from pay to system of work, you should not be hesitant to question your clarity.

Networking Extravaganza:

Now, it is time to put on your networking hat and get ready for an extravaganza! My university has something every week where you can network with people and make friends. Connect with fellow students, alumni, and industry professionals at such events at your University as well. Exchange ideas, share experiences, and who knows, you might just stumble upon your dream job opportunity. So, polish up your LinkedIn profile, practice your elevator pitch, and get ready to network like a pro! Yes, Linked-in is another potential; platform to explore jobs. I was once called for an interview for a part time job at Mark & Spencer via Linked-in. Linkedin profile should always be in a loop for update timely, whatever you earn, achieve, experience you should share then linked-in. This will grow your profile stronger making it available for potential employers in the future as well as at present.

Internships and Volunteering - Where Passion Meets Purpose:

Are you ready to turn your passion into purpose? Internships and volunteering are your golden tickets to gaining hands-on experience while making a difference in your community. Being an international student, your focus at your university must not be limited to course work, what really prepares you for your life is that extra thing you do while you are enrolled for a degree. Skills are developed, people connect, and building networks beyond your coursework shapes your personality for life. The University is an open book, exposing you to wild, different resources and exposures, go and grab it, rise from your comfort zone. Being an introvert, it will be a lot more difficult to grab opportunities. One must understand that you must speak for yourself and not rely on other people as long as it’s possible. Whether you're passionate about sustainability, healthcare, or education, at my UCLan, it offers a wide range of opportunities to explore your interests and enhance your skills. So, roll up your sleeves, and let's dive into the world of meaningful work!

Written by:

Bashu Prajapati

Student at UCLan


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