Finding a job at Lancaster

by Maddy Frost

Hi, I’m Maddy, a third year English Language student. Since I’m coming to the end of my degree soon, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my experience of finding jobs while at Lancaster over the last three years

  • What kind of job can I get at University?
  • What will the hours be like?
  • Can I work and keep up my study at the same time?
  • Can I find internships and work experience to further my career whilst studying?

These were all questions that I had before I came to Lancaster. Since arriving I have taken up 3 roles within the University, as well as internships and work experience, so it turns out I had nothing to worry about!

iLancaster and the Employment and Recruitment Service

The ‘jobs’ section on the iLancaster app has been my go-to. The University’s Employment and Recruitment Service (ERS) regularly post new vacancies here, and this was how I found the majority of my roles within the University. I have also gone to ERS (in the BASE) many times to get a second opinion on my CV and interviewing skills. They were so helpful and didn’t stop until they thought my CV was the best it could be.

Packing assistant and student ambassador

In summer between my first and second year, I found that I had some free time on my hands, so I decided to see if there were any vacant part-time roles at the University. I quickly found a position in the International Office packing envelopes and acting as a student ambassador to visiting academics. Luckily, I only live a 40-minute train ride from Lancaster which meant I was able to commute every day. This was a great way of keeping busy and earning some extra money over the summer vacation. So always keep an eye out if you live nearby! If not, some summer roles such as Summer School ambassadors and Clearing Phoneline Operators are given free accommodation to cover their work period, which is great for those that can’t commute.

Bar staff

This is a role I took up at the end of my first year and has definitely been my biggest role within the University. I primarily work in Lonsdale Bar, despite being a member of County College, but I have also worked in Bowland, Fylde, Grizedale and Cartmel.

What’s great about being bar staff is the flexibility, you can take up shifts in other bars and work around your schedule. The managers are all lovely and are happy to arrange shifts based on a week by week basis. This means if I have a busy week of assignments then I don’t have to work. Above all, the work is fun! Most of the people I work with are fellow students so it’s also a great way of making new friends.

The bar and retail team usually advertise vacancies at the end of every academic year to replace the bar staff that will be graduating. Again, I found this position on iLancaster.

Maddy in her bar staff uniform

Digital Content Ambassador

This is the role I’m doing right now as I write this. This has been a great way of being part of a talented group of people who love producing content and love Lancaster. It’s great knowing that the University can provide job roles that not only provide extra income but that can appeal to your passions and further your work experience and career.

FASS internship at Bramwell International

Aside from my part-time jobs within the University, my course department, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, offer yearly internship schemes with external companies. FASS sent out emails about their schemes in April of my second year. I applied for 5 of the positions and by the beginning of June, I had been selected as an intern!

The FASS department offered lots of support and advice, helping me draft CVs and cover letters. Without them, it is unlikely I would have been as successful in the process. I worked as a Social Media Coordinator for Bramwell International, an outdoor wear distributor. The company were based in the Lake District, the hours were very flexible, and I could work from home, meaning I could carry out two other work experience placements and go out and enjoy the heatwave. This was a great way of getting some paid work experience and offering a real contribution to a business.

Work experience at Adam&EveDDB

The work I had carried out at the University and on my FASS internship spurred me on to finding even more work experience to bulk up my CV. I managed to secure a 2-week placement at Adam&EveDDB, an advertising agency in London (they make the John Lewis Christmas adverts!). This was a fantastic experience where I got to see the inner-workings of an internationally-known agency and even got to assist in John Lewis photo and film shoots.

It was something completely new and exciting and was a great opportunity to see what working in London would be like.

Advertising agency

Marketing work experience at Telsonic Ultrasonics

I also carried out a 2-week work experience placement near Zurich in Switzerland working in the marketing department of Telsonic Ultrasonics, an industrial ultrasonics manufacturer.

This was a great way of seeing another side to marketing and getting to experience a culture and country I had never seen before. It was quite intimidating going to a country I’d never been to before on my own, but the Swiss hosts were the most hospitable people I have ever met and even showed me all the must-see places outside of work. This placement, involving business-to-business marketing also added a bit of diversity to my CV!


Make the most of the support on offer

I would recommend to anyone who is starting to think about part-time work, internships, work experience and grad schemes to regularly keep an eye on the vacancies available from ERS and your course department. Their expert support and advice are great things to take advantage of.

Although the university's Careers service offers support even after graduation, it makes sense to make the most of it while you’re still studying and have the resources close by.