21 March 2017

Lancaster Environment Centre alumni offer top tips to students on how to find the right career path after graduation

A series of alumni panel events for students at the Lancaster Environment Centre highlighted the wide range of career paths open to them.

For the third year running, students got the chance to hear from alumni about their experience of moving into the workplace, and how they went about finding the right career for them.

Events were open to students from all Environment Centre disciplines and each event had a different focus, covering: 'What can I do with my degree?' 'Considering a PhD?’ and ‘What can I do with my PhD?’

Panelists came from a wide range of sectors, including higher education, catastrophe risk modelling, environmental engineering, chemicals management and the water industry.

Alumni talked about their career journeys, the right and wrong turns they have made, and gave invaluable advice to the future graduates. The panellists highlighted the importance of seeking work experience and internships. Many stressed that they were still determining their career, explaining that you don’t have to be certain of what you want to do - it is ok to try new things to see if you like them and where they get you!

Students got the chance to ask questions and then had informal networking sessions with the alumni over drinks and nibbles. 

“Networking is a powerful tool that many people underestimate – it can act as a real springboard for your future career” noted Nicola Wylie, LEC Careers and Alumni Support Officer, who planned the events alongside Paul Young, LEC Careers and Alumni tutor. Careers consultants Elaine Davies and Sarah Fox were also on hand to offer guidance with career choices, CVs and bespoke guidance. 

Dr Shane Rothwell, Senior Research Associate and Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the Lancaster Environment Centre, commented that: “You make your own luck.” He talked about the steps he took while a student to ensure he had the best skills and experience possible by the time he graduated. He encouraged students to apply for internships and to make use of the help offered by the University careers team.

The events were in addition to the annual LEC Careers Fair, held each autumn.  Students can find more advice, including alumni profiles and blog posts, on the BeyondLEC website.

There is invaluable advice available to all students and graduates from the Central Careers Service. Current students can get help with finding internships through Pam Pickles from the faculty careers team or via the Business Partnerships Team based in the Environment Centre. It's all available at the click of a mouse.