A career for Jennifer

Jennifer Jones (Pendle) is in her third year of a Religious Studies degree. From Urmston – in the shadow of Manchester United’s Old Trafford home – she came to Lancaster as the first generation of her family to do so, and with little idea of her potential career path. But help from the university’s Careers team (where she is now a Careers Ambassador), plus a valuable work experience placement, has allowed her to plot a path for her future.

Tell us about your work placement – what was the role?

This summer, I spent time with Bruntwood, a business property development and investment company in Manchester.

I was there as their HR intern, working with the Learning and Development Team. There, I created a work experience programme from scratch and delivered it at the end of the two months.

From that, they created a full-time role. Now, I want to work as a coordinator for a company’s intern, graduate and work experience schemes.

How has this all prepared you for a future career?

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I started university. I knew I was interested in the education sector, but that was about it. There have been a lot of opportunities that I didn’t expect there to be – and the more I became involved, the more opportunities I saw.

It has all worked out – going on a journey from having no idea, to now being 100 percent certain of what I want to do. The placement I arranged through the Careers team has made my mind up. It has been a joint effort, with me as a pro-active student and the Careers service opening more opportunities. Being an Ambassador has given me a great insight into the world of careers as well.

How have your studies helped?

I’m doing a “Politics, Employability and Engagement through Outreach” module, which is a collaboration between Careers and the Politics department. We work with sixth-form students to help them become interested in politics and to help them enhance their career prospects. The course also helped me develop transferrable skills like researching, communicating and presenting ideas.

What advice would you give to those students worried about their skills and about becoming more employable?

I’m always telling my friends, and everybody I meet – whether it’s when I’m working as a Careers ambassador or not – to get involved with the Careers service.

It’s such a competitive market, and it’s all these extra things you do that show future employers what you have to offer.

The Careers service helps you whether you have a career path in mind or have no idea about your future like I did. This is what helps you stand out once you graduate.