Top tips for postgraduate taught students

Make the most of your postgraduate study with our top tips to help you stand out from the crowd and enhance your skills. As you move on to a higher level of study, time spent developing your career ideas and learning how to articulate the advanced skills and knowledge you gain, becomes increasingly important.

Make the most of what's on offer

We have lots of tools on offer to help you develop your skills, whether you're here for 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time. To get ready to apply for graduate-level positions, make sure your CV is up to date and relevant, get practising for selection tests and interviews using GraduatesFirst and Interview Stream and attend events and careers fairs. Complete the Bristol PLUS Award to gain recognition for your skills development.

Gain work experience

Getting work experience, including volunteering, is a great way to find out about different sectors, which working environments suit you and what kind of role you'd prefer. Work experience isn't just about internships, part-time work will help you explore your options as well as earn money. Getting work experience is a great way to get to know the local community and build connections, especially if you're thinking about remaining in Bristol after graduation.

Join a professional body

Professional bodies are a great sources of news, sector trends and specialist careers advice. They often also have their qualifications that you can undertake, showing commitment to your personal and professional development. For starting points, check out our sector guides and the Professions Finder from TotalProfessions.com. Professional bodies also often run events locally, nationally and internationally, providing networking opportunities. If you're planning to work or study abroad after graduating, check to see if there is a different professional body in the country you’re going to.

Take part in activities beyond your course

As a postgraduate you should be thinking about taking an active or leading role in some of the extracurricular activity you do. For example, leading a fundraising event or community project. You can find out about volunteering, opportunities, societies and sports clubs through Bristol SU. You can also read case studies from other PGTs that have benefitted from the Bristol PLUS and Outstanding award. Bristol is a thriving place for community, art, culture, business and education make the most of its diversity and get involved while you’re here, you may want to try stepping outside your comfort zone as a postgraduate and trying something new!

Network and gain an insight

You'll be making industry connections throughout your course but you can add to your professional network by talking to alumni and networking online using our Careers Network and sites such as LinkedIn. You may also like to visit employers you’re particularly interested in. You could ask for a short information interview with one of the team leaders or if there is the possibility of visiting the office. You have nothing to lose - the worst they can say is no.

Think ahead to after your studies

Your time doing a Masters will fly by and chances are it will be intense and busy. Start as you mean to go on my building time into your routine to think about and research your career. Try starting with 10 minutes a day or an hour a week. Investing time in yourself at this stage will pay dividends at the end of your course.