Headshot of Ava, Careers Service Assistant

A rewarding part-time job: hear from Ava, Careers Service Assistant

You may have already heard the good news that we have a number of Careers Service Assistant (CSA) roles available for next semester, based at our offices in the Main Library and the Nucleus at the King’s Buildings. CSA opportunities are advertised through MyCareerHub with a closing date of Wednesday, 15th May.

If you are interested in finding out more about the CSA role, look no further… Ava, one of our current CSAs and 2nd year undergraduate student in German and Russian studies, gives an excellent insight into her role.

Ava, why did you decide to apply for the CSA role?

Looking back, the first time I really remember coming across the Careers Service was through The Insights Programme, a widening participation scheme administered by the Careers Service, which connects current students with alumni to develop their understanding of work in general. I was already applying for jobs over the summer and the Insights Programme got me thinking about employability, so the CSA role was a perfect opportunity! I have been a CSA for almost a year now.

What did the application process involve?

The application process consisted of a CV and cover letter, then a short assessment before an interview. I was delighted to secure the role.

What does the role of a CSA involve and what do you enjoy the most?

There’s a very comprehensive training programme to complete when you start, so I felt confident with operating systems and talking to students, and there is always someone within the Careers Service to ask for help.

In terms of what I like the most about the job, I have many choices because it’s very varied! Sometimes I will be on shift with another CSA who has completely different tasks to me, because there is that flexibility to pick up different tasks and work across different projects.

Personally, I love to do events. After years of working in hospitality, I have found out that I am definitely a chatterbox, so I really enjoy helping other students when I’m staffing the Welcome Desk.  Also, if you have been to a big Careers Service event in the last year, we have probably spoken on the door and it’s something I enjoy.

The standout experience for me was in semester 1, when the opportunity came up to travel to Birmingham to represent the University by attending a CSA (or equivalent) conference. A few of us jumped at the opportunity. I don’t think I had properly considered how diverse student-staff across universities in the UK would be, and we all came back with lots of ideas to implement at the Careers Service and massive amounts of LinkedIn connections. I’m now enrolled in a charity programme that I found out about at the conference, which provides free mentorship in different sectors, so I didn’t just have loads of fun; I also made some great professional connections and the conference experience is a great addition to my CV.

What have you gained from working as a CSA?

Before I worked at the Careers Service,  I didn’t have the best idea of what is out there in terms of opportunities, and that has definitely changed. Meeting employers at careers fairs and interacting with them outside of these has given me a great overview and the confidence to go for opportunities that I would never even have considered before (many of which can be found on MyCareerHub now!).

Ava, on reflection, what advice would you give to other students considering applying for the CSA role?

First of all, make sure you read the requirements of the role. As someone who knows the people involved, they are very knowledgeable and well informed! The application is not a trick; if you follow Careers Service advice and maximise yourself, you will have a very strong application and a great awareness of what we offer, which you can showcase at your interview.

I would also say come and talk to us i.e. current CSAs! I wish I had thought of that when I applied. From 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, there is a CSA in a red t-shirt on the Welcome desk in the Main Library (on the 3rd floor) and the Nucleus (1st floor, you cannot miss the big C!). Some of us are moving on to graduate jobs, study abroad (in my case, but I will be back!), or other projects, but we are all very happy to talk about our experience, what we have achieved this year, and our application experience.

Thanks Ava.

Has Ava’s blog inspired you to apply for the CSA role? Remember to apply through MyCareerHub by Wednesday, 15th May.

As Ava highlighted, you can follow our CV and application advice on our website. You can then receive instant automatic feedback by uploading your CV to CV360.



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