Are you enjoying Bright Network?

Three things you can do to make your first year brighter

Book open Reading time: 7 mins

The summer haze fades and suddenly it’s time to start university. Luckily you’ve already got the term off to a good start by being a member of Bright Network. We’re here to make sure you have the advice and opportunities you need to get ahead in your career.

You will have so many new experiences this year, you’ll be glad to know that a lot of them could even really help you when it comes to finding a job. A little effort now will be a big boost when it comes to second and third year and beyond, so here are our four tips for getting the most out of this year.

1. Join a few societies

When you go around the fresher’s fair grabbing all the free stuff that you can, remember to sign up for any societies that interest you. Not only can these be a lot of fun, and perhaps trigger interests you never knew you had, but they can also be a great source of experience and skills that employers look for.

This is especially true if you get to committee level in your second year. You will have the chance to manage finances as a treasurer, or carry out projects as president, for example. These are skills that make you very attractive to an employer and you can get them while doing things you love.

2. Learn a language 

While the idea of taking on more work right now might sounds like madness, you will actually never have less work than in first year. Most universities try and ease you into the rhythm of higher education, so you will have time to indulge extra activities. 

Many universities have language centres offering subsidised language classes that are designed to fit around your studies, or you can organise a language exchange with international students at your university to learn in an informal environment. Language skills are still very much in demand and can be very useful if you want to work in any sort of international business.

3. Keep your eyes open

An increasing number of companies are starting to target first years in their recruiting efforts. This doesn’t mean you need to make a choice on careers right now, but it does mean there are plenty of opportunities for you to start getting an idea of what careers are available.

This will range from businesses coming to your campus to host events, open days at their offices, or even short vacation schemes during the Easter or summer break. No one will ask you to sign up right now to join when you graduate, but it will give you a chance to see what you might enjoy and what those employers are looking for.

That might sound like a lot, but the whole point of university is to try new things and get stuck in, so why not get ahead while you’re at it?