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Welcome to the course

This video introduces the course 'University and Your Future' and its fresh approach to careers planning.
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Welcome to this Future Learn course, University and Your Future. We’re delighted that you’ve chosen to study with us. My name is Janie Angell, and I’m a careers adviser here at the University of Surrey. And together with my colleague, careers advisor Emma Baker, we’ll be introducing you to some ideas that will help you make the most of your time at University and for any future career planning. We will explore together how being a university student can help you build your future in a wide variety of ways. We know that many people feel as if there is one right job or career path for them, and that they should maybe know what that is already.
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And we’re here to reassure you that it’s not only normal not to know, but it actually can be really beneficial. In this course, we’re going to be looking at a lot of different things that you can do to test out your knowledge, to learn new skills, to meet new people, and to find out that your degree is so much more than the academic study. It’s the activities you do around it. We’ll be hearing from people who can reassure you that those activities can make a big difference to your future. We’ve designed a variety of activities in this two-week course that will help you explore and reflect on where you are now, and where you want to be.
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These activities are going to build stepping stones for you so that you feel more confident about stepping out into the future. In the first week, we’re going to be looking at how your strengths– both the ones you know about already and maybe ones that you weren’t aware that you had– can be developed and can feed into your future. And we’ll also be examining career theory, and how career theory can help you understand what factors are influencing the decisions you’ve made already and how being aware of these can make decisions for you a little bit easier or more interesting going forwards.
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In the second week, we’re going to hear from people who have been students themselves or are still students, and they’re going to talk about the activities that they’ve done, what’s made a difference to them. We’re also going to hear directly from employers about how they value students’ extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and activities like a placement year, as this makes the difference between the candidates that they are looking at for the graduate jobs. Lastly, we’re going to be making an action plan that you can work on throughout the two weeks so that you’ll have some concrete steps that you can take as you move forward. We’re really looking forward to working with you on this course, and let’s get cracking.

Welcome to University and Your Future: Career Planning and Making the Most of Your Degree.

This course is about how you can make the most of your time at university. Our aim is to help you think positively about the breadth of your whole experience as a university student. In particular, we will show you that being a student is about more than just your degree; it’s about the many things you can do alongside your studies, and how these build a strong foundation for the future. We will encourage you to make the most of these other opportunities, and we will do this in the context of learning about yourself.

During the two weeks of this course, you will learn about your strengths – ones you may already know about, and ones less visible. We will investigate career theories in a practical way, including reflecting on what may have constrained and informed your decisions so far. We will hear from current and recent students about how they used their time at university, and what benefits they gained. We’ll also hear from employers about how your extra-curricular activities really make you stand out. You will also have the chance to create a portfolio, recording your learning and identifying practical steps to help you in career decision-making in the future.

Course learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Reflect on your own strengths
  • Apply some common career theories to your own context
  • Evaluate ways to maximise your time before and during university to achieve your career goals
  • Describe how a placement year and/or other employability activities can support career success
  • Develop your own portfolio of activities to investigate your options for future decisions
  • Create an action plan for personal and professional development.

Studying using FutureLearn

If this is the first FutureLearn course you have studied, you might find it useful to refer to the FutureLearn help page.

Communicating online

The course will lead you to reflect on and discuss choices that will be personal to you. It is important that we can do this together in a positive and supportive environment. Please remember to be courteous and to follow FutureLearn’s Code of Conduct.

Now you know more about the course, move to the next step to meet the Lead Educators and introduce yourself.

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University and Your Future: Career Planning and Making the Most of Your Degree

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