Careers Service

Develop your supporters club

Start to build links this year with people who will be able to support you in your future career - before you need their help.

Helpful contacts could come from people you know in social, professional or educational settings.

  • Keep in touch with everyone you know, updating them as your career interests develop. This could include family, friends, employers or alumni you've met who have said they'd be happy to keep in touch.
  • Attend employer, alumni and professional networking events. Think about joining professional associations as a student member (particularly relevant for science and engineering students) and attending local social events - you could end up chatting your future employer.
  • Social media can help. Think about which profiles you want to use for social contact and which for professional contact - or start to develop one social media presence which you could happily show to your friends, your relatives or a future employer.
  • If you can help others in your network - do! The worst networkers are those who only get in touch when they want something. Get your favours in early, and people will be much more willing to help you.

Find a mentor

A mentor is someone you can turn to for advice and who will help you test out your ideas.

You can find your own informal mentors - you don't even have to call them a mentor, just someone who will listen to you and offer you a different perspective. Try approaching people whose judgement you trust to ask for informal advice, feedback and support. Many successful academics talk about the informal mentors they developed during their early careers.

  • Ask me about Ask questions and get advice from University of Manchester Alumni.