Video for first year zone

First year zone snapshot

On this page we explain how you can engage with the Careers Service from your very first year at Imperial. We give an overview of our services and tips on how to take advantage of opportunities available to you. You may also want to explore our Guide to our services as it’s never too early to develop your career plan.

Welcome to Imperial!

The Careers Service provides information, advice, and guidance to help Imperial students plan for successful futures. We’re here to help you to consider your options, develop key skills, secure work placements or internships and apply for graduate level employment or further postgraduate study. We’re also a key entry point for employer activities and recruitment events across the College.

It may seem early, in first year, to be considering life after Imperial, however the reality is that’s it’s never too soon to plan for your future. Many organisations are eager to engage first year students with their events, and you may be eligible to apply for insight days or mentoring programmes too. You may also be able to engage in additional research projects and activities which can help you to secure more formal, and paid, work experience as you move into the later part of your studies.

Below we’ve highlighted some key services and information that we think you should be aware of during your first year to help you on your path to success.

Appointments and events

Who can use our services?

We’re accessible to all enrolled students within the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Faculty of Natural Sciences. All our students, from undergraduate level through to PhD, have access to us. You can use our services as an alumnus when you graduate too.

Please note that enrolment starts on day one of studies so you will not have access to our services before your course officially starts. Also, any student enrolled with the Imperial College Business School has restricted access to our services and should instead visit the Imperial College Business School Careers Service for support.

Career planning

The foundation of a career plan can be made early in your studies and evolve as you move through your degree. In your first year you can start to develop an understanding of your career options, develop professional networks, undertake reflection activities, and begin to engage with employers. It’s never too early to begin your career plan and our Career planning and What can I do with my degree? webpages are a perfect start point.


As a student you have access to JobsLive, our online careers management system where we advertise all events, workshops, presentations and one to one appointments along with internships, placements and graduate opportunities. We encourage you to select the type of events and opportunities that are of interest to you on your profile settings as this will trigger relevant email alerts.

We also suggest you subscribe to our newsletter (sent every Thursday during term time) to keep informed about all the latest careers news, events and competitions. To do this, select the 'Me' icon near the top of the page, then 'edit profile' to adjust your account settings.


Workshops, events and career fairs

We offer many presentations, interactive workshops, and events throughout the year to help you with career planning, introduce you to employers, and support you through the application process. The autumn term and early spring term are our busiest times of the year with many recruitment activities taking place between October and March. We do however operate a programme of events throughout the year and during the vacations. Our What’s On webpages provide an overview of our events and JobsLive is constantly updated with all the latest activities as they’re confirmed.

Developing your CV

Your CV may not contain much detail when you arrive at Imperial, however it will quickly grow and develop during your time here through engagement in academic classes and extracurricular activities. You should keep a record of your achievements as you progress through the College so that you can easily adapt and improve your CV when you come to apply for new opportunities. Our Know your skills and CVs and resumes webpages are great starting points.

Securing work experience

Many recruiters say it’s essential for a graduate to have some form of work experience as it shows that skills and behaviours can be applied in a variety of settings and that the individual can act in a professional manner. Work experience can come in many forms through volunteering and casual employment in retail and hospitality through to more formalised project work, internships, or placements. Our Finding jobs and internships webpage is a great starting point.

Imperial Horizons

Imperial offers a range of supplementary modules that can be taken as part of your degree to stimulate your personal, professional, and intellectual growth. We offer the highly interactive Professional Skills for Employability course to first year undergraduates, designed to help you to understand and acquire a range of professional skills that will help with your long term academic and career success. Sessions run in autumn and spring term of your first year.



We’re committed to creating an inclusive community and have a strong focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). We support a wide variety of activities and initiatives aimed to develop an equitable environment and we operate with impartiality and respect at the core of our work. Check out our EDI webpages for more information and resources or chat to one of our team for further information or support.

Preparing to begin your degree (online learning)

To help you transition into your degree, the College has created an online short course called Attributes and Aspirations (AA). This is designed to help you:

  • understand what degree level study will be like
  • discover Imperial and how to make the most of being a student
  • develop transferable skills such as team working, critical thinking and time management that will make you a better student

To find out more, visit the undergraduate section of the Attributes and Aspirations website which is accessible from 1 September and throughout your degree.

One-to-one appointments

At times you may require personalised and tailored support. Through our one-to-one appointments we can assist you with pretty much any career-related questions, from offering advice on career options through to supporting you with an application or interview. You can use us if you have a clear career goal or if you’re feeling lost and unsure how to begin. We’re here to help. Further details can be found on our Book an appointment webpage.

Contact us

We’re open throughout the year, including during the vacation periods. Find out more about our operating hours and various ways to engage with us in person, online, by phone and email or through social media on our Contact us webpage.