First Year Zone
First year zone snapshot
In this section we’ll look at the top tips and advice for first year students about how to make the most of your first year and prepare yourself to explore opportunities and careers that interest you.
Welcome to Imperial!
Pleaese note that we are operating a fully remote service for the autumn term, to support efforts of social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19 (In line with Imperial College London advice,) while maintaining a service to students, alumni and employers. All careers events and appointments will be taking place online with Microsoft Teams (unless otherwise stated).
Our dedicated information and enquiries team are here to help you with any enquiries that you have
You can also phone us on +44 0(20) 7594 8024 (Monday to Friday, 10.00 - 15.00, voicemail at other times)
All opening hours/event/appointment times are UK - check the current UK time here.
Monday - Friday 10:00 - 17:00 (during term-time and vacations, except when College is closed)
Appointments and events
Appointments and events
JobsLive is the Careers Service's online system for booking events and appointments, searching for jobs and employers. Current Imperial students are automatically registered with JobsLive, just use your Imperial username/ password to login.
Careers consultants provide impartial and confidential information, advice and guidance in assisting you with your career planning.
The Careers Service provides a range of one to one support including:
- Career Discussions (online) with our careers consultants
- Mock interviews (online) with our careers consultants
- Internship Discussions (online) with our placement and internship advisers
What can I talk to a careers consultant about?
- Advice and coaching on how to identify possible careers
- Job searching techniques
- Writing a high quality tailored CV and application
- Internship/job/further study application check
- Interview skills and assessment centre technique
- Discuss further study and training
- Advice on in-person and online networking
See our appointments page to see our types of appointments, then book them via JobsLive.
The Careers Service liaises with industry to provide employer events including:
- Career Fairs
- ‘Getting into…’ lunchtime talk series
- ‘Career Intensives’, ‘Essentials’, and ‘Labs’ seminar series
- ‘Career Discovery’ series by our Placement and Internship Advisers
- ‘Focus on’ themed weeks focusing on different sectors
- Networking events (e.g. LGBT and Women’s networking)
- Recruiter in Residence
See our whats on page to learn more about what we offer.
Book all of these using your JobsLive account
Getting work experience
Having some form of work experience makes it easier for you to get a graduate job. In fact, around half of recruiters say that it is essential for a graduate to have some form of work experience as it shows that you can apply your skills in a variety of settings and act in a professional manner.
Work experience can come in many forms, and we offer job hunting advice.
Below we’ve outlined some key information for you to consider when it comes work experience:
Careers Service Schemes
Check the Exclusive Opportunities schemes run by the Careers Service, and how we can help you to engage with alum through Work Shadowing and mentoring.
Securing an internship can be a great first step to a career but don’t worry if you’re unsuccessful in getting one, as there are many worthwhile alternatives to gain insights and experience. It is common for companies to not hire first year students, as you have not yet had the chance to develop. Search for internships through JobsLive, and see our job hunting advice.
Working a part-time job alongside your studies can be a great way to earn money and demonstrate skills such as teamwork, communication and customer service etc. Be aware that a part-time job may adversely affect your studies or health if you fail to manage your time effectively.
If you are an international student your visa may have restrictions on the number of hours you are permitted to work. Contact the International Studio Support Team for visa advice.
If you have any doubts about fitting work around studies we recommend speaking to your tutor or to us.
See our Finding Part-Time Work [pdf] handout for further sources of information.
A vacation job can be a great way to gain skills that will enhance your CV, build a network of contacts and possibly gain valuable insight into a particular industry or organisation.
It’s great if you can find employment in an industry you’re interested in working for in the future, but ultimately all experience is good experience. For example securing a job in retail will give you some money but more importantly it allows you to demonstrate working with customers and within a team environment.
Jobs are posted widely on the internet and we advertise many roles on JobsLive .
Working with a charity is valued by many employers and can be essential to gain entry to some career sectors such as conservation.
Volunteering can be a great way to develop many career related skills for example; leadership, event management, teamwork, administration, creativity, marketing and organisation. It’s also a great way to give something back to the community and build networks.
Check out our volunteering pages.
You can enhance your appreciation of the research environment through a UROP while developing skills and furthering your enthusiasm for your discipline. During a UROP you will work with researchers in an Imperial laboratory for a period of usually no longer than 12 weeks during the summer vacation period.
Check out The UROP Website for more details
First Year CV
As you progress through university and your career, you should keep improving your CV to a higher level.
Your CV might still look like it did in school or college, and you may worry that you don’t have much to write on it.
Take a look at the Imperial Guide to CVs and Cover Letters, which has many CV examples including a first year CV example.
You can book onto our seminars on many topics including how to write a CV and cover letter on JobsLive, along with one to one appointments to go over your CV with a careers consultant.
The key to achieving your desired career is to make a plan.
Follow our advised steps in our Plan you career section, so that each decision you make during university is chosen to make you the best possible candidate for your future desired career or industry.
The Careers Service and the Careers Consultants are here to help you with career planning which you can discuss in one to one appointments bookable on JobsLive.
- Set up JobsLive account
- Think about what you like and dislike from your experiences
- Look at the destinations of our graduates for some career ideas and keep an eye on JobsLive vacancies
- Extra-curricular activities – develop these for example by participating in Imperial Horizons or get work experience
- Level up your CV – by university it should look different to your school CV
- Attend skill training and workshops run by the Careers Service
- Create a LinkedIn account to network with professionals and make social accounts private