COVID-19 FAQs

We understand in the current circumstances you may have questions about what to do next or what you can be doing now to gain experience and develop your skills. To support you through these uncertain times, we have put together answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from students including how you can get further support from the Career Development Service.

Use these links to quickly get to the different sections: Get Started, Get Involved, Get Experience, Get Graduate Ready, Get Support.

We would also particularly recommend taking a look at NextStepSupport.org for further guidance. This website has some really useful articles and resources such as updates from employers, virtual events, advice on building skills, and information on wellbeing.

Get Started

Q: I’m a 1st year student and I was due to complete the Leicester Award as part of my course but this was impacted by COVID-19 – what should I do now?

We may have already been in touch about different ways you can access the Award but if not don’t worry – it probably means there is nothing you need to do right now. We work closely with your academic department so we are aware of the changes that have been made to module teaching and assessments. If you were due to complete the Leicester Award this year but couldn’t, it won’t impact your ability to undertake the Leicester Award Gold in the future. How each student completes the Award depends on their course so if you have a specific concern or queries related to your programme, please contact us directly for guidance: leicesteraward@le.ac.uk

Q: I am a second year, finalist or Postgraduate, can I still complete the Leicester Award?

Yes you can still complete the Leicester Award. The final deadline for this academic year is 23:59 Friday 5th June. You can complete the Award through our extra-curricular module on Blackboard.

Q: I want to submit my Leicester Award is there anyone I can speak to about my submission before I do?

If you’d like to speak to someone to discuss your Leicester Award submission you can book a 1:1 Application Coaching appointment with the Career Development Service. For other queries you can email leicesteraward@le.ac.uk.

 

Get Involved

Q: What other ways can I build skills and experience if I can’t find a Unitemps jobs?

Whilst there may be fewer roles available for students through Unitemps at the moment due to COVID-19, there are other ways in which you can continue to build new and develop existing skills whilst following the social distancing guidelines. These include a range of activities that you can do from your home or supporting key areas through employment or volunteering. To find out more visit our page here - https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/careers-new/first-years/unitemps

Q: What roles are available outside the University currently?

Some employers are still recruiting for roles, mainly in areas that are considered key or essential work. It is important that when searching for roles, you are comfortable with the social distancing guidelines that are in place to help you in the workplace. You can find roles to apply for by searching on MyCareers, or by using job search websites such as Student Job to find roles local to you.

Q: Where can I find opportunities to volunteer? (Including virtual opportunities)

A: There are still plenty of ways to get involved in volunteering, including some that don’t need you to leave the house! The main place to look is the Volunteering Opportunities page on the Student’s Union website. We are also updating the ‘Make a Difference Weeks’ webpage with some current volunteering opportunities and resources.

 

Get Experience

Q: I was due to complete the Leicester Award Gold as part of my course but this was impacted by COVID-19 – what should I do now?

We may have already been in touch about different ways you can access the Award but if not don’t worry – it probably means there is nothing you need to do right now. We work closely with your academic department so we are aware of the changes that have been made to module teaching and assessments. How each student completes the Award depends on their course so if you have a specific concern or queries related to your programme, please contact us directly for guidance: lagold@le.ac.uk

Q: With everything that's going on is it still worth me completing the Leicester Award Gold?

Yes! With increased competition for opportunities it’s now more important than ever to develop your professional and employability skills.

By creating a mock application for your portfolio submission you will practise elements of the recruitment process, including video interviews and psychometric tests, which employers are still using to hire.

You can tailor your portfolio submission to any type of opportunity, meaning the Award is specific to your interests/aspirations whether work, study or something else. And remember - it doesn’t have to be something you are applying to right now so if the employer you’re interested in isn’t currently recruiting, now is a great time to practice! For more information visit www.le.ac.uk/leicesterawardgold or contact lagold@le.ac.uk

Q: I'd like to complete the Leicester Award Gold, but I'm confused about what I need to do.

To achieve the Leicester Award Gold you need to submit a portfolio by the deadline of 5th June (23:59). If you’ve already completed the Leicester Award you should have access to all the materials you need on the Leicester Award Gold Blackboard site. If you’re confused, have questions or can’t access the materials just email lagold@le.ac.uk - we’re still here to help!

Q: How can I engage with employers during Covid-19?

There are some great Webinars being ran, that will allow you to enhance your skills and knowledge during Covid-19, please find full list here.

Q: I'm worried that my internship/graduate role will be cancelled

We understand that during the current circumstances you might feel worried about the security of your internship or graduate job offer. Firstly, try contacting the organisation to confirm if they know whether the opportunity will go ahead. Be patient, as the situation is constantly evolving. Try and gain clarity on the situation, e.g. do they have the option to operate remotely? Present yourself as flexible and willing to assist where needed.

If your internship or graduate role is cancelled, there are still lots of opportunities being advertised on MyCareers. We also offer plenty of support in the form of 1:1 appointments if you wanted to discuss your situation with a careers adviser.

Q: I want to go on placement next year as part of my degree. What should I do now?

It’s a challenging market, but placements are still being advertised in reduced numbers. Look out for our regular placements bulletin arriving in your inbox (contact placements@le.ac.uk if you want to start receiving this). For undergraduates, we have changed the required minimum duration of your Year in Industry to six months.

Employers who can no longer offer you a placement might be able to offer you shorter experiences like internships or part-time work, which you can complete while studying for your final year.

Q: I am currently on a Year in Industry/Industrial Placement. What should I do now?

You should stay in regular touch with your placement supervisor/Year in Industry Tutor about your situation and how you’re getting on. Also keep a look out for any more updates from the University in your inbox. If your placement has finished early due to the virus, don’t worry, you will still be able to gain a ‘With Industry’ degree.

Q: Apart from an internship/placement, how else can I build my skills and CV?

There are still many virtual ways to gain skills and experience. These can be great additions to your CV, and show employers that you are proactive and committed to learning. See three of our favourite options below:

  • Complete an Online Course: The National Careers Service have put together The Skills Toolkit to support you with digital skills (social media, digital marketing and coding). Future Learn are also running a wide range of online courses accredited by universities nationwide. TotalJobs and Reed are offering professional courses such as Tax Accounting, Business Administration and Customer Service. Meanwhile, the Leicester SU are offering accredited online training in areas like Mental Wellbeing here.
  • Do-It.org have a range of digital volunteering roles available, which you can use to further develop your CV with experience during lockdown.
  • Work ready internship: RateMyPlacement are offering a free work readiness course to develop your employability skills. Register for this here.


Get Graduate Ready

Q: I am graduating this year, how will this affect my job search?

Employers are still recruiting for graduate roles but holding video interviews and running virtual assessment centres; some are considering slightly later start dates or you might work virtually to begin with.  Our online vacancy platform, MyCareers, has live vacancies from employers looking to recruit students and graduates. You can also check individual employer websites for announcements on their recruitment status.

Q: Can I still apply for Postgraduate courses?

Yes. Many universities are accepting applications as usual, but replacing on-campus open days with virtual events. The University of Leicester still intends to run an intake this September as planned, however if you’re considering other options, we do also have an extensive range of distance learning programmes. If you have a question about further study at the University of Leicester, our Unibuddy platform is hosted by current students, and members of the admissions and recruitment team are also available. Remember, you can book an appointment with a careers advisor at any time to discuss your options.

Q: What support is there for me after I graduate?

As a graduate, you will have lifetime access to our online careers platform, MyCareers, giving you 24-hour access to hundreds of internships and graduate vacancies, career appointments and event bookings. For more information, visit: https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/careers-new/graduates

 

Get Support

Q: How can I access virtual support from the Career Development Service?

There is plenty of support available to you, no matter your subject or year of study. We can offer guidance and support in a number of ways:

- Book a 1:1 appointment with our careers advisors through MyCareers. We run appointments every week day and there are plenty of slots available for you to book. You can get support with any part of an application such as a CV, cover letter, or personal statement; we offer career coaching if you are unsure of your next steps; and you can also get some interview/assessment practice in a Mock Interview/assessment.

- We have a range of pre-recorded employability workshops that provide guidance for every stage of the recruitment process, from how to find the right opportunity all the way through to how to stand out at an assessment centre. We also run live workshops such as our Virtual Mock Assessment centre which you can book onto via MyCareers.

- Finally, if you want to get in touch with a quick question that might not take up an appointment, feel free to submit a query! We try to respond to all queries within 1 working day.

Q: I'm feeling a bit uncertain about my next steps

We understand that the current circumstances may leave you wondering about what your options are now for the future. We would encourage you to book an appointment and speak to one of our friendly career coaches who can give you some guidance about what to do next. There are also some great resources available on our website that can help you to build your confidence with your career including guidance if you're worried about finding an opportunity/experience and how to deal with interview/assessment nerves.

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