Students Staff

Your career options

Employability advice

Our Careers Centre

Our Employability and Careers Centre helps you develop the skills for a successful career. Our friendly staff and excellent resources help you to make informed career choices and to enter your chosen field.

Our courses teach critical and practical skills that are widely transferable and highly valued by employers across a variety of sectors, including business, education, and the creative industries.

Our graduates are ideally prepared for careers in the media, education, and publishing, as well as in the film and theatre industries, or as writers, and we encourage and support you to explore a full range of future options.

How we help you

We assist our students with professional development and their search for employment or further study. You can speak to any member of staff about your plans for the future, but particularly to Nic Blower, our careers link in the department.

You can also speak to Lynne Jordan, our dedicated departmental adviser in our Employability and Careers Centre. Lynne can help you make the most of all the available opportunities for professional development during your studies, as well as assisting with finding job vacancies, writing CVs, and making applications.

Gain experience during your studies

There are many opportunities to gain work experience while you study with internships and our frontrunners work placement scheme.

You can join our Lakeside Theatre Student Company, which runs weekly workshops offering practical training for developing the skills needed to embark upon a performing arts career, and there are also opportunities to gain invaluable work experience by becoming involved in all areas of the theatre’s operation, both front of house and behind the scenes.

We also offer a variety of options for study abroad and our Languages for All programme allows you to learn a language for free alongside your course.

What our students say

Read how BA English Literature student Siril Grini developed her employability during her studies, including with the Big Essex Award:

  • Siril Grini, BA Literature

    Siril Grini

    What made you interested in the Big Essex Award?

    I am very aware about how important employability is, therefore I took the opportunity to participate in the award as soon as I could. The Award has given me the opportunity to develop my employability skills, make new friends and do things that I enjoy. And best of all, it goes on my University Transcript!”

    I am very conscious that employers look for more than a degree when recruiting new employees. I believe that completing the Award will give me an edge when applying for employment - it is something I can talk about at interviews to set me apart from other candidates.

    What were you hoping to gain from participating?

    Initially I hoped to be able to improve my CV by adding the Award to it, but I also saw it as an opportunity to make new friends and to make the transition into University life easier.

    What have you achieved through the Big Essex Award?

    I have developed my communication and interpersonal skills, time management and organisational skills, which were essential in order to complete the Award. I am now more confident in social situations, as participating in the volunteering aspect of the Award has given me the opportunity to venture out of my ‘comfort zone’ and meet new people. Through my participation in a regular V Team project, I am now aiming to become a Project Leader next year, which is something which I may not have done if I wasn’t a part of the Award.

    What types of projects were you involved in?

    I participate in a regular V Team project called ‘Art Club’ which allows me to work with children doing creative activities, which I thoroughly enjoy. Although I believe that I would have become involved with these if I had not participated in the Big Essex Award, the numerous ‘one off’ V Team projects may not have been something I would have done. Being a part of the Award gave me the confidence to expand my horizons and become involved in things which I wouldn’t necessarily have become involved in if it was optional. These ‘one off’ projects have included things such as decorating, painting and gardening, which have also helped me to acquire new skills which could be useful in the future.

    Have you found your participation enjoyable?

    Definitely. Although it takes up some of my time, it has allowed me to do a wide variety of things which I enjoy and meet new people.

    Did you receive good support during the award?

    Yes. At one point I was experiencing problems with a certain aspect of the Award and was worried that this would hinder my completion. I emailed the team with my problem and thankfully received a prompt reply which really put my mind and ease and sorted the problem.

    I enjoy the independent aspect of the Award also, but it put my mind at ease that the support and guidance is readily available if I needed it. I love how the Big Essex Award gives you the chance to be independent but still offers great support when you need it.

    Would you recommend the Award to other students?

    100%! Completing the Award in my first year has given me a very positive start to my degree.

Support after graduation

You can use the services of our Employability and Careers Centre for up to three years after you graduate. Our staff also regularly provide references for our students to assist with applying for jobs and further study.

Employability events

Students at a careers fair

We have lots of careers events and workshops running this term, all designed to help you develop skills, research future career options and meet employers. Some are one-off annual events, so don't miss out.

frontrunners placements

Frontrunner students gathered round a table

frontrunners is our original placement scheme that offers students paid work opportunities on campus. You'll get on-placement training and great experience to add to your CV.

Essex Interns

Students walking up stairs

Internships are an excellent way to earn money and develop a stand-out CV. Register with us for information on paid internship opportunities with local, national and even international employers.

Learn languages

Icon of speech marks

All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.