Thursday 28 May 2020

UG and PGT student email

Class of 2020 and beyond - careers support and development opportunities

Dear student

You may have seen a range of gloomy media headlines over the past few days with regard to employability prospects for students, given the potential for the jobs market to be extremely volatile as a result of the national and global economic impact of Covid-19. We have received similar concerns from York students, especially those in their final year, and I wanted to update you on some of the initiatives and opportunities that the Careers and Placements team, in partnership with OPPA (Office for Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni), have been working on to help support your personal development and employability prospects.

York Futures - understanding your employability journey online

York Futures is a suggested Career Journey at York to help you plan your time, review what you have achieved and help you identify a career you'll thrive in. There is a journey for each year of your study that has now been recalibrated as a special online programme for this summer term. The team have also developed a career journey programme bespoke to supporting our postgraduate taught PGT students as well.

York Strengths - now launched online

Our York Strengths programme helps you to discover your strengths - the things you are good at and love to do - and identify actions to move you towards a career that suits you. This week saw the launch of York Strengths Online, an interactive short course, inspired by our award winning Development Days, and now available to all taught students across all year groups including postgraduate taught students. You can access this entirely online so that you can benefit from the experience from wherever you are in the world and in your own time and at your own pace.

Supporting final year undergraduates

We have also launched a programme aimed specifically at supporting our final year undergraduates. Next Steps provides access to resources, advice and support to prepare you for an even more competitive jobs market. We are also running a live Graduate Options Zoom event on 2 June 2020, 15:00, which will offer our final year students the opportunity to ask questions and talk through their concerns in a supportive and encouraging environment. Details can be found on the What's On page and you will need to register through Target Connect.

Building your global network and engaging with our global graduate community

The University of York is a global community of more than 130,000 people in more than 180 countries working in nearly every imaginable profession - and many of them are keen to help you. Our alumni engagement team are keen to help you by offering a number of opportunities to help build your networks, connections and experiences. Specifically:

  • Mentorship and Networks

The York Profiles and Mentors online mentoring platform includes career profiles contributed by more than 1,100 graduates in 72 countries, and the chance to connect with an alumni mentor who is ready and willing to support you in making your career choices.

Professional Network Events - the next of which will be taking place on Thursday 25 June. To keep up to date on the calendar of events either visit , sign up to Alumni News or Follow us on Eventbrite.

#UoYConnect is a new way to link up with alumni online, to tap into their knowledge and connections and start building your network. Using the hashtag #UoYConnect on social media, you can share your questions with our global alumni community and form new contacts. #UoYConnect launches in June; follow the University of York on LinkedIn or @UoYAlumni on Twitter for updates.

Get active with the York Global Alumni Association and ensure you sign up to regular Alumni News emails for regular updates on careers support, events, networking and further study opportunities.

If you would like to connect with members of the York Global Alumni Association near you, please visit our information page to get in touch with your alumni Regional Group.

You may also wish to volunteer your time and gain experience in order to meet fellow graduates and to gain volunteering experience. Volunteer roles include getting involved with your regional group or working as a recruitment ambassador (in selected locations). If you would like to know more about how to volunteer with York Global Alumni Association visit our information page.

  • Supporting your entrepreneurial goals after graduation

If you have entrepreneurial aspirations and want to explore starting your own business, we can offer support in many different ways;

We offer a Proof of Concept fund where recent alumni can apply for up to £500 towards testing and developing your idea. There are two rounds per term. Detailed expert feedback is offered to every applicant as well as the chance to receive a boost to their startup finances. Approximately twenty applications are made per term with over half of them being approved.

For students who want to take their business to the next level after they graduate, we are able to offer a Year in Enterprise placement year. Candidates are given coaching, contacts and funding to give their company the best possible start. Supported by the on-campus Phase One incubator, where students can base their company, students can capitalise on many forms of support available from our vast alumni and community networks.

In 2020 Venture One was launched as a pilot initiative offering between £5,000 to £10,000 as either advance subscription or seed funding. Open to students and recent alumni with a viable business, it is designed to facilitate the development of an MVP or the gathering of evidence of market demand. Future rounds will be announced in the Alumni Newsletter and are anticipated to happen around October and early 2021.

There are various competitions on offer to alumni such as the Santander Emerging Entrepreneurs competition which offers a package of training, mentorship and network events on top of financial backing of up to £30,000. We can support your application for this and many other awards that are advertised to us by our partners and contacts throughout the year.

Advance your career prospects with York postgraduate loyalty discount

As a York Graduate you could be eligible for a 10% discount on any postgraduate taught degree, so if you're looking to strengthen your understanding of our subject or enhance the skills employers are looking for, speak to your course tutor to discuss your options.

You will always be a Yorkie

Even when you have graduated, our Careers and Placements team is still there to support you, and remember, you are a part of the York Global Alumni Association who are committed to offering access to a range of resources and learning opportunities as well as access to the Alumni Association for life!

So stay safe and healthy and remember that we remain a strong community if we help each other. We are enormously proud of you - in years to come yours will be the generation whose resilience, creativity and sense of shared purpose will be celebrated and admired as we seek to find solutions to combat one of the greatest challenges any of us have ever experienced. I am proud of you - your parents and friends and families are proud of you - the world needs bright minds like yours more than ever so, stay hopeful and remember we are here to help.

Best wishes


Professor Charlie Jeffery