Luckily for you, we have a hotline to powerful recruiters across a range of industries and sectors, and we are committed to helping you make key introductions.
Many employers hire graduates that they already know, and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to meet employers on campus through Careers Fairs, employer panels and industry workshops.
Find opportunities to suit you
Whether you are looking for a funded summer internship, a short-term, real-world work project, or to road test a career with work shadowing, we can help you put what you’ve learned on your course into practice, enhancing your CV and graduate prospects. We source and promote employer vacancies and work-related learning opportunities through MyFuture, Queen’s early career management platform. This intuitive system allows you to filter your job search by industry, job function and course. You can also set up job alerts which are sent directly to your student email. There is even a handy app – think of it as Tinder for jobs!
Careers Fairs on Campus
Our Careers Fairs take place on campus twice a year in October and February offering the opportunity to connect in-person with employers offering work experience, placement and graduate opportunities.
We also run the NI Graduate and Recruitment Fair in partnership with Ulster University once a year before summer graduation for final year students and recent graduates.
The Future-Ready Roadmap can help you to develop new skills, explore the right opportunities, build your support network and gain the confidence to realise your ambitions. It’s a framework designed to help you progress your employability throughout your time at Queen’s. Everything we offer is clearly linked to the Roadmap so you can see where your gaps are, chart your progress and plan your future.
Understand what employability is and combine this understanding with self-awareness to identify your strengths and areas for development.
Our events and programmes are designed to help you try new things, meet new people and build relevant skills and experience, both at home and overseas.
This phase is all about helping you recognise your potential and understanding how to promote yourself and your skills. Whether applying for part-time work, an internship or a graduate job, we support you through every stage of the recruitment process.
Once you know a bit more about your goals, we help you plan how to achieve them. From connecting you with key employers to offering access to graduate and placement opportunities in your target sector, we’ll develop you into a future-ready graduate.
Did you know: Queen’s has the highest percentage (92%) of graduates in employment and further study among Russell Group Universities including Oxford and Cambridge.
As a Queen’s student, we are the secret weapon you need to reach your full potential. Why? Many students leave university assuming their degree certificate is enough to get them where they want to be. But employers want more than the right degree: they are looking for all-rounders with transferable skills like teamwork, communication and critical thinking. These skills can’t be learned in a textbook. This is where we come in.
Firstly, we know employers and the skills they are looking for. What’s more, we can help you develop the most in-demand skills that will unlock exciting opportunities for you. Whether it’s learning from leaders in Boston, completing an employer challenge in Belfast or networking with the tech community in Berlin, we can give you access to powerful experiences that will stay with you. Crucially, we will work with you to sell those skills effectively on your CV or in a future interview – turbo boosting your employability.
No idea where your future lies? We’ll teach you to lean into the power of uncertainty and of staying flexible. We’ll help you use your time at university. to road test a range of career opportunities and help you figure out which direction is right for you. If you challenge yourself to keep an open mind and look at fresh perspectives, we’ll help you improve, grow in confidence and be the best that you can be whatever success looks like for you.
The Future-ready Award is an employability award that allows you to gain formal recognition and a certificate for the extracurricular experience you gain during your time at Queen’s.
You can gain this award by completing an accredited activity.
Added to a CV, the award signals to a potential employer that you have worked hard to develop the skills you need to succeed in the workplace, and enables you to better articulate your skills and experience. In addition, the award gives you the opportunity to receive a certificate at graduation, on top of your degree, with the achievement verified on your QSIS Student Record.
Get Involved, Get Rewarded
We have over 100 accredited activities available.
These include extracurricular work experiences, community and voluntary work, Global Opportunities to work or study abroad, as well as early professional development activities.
Layer Your Skills
From trips to China and the USA to employer-led challenges, there are so many fun and rewarding activities for you to get involved in on campus.
Tailor Your Award
You can complete an activity (or more than one activity), at any time, fitting them in alongside your studies and tracking your Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) progress via QSIS.
Taking part in the award is free of charge, (although some activities might have costs involved), and allows you to add valuable skills and experience to your CV all while having fun, making new friends or travelling abroad.
We’re located right at the heart of campus in One Elmwood Student Centre. We host a lot of our development workshops, information sessions and leadership programmes in The Cube, on the 1st floor (just take a right at the top of the first flight of stairs). Meanwhile our bigger events, such as our Spring and Autumn Recruitment Fairs, are held in the Mandela, Whitla and South Dining Halls. We also host pop-up events in the Foyer of One Elmwood throughout the academic year. Stop by our stand and meet our guest employers, or chat to our team about what’s coming up this semester.
On the University website
We have lots of self-help resources on our website. From personality tests to our free work values tests, get online and find out what truly motivates you. You can research careers options by School or sector, get interview and CV tips and get inspired by alumni career advice. You can also browse and book our broad range of events and programmes.
On the MyFuture app
Every Queen’s student has free access to MyFuture, our early career management platform which has its own app. There are loads of free tools in there.
Use it to:
Search and apply for jobs • Discover employers
Access 1-2-1 careers guidance
Check your CV
You can opt to have an online careers consultation. Just select the online option when you are booking your appointment via MyFuture and you’ll be sent joining details for your online appointment. Alternatively, you can book a 15-minute online appointment with one of the Global Opportunities Team to hear more about study and work abroad opportunities. The drops ins take place every Tuesday and Thursday, 12-1pm.
You can book a 1-2-1 appointment to speak to one of our team in confidence. Our consultations take place in the guidance rooms at the rear of the 1st floor of One Elmwood, opposite the Student Information Point. Book your appointment via MyFuture, then check in for your appointment via the Student Information Point.
In your School
We deliver workshops in your School to help you discover career options relevant to your degree. We also bring employers into your School for bespoke talks and events. Our annual Stock Market Challenge and the Accountancy Business Games are just some of the exciting games and challenges we run in Schools across campus. You’ll also find us on Canvas, the University’s virtual learning platform. Our free Future- Ready Skills Course will help you develop the personal and professional skills that major employers are looking for.
Fancy a tour of top law firms in Belfast? How about a visit to leading public sector and not-for-profit organisations? We organise workplace visits to employers’ offices in Belfast and beyond. We also host challenges off-campus, such as the annual Real-World Challenge: Inside the Prison System, held at Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre and Prison.
Every year over 900 Queen’s students take the opportunity to go outside Northern Ireland to study or gain work-related experience. Why not be one of them? There are loads of options and we can help you research them – from studying in Europe or Canada to interning on Capitol Hill.
Take advantage of a period of study at an overseas university or an international work placement as part of your degree. Some degrees (especially those with a language element) include a compulsory year abroad. These are generally four-year courses, during which you’ll spend a year either studying at a partner university or on work placement with an employer. Many other degrees offer the option of participating in a study exchange scheme for one or two semesters, usually in your second year. The ‘semester abroad’ option allows you to graduate within the usual three years. There are also lots of summer options available, when a longer period abroad is not possible.
Go Global Fair
Our annual Go Global Week gives you the chance to chat to organisations that can offer you an experience of a lifetime to study, work or volunteer abroad and to hear from other students who have already taken part.
If a semester or year studying abroad is a recognised part of a degree programme, whether compulsory or optional, you should still be entitled to a student loan whilst overseas. Government or University travel bursaries are also available for a range of international programmes, to help with the additional costs of your overseas travel.
Whilst overseas, you’ll load up on confidence and independence. What’s more, you’ll be eligible to apply for your period overseas to be considered towards the Queen’s Future-Ready Award (DegreePlus). The Award provides official recognition of your improved employability skills, global and cultural awareness and increased self- confidence and motivation.
We make employability an essential part of the student experience at Queen’s. Our events and programmes are designed to encourage you to try new things, meet new people and build relevant skills and experience, both at home and overseas. Here are just some of the highlights for the year ahead.
Fairs on Campus
Our Autumn and Spring Fairs are an opportunity for employers to showcase their graduate roles, internships, placement and work experience opportunities to Queen’s students.
Webinars and workshops
Our Future-Ready Skills Bitesize programme will help you understand the skills employers are looking for and identify any gaps. Delivered online, these sessions cover everything from dealing with imposter syndrome to communication skills. Our live workshops in The Cube include Selling your Transferable Skills and Finding Your Purpose. You can also access the Future-Ready Skills Course through Canvas, the University’s virtual learning platform. The course will help you develop the personal and professional skills that will support you both at Queen’s and beyond.
Future-Ready Skills for Leaders
Our hugely popular leadership programme Future-Ready Skills for Leaders, is a three-day event of business games and challenges designed to develop teamwork, management, leadership and presentation skills held in semester 2 in One Elmwood.
Future Ready Skills for Leaders: Go Global
This global leadership programme brings together students from across the University to work on projects and develop skills that enable them to become change- makers. The project work is enhanced by a visit to an international city to meet with alumni and other professionals working in a range of companies. Last year, students travelled to Boston.
Future-Ready Skills for International Students
Our international student employability programme is designed to help you discover how to build your personal brand, craft an effective CV and cover letter for the UK job market and learn all about the nuances and etiquette of the UK workplace – including how to ace that all-important interview!
Spotlight on… Industry
Our Spotlight On… City tours include visits to local and global law firms based in Belfast, as well as an opportunity to tour local public sector and not-for-profit organisations. We’ll also be hosting key players from the creative industries during a panel event in The Cube.
We offer access to valuable and impactful work experience through work shadowing and internships. During our Real-World projects, you’ll deliver a short sharp project with a participating employer, while our funded summer internships offer the chance to gain valuable experience and earn a salary. Work shadowing is a great way to try a career on for size to see if it fits.
Covering topics including overhauling the justice system and tackling climate change, our Real-World Challenge series gives you the opportunity to tackle a real-world problem, then persuade the experts, while developing key employability skills in the process. Meanwhile, our Stock Market Challenge offers the chance to simulate the excitement of the trading room floor right here on campus.
You’ll find out about the wealth of work and study abroad opportunities open to you at Go Global Week, culminating in the annual Go Global Fair. We also host a series of information sessions throughout the academic year.
Go Global, Work Local
Our Working Globally From NI internship programme allows you to build up experience with an international company from right here in Belfast.
Widening Participation Mentoring Programme
Our Widening Participation Mentoring programme is designed to help talented university students from underrepresented groups succeed in their early careers.
Our She Leads Programme for Women is an opportunity for aspiring future women leaders to discover their unique strengths, values and behaviours and develop their sense of agency as they learn to assert themselves, improve their communication style and limit self-doubt.
MyFuture is your early career network and career management platform accessed via desktop or via the Symplicity app. It makes it easier for you to find the right jobs and work experience opportunities.
Log in with your QUB email Every student at Queen’s can log on to the platform for free using their Queen’s email address and password, and you can continue to enjoy access for up to two years after graduation.
Search and find opportunities
There are currently over 2,000 employers active on the platform. Thanks to Al and smart technology, the system will match you with opportunities based on your previous searches and QSIS data so the most relevant events and jobs will appear in your searches.
You can access loads of free tools via MyFuture including:
VMock, our free automated CV Checker
Student Circus, a platform for international students seeking work in the UK
GoinGlobal, a platform offering 16 million worldwide internship and job postings
Queen’s BA English-Politics student Alan Montgomery on his experience of the Future-Ready Skills for Leaders: Boston programme.
Discovering the culture
A key part of our trip to Boston was the cultural activity challenge. This meant that, in our teams, we had to complete one activity that reflected the unique character of the city. The idea was that, in addition to the professional development provided by our visits to local employers and universities, we would also expand our global perspective by partaking in the unique culture of our destination. For the challenge, my group toured the Museum of Fine Art. When we arranged this, I don’t think they realised just how much of an art buff I was, but that certainly became clear to them when I spent close to three whole hours in two rooms of the European section. While torturous for some, I loved this.
I studied art for two years in high school, focusing on European painters, and so several galleries worth of European masters was a dream come true for me. They also had genuine remembrance. I studied this guy extensively in high school, and so seeing his work in person really was a great experience. The first thing I noticed about Boston was that it’s big. I say this as someone who lived in the Northern Irish countryside, and for whom Belfast is a major metropolitan centre, but Boston was huge. Not just the city either. The buildings were higher, the cars were larger, and the roads were wider. The city’s architecture was also something special. It’s a historic place that has hosted some of the most important events for America’s development, but it’s also a modern hub for business and innovation.
This means that there are old brick-built buildings side by side with modern corporate headquarters. For example, the old state building where the British governed Boston when America was still a colony, and where the Declaration of Independence was first read, is right next to a high-rise with full glass walls. This style lends the city a really unique character, with historical sites directly alongside treading modern architecture that makes walking around and sightseeing an experience like no other. My favourite place was without a doubt Faneuil Hall. Constructed in 1742, the hall was originally envisioned as a central marketplace for the city. The bottom floor still acts as a market, and is one of the best places to buy souvenirs and gifts, such as my copy of the Constitution here. Interestingly, this place was Quincy Market’s predecessor. In 1824, the hall was used so much that the Town Council decided to expand it by building Quincy Market alongside the North Market and South Market.
Perhaps more significantly, the second floor of the hall housed a debate chamber where some of the most important discussions in history have been held. The debates immediately preceding the Boston Tea Party occurred here, and Samuel Adams, the leader of the Sons of Liberty, and James Otis, the creator of the pivotal taxation without representation argument, were both regular speakers. Many abolitionist debates were also conducted here, alongside discussions concerning women’s suffrage and gay rights. Due to all of this, the hall has become known as the Cradle of Liberty.
Tackling a global challenge
Most of our teamwork occurred during discussions about our project theme, how can Queen’s equip graduates to handle 21st century problems. Our earliest visit was to Invest NI’s headquarters with a session organised by Stratadyce, a company specialising in assisting clients strategic decision making. This involved rolling dice corresponding to problems and solutions before applying the results to our challenge. All in all, this was a great opportunity to grow as a team by approaching the question from a different angle and debating options that wouldn’t have occurred to us otherwise. We met with Invest NI again at the end of the programme where we applied everything we had learned during our visits to our original solution. These conversations were great, we had all talked to different people at networking events, experienced different aspects of Boston’s culture and derived different takeaways from our hosts.
In total, these conversations really helped refocus our attention on the problem while giving us a new lens to examine potential solutions and I cannot wait to see what we come up with for our final pitching session. I met all sorts throughout the programme. Within our core group, I actually found it relatively easy to get along with others. We were all ecstatic to be in Boston and eager to do as much as we could before heading home and so organising group activities was actually pretty straightforward. During our visits, I talked with all sorts of different people, including professors, lawyers, students, CEOs and many more. Some special highlights include the wonderful folks at the University of Massachusetts. Every student and staff member was so welcoming and more than willing to offer insight into the experience of studying in America. The group assembled by the Boston Irish Business Association for our second networking event was also great. Pretty much everyone had some kernel of wisdom to offer, whether it be careers guidance, recommendations for future study or advice on living in America. I also got talking to some fabulous students at the Harvard Business School and I think it’s safe to say that I’ve now made some friends across the water.
Making new friends
This may sound somewhat cliche, but one of the best bonding experiences I had was when me and a group of friends decided to go to church together. We were all interested in how services in the US differed from our own and so we decided to head down to Park Street Church on Sunday morning to take a look. First up, the church itself is beautiful. It’s just next to the Boston Common, one of the biggest green spaces in the country and due to this scenic locale, many selfies were taken before we even got inside. Once we were in though, the service was as enjoyable as you would expect from one of Boston’s most famous churches. After the bustle of the flight the day before, it was nice to just relax and take things slower for a bit while also gaining special insight into American culture. Following this experience, the group I was with became good friends and we ended up spending a lot of time together as the trip went on.
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to run group discussions. In my team, I was not the ideator. I was with people who could come up with way more imaginative stuff than I could. Instead, I focused on facilitating group discussions. I tried to make sure we always ended meetings with agreed next steps. This also meant I was usually the one urging caution when a concept deviated a little bit much from our design criteria. Initially, I’ll admit, I was too adversarial with how I did this. I was trying to explain why someone’s suggestion wasn’t suitable, and while most of my points were valid, a lot of the time, this just created tenser debates and we didn’t actually end up with much. Instead, I found asking questions worked better. For example, rather than saying, this doesn’t meet our design criteria, I would ask them to explain how it fitted our brief. This was a better approach. It helped avoid arguments and have people either realize they had to rethink their proposal or it gave them a chance to expound on things in a little bit more detail. The main lesson I’ll take back to Queen’s is to accommodate varying learning styles.
Throughout the trip, we met all kinds of different people doing different jobs who had got where they are now by different means. Accordingly, one of my biggest takeaways is that everybody has their own preferences for how they do things and that recognizing and making room for those preferences is vital for letting them contribute meaningfully. This was true of both people I met and the students I was working with. Trying to force people to think and act in certain ways, even if it seems like the most efficient approach to a problem, rarely has the desired results. Instead, it works better to acknowledge and try to make space for their preferences while making sure all discussions and actions assist in achieving our desired outcome. All in all, the trip was definitely a worthwhile learning experience and I look forward to further international travel with Queen’s.
Learning to network
Throughout the trip, we attended two major networking events. One was held by the University of Massachusetts, while the latter was hosted by the Boston Irish Business Association in the offices of the Health Beacon Company. Both events were highly informative and offered us many opportunities to engage with professionals from various industries. However, this experience was also challenging. I had never networked before, and although I consider myself a fairly sociable person, there is something uniquely intimidating about being in a room full of people where everyone is older and more qualified than you. Safe to say, this aspect of the trip was well outside my comfort zone. Surprisingly, the second event was actually harder than the first one. While the first event was on a university campus featuring mostly staff and students, the second event was a business gathering in a company office. This meant a smaller space, more people, and more diverse careers. While insightful, I am glad to get these first awkward initiations into the professional world out of the way.
When it comes to overcoming nerves, I have one piece of advice. If something unsettles you, go directly towards it. Especially when it comes to networking, you need to put yourself out there and make an impression on whoever you’re talking to. For me, I found it helpful to set myself little goals throughout the event. For example, I always tried to only talk with people I didn’t already know, to make sureI engaged with as many professionals as possible. While challenging, this strategy ultimately allowed me to make connections with a wide variety of different individuals, far more than if I hadn’t forced myself out of my comfort zone. In conversations involving a larger group, contributing can also be intimidating. Again, the only solution is to force yourself. I found it worked well to commit to asking at least one question in every discussion to make sure I put myself out there and hopefully steer the conversation in my direction. This was difficult, but it ultimately made networking a far more enriching experience. For me, the most challenging part of networking was the experience gap. What I mean is that when you’re a student trying to form relationships with professionals, you’re almost exclusively dealing with people who have more experience, are more qualified, and are more confident in that kind of selling. I noticed this more in the second networking event, where we were talking to members of the Boston Irish Business Association, than in the first, where we were mostly engaging with staff at the University of Massachusetts. I am a student, after all.
I feel I know how to hold a conversation with university types, and so I find entering these discussions a little less intimidating. In the second event, however, we were with a far more diverse range of professionals. I was talking to politicians, lawyers, business people, all sorts. Honestly, I felt pretty out of my depth. Everyone I was talking to seemed more knowledgeable and more experienced than me. I know it’s cliché, but I was definitely feeling a touch of imposter syndrome. I learned a lot from the people I talked to. For example, Queen’s professor Chris Scott gave us some wonderful advice about capitalizing on opportunities to gain international experience. I intend to follow this guidance and apply for as many global programs as possible next year, and I hope anyone watching also tries their best to partake in the opportunities for personal and professional growth afforded by Queen’s.
In terms of my own learning, I think my most informative conversation was with a senior member of Massachusetts Civil Service. I study politics, and so a public sector career has always been of interest to me. However, this guy claimed working in government wasn’t a satisfying experience for him. Apparently, the state bureaucracy was resistant to making any changes, limiting what he could do. Instead, he recommended I go into the private sector as a lobbyist, as these people have far more freedom to drive important decisions. So I’ve definitely been given a lot to think about regarding where I go after Queen’s.
As for who inspired me, I want to say something a little unconventional here. I feel a lot of participants are going to identify teachers or business people who were able to give them valuable career insights. I understand this is an important part of networking, but for my biggest inspiration, I’m actually going to say Adam Esposito, a student at the Harvard Business School. It was great talking to this guy. He was a lot closer to my own age group than many others attending the networking events, and it was fascinating to share details about our university experience. We met at the HealthBeacon networking event, and after we were guided through the company’s process, he was able to recommend to them potential routes to expand. There was just something about seeing someone who wasn’t much older than me being so knowledgeable and confident in their field that they were comfortable giving advice to our host on how to develop their
business that has really motivated me to push further in my own studies. For me, the most impactful workplace we visited was HealthBeacon’s headquarters. Everything about it reflected their identity as an innovative startup.
The room dividers were made from reused shipping pallets, their workspace was purposed to be environmentally friendly, and their full design process from initial conception to final product was on display throughout the room. This was great to see. It was fascinating to learn how the company transformed their idea into competitive biotechnology and the inventive solutions they had devised to navigate problems along the way. For example, a key part of HealthBeacon’s mission was sustainability. Accordingly, they designed a process where used components of the product can be removed, sanitized, and replaced, and any irreparable elements can be ground down safely and utilized in construction projects. Myself and the others who received details about this procedure were impressed at the company’s engineering and left with a strong impression of what an imaginative startup can accomplish.
Getting to know Boston
It’s basic, I know, but the thing I enjoyed most about the trip was experiencing Boston. It’s such a unique and vibrant place. As a harbour city, there is a delicious array of seafood on offer pretty much wherever you go, but especially in the big shopping areas, like Quincy Market.
The people are also so friendly, especially when they find out you’re from the island of Ireland. Almost everyone I met was eager to hear about life in Ireland and enthusiastic to share stories about their Irish family connection or their last visit. The city itself was also beautiful and brimming with history. On our first full day, I took a guided tour of the Freedom Trail, one of the city’s main attractions, and even walking around Boston and admiring the many historic landmarks scattered throughout the streets was an unforgettable experience. I’m not joking when I say every building has its own story. All in all, a fantastic visit and an excursion I would repeat in a heartbeat.
Find out more about the Future-Ready Skills for Leaders International Programme here.
In our series of four sessions for international students running in both semester one and again in semester two, students discovered how to build their personal brand, craft an effective CV and cover letter for the UK job market and learn all about the nuances and etiquette of the UK workplace – including how to ace that all-important interview!
The final session brought all these skills together in the Assessment Centre Bootcamp.
Missed out? Here is the top takeaway from each session!
Key takeaways from Session 1 – UK Recruitment Process
– Get organised, know your application deadlines
– Sell your skillset as an International Student
– Do something outside your degree
– 100% of session respondents are planning to book further CES sessions!
Key takeaways from Session 2 – CV’s
– Format matters, make your info easy to find
– If you don’t write it, employers can’t read it
– Change your CV for every job application
– Use VMock for written CV feedback
Key takeaways from Session 3 – Interviews
– Know the company and the industry
– Use the STAR technique
– Show you would be a good fit for their team
– Book a mock interview with a Careers Consultant
Key takeaways from Session 4 – Mock Assessment Centre
– Keep to time
– Don’t forget to listen
– Put your phone away
Missed this event? Check out other upcoming events here