Interested in teaching in China, but have concerns?

Opportunity China’s Partnerships and Recruitment Manager and former English Teacher in China, Will Perrins, has been travelling up and down the country, to speak with students across the UK about living and teaching in China and will be at the USW Opportunities Fair on Thursday 9 November 2017 on Treforest Campus. 

Speaking with students from a wide and diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds has given me the opportunity to reflect on some of the concerns and queries raised by final years who are considering teaching in China.

One of the more common concerns among students I spoke with across the UK was whether they would be able to easily find friends and navigate their new surroundings without feeling isolated. This is incredibly important and was one of the major concerns I had before travelling to China myself. I could draw on my positive experience of having made very close friendships and bonds with both my fellow foreign teachers and Chinese staff at my school, with whom I was put in contact before my departure.

Addressing these concerns reminded me of how tight-knit expat communities are in China, particularly within 2nd tier cities. This can be a double-edged sword, with personality clashes sometimes being unavoidable and the intense nature of working with the same colleagues in a foreign country occasionally putting a strain on relationships. However, the resilience, patience and empathy that emerge from living and working in such an atmosphere, in addition to strong bonds and life-long friendships I acquired made it an undoubtedly positive social experience.

Teaching experience

Many students expressed a concern that, although they would love to teach English in China, their lack of classroom teaching experience would negatively impact their effectiveness as a teacher in China. This reminded me of having arrived in China with very limited teaching experience in the age bracket of my new classes.

Although I had run theatre workshops and tutored in the past, part of me still didn’t feel fully prepared for this experience. I was told before I left to be patient, find a positive in every new class I taught and was encouraged by my fellow teachers to persevere and begin each lesson with passion, zeal and enthusiasm.

teach English in China

This attitude carried me through my teaching experience in China, and alongside the support and camaraderie of my colleagues, enabled me to be elevated to the position of Foreign Teacher Manager in under 2 years.

There are countless examples among expat teachers of those with limited experience traversing this steep learning curb through a positive mindset and attitude. I find that the those who have the best experience, and who often make the best teachers exhibit these traits and motivate themselves on a daily basis by the pride they take in their development.

Language and culture

A country as different as China naturally brings with it concerns about navigating a completely foreign language and culture. When speaking with students about their concerns over these cultural differences it took me back to my arrival in China, speaking very little Mandarin and knowing even less about Chinese culture, the immersive learning experience I had was vital!

It was through my expat and Chinese friends and colleagues that I quickly learnt about core Chinese cultural concepts such as the importance of Mianzi (Face) in almost all daily interaction. Although I made my fair share of cultural faux pas throughout my first months living and working in China, I found people forgiving and willing to help.

Having the opportunity to immerse myself entirely in a different culture and language gave me the chance to learn the world’s most spoken first language in an intensive and cost-effective manner. Had I sought to gain the same standard of education at home it would have most likely cost over 100 times the amount.

teach English in China

I found my experience speaking with students about the challenges, benefits and occasional absurdities (both positive and negative), really took me back to the excitement I felt during my first few months in China.

Find out more about the Teach China Graduate Programme here.

Meet Will at the Opportunities Fair, 9th November, Treforest Campus

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5 top tips to get the most from a careers fair

Autumn is upon us.  Universities across the UK are organising their careers fair. These events are a great opportunity for you to meet with employers, recruiters and alumni. Do not miss out on the chance to ask questions and learn as much as you can. Here are our 5 top tips to help you make the most of your careers fair:

1. Plan ahead
Find a programme a few days before the event, learn about the companies who will be attending and if there will be scheduled talks or presentations. If you can’t attend all of them, ask your career advisor to help you choose which ones will best suit your needs. Decide on a priority list of the companies you wish to speak to. If you have extra time, make sure you stop at all stands; you may discover careers you had never even thought of.

ReedImage2. Research, Research and Research
Visit companies’ websites to find out what they do. You will have limited time to chat with employers so make the most of it by focusing on their experience, their duties and the kind of work graduates can expect in their company. Prepare questions beforehand on the recruitment process or on the skills needed to be successful in their organisation.

3. Smile and stand out
A careers fair is a professional networking opportunity. Like all professional relationships you need to be polite and respectful. There will be a lot of walking around so wear comfortable shoes but make sure you are still smart. When approaching a recruiter or employer be purposeful and enthusiastic; show that you did your research and ask questions while selling yourself: “I am in my final year of X and during my project I did Y. I would like to use these skills in a Z environment. From your website, I feel like I could fit well with your company. Can you tell me more about the kind of jobs you have for graduates and what technical skills I should focus on this year?”

4. Take notes and ask for the employer’s/recruiter’s card
Bring a notepad with your prepared questions and take notes on specific hiring dates and the next steps to take if you wish to apply. Take as many contact details as possible and as soon as you are home, connect with everyone on LinkedIn and follow the company pages. You will then be alerted when they are new vacancies.

5. Keep in touch after the fair
If you built a rapport with a recruiter, follow up with an email with your updated CV attached. It will show your motivation, your interest in the company and that you are a proactive person. Start by saying which part of the conversation you enjoyed. It will give them a reference point to remember you.

reedscientificReed Scientific attend many university career fairs during the year so keep an eye out for us and come and introduce yourself. If you have any questions on this article, do not hesitate to get in touch with me on aislinn.brennan@reedglobal.com

 

 

 

 

How to build up evidence of your work and skills for an interview

When it comes to job interviews, one of the most important factors is being able to persuade the employer that you have the appropriate skills and experience to be a good candidate for the job. As a result, it’s good practice to draw together as much physical evidence of relevant previous work as possible.

At its simplest level, this is just a case of listing out your past employment to demonstrate your capabilities. However, the difficulty for students and recent graduate is that you may not have a great deal of job experience, so you’re going to need to put in a little effort now to give you a better chance of landing a job in the future.

blocksHere are some tips on building up you evidence stockpile:

Write for your chosen profession

Whether you want to be a games developer, lawyer, music journalist or particle physicist, getting something published that you’ve written for your industry is a good way of demonstrating your knowledge and interest. There is a wide range of publications for every industry and you’ll be surprised how many of them would be happy to feature your thoughts, ideas or stories.

Start by creating a good list of possible publications and hunt down the contact details, which are usually on the contact us page of the website. It’s important to get a good idea of what the publication features before coming up with your own idea for what to write about. Once you have this, you can then craft a request to your contact at the publication, explaining your idea and why it would make for a good addition to the publication. You can’t expect every request to come back with a positive result, but it’s important to keep persevering to get your work published.

Work experience

This might be a no-brainer, but it’s easy to pass over until the last minute, so try to take some time during the summer to build up your work experience tally. Not only will it give you real experience, but it will also give you an excellent opportunity to get evidence for the work you’ve done and skills you’ve got. Try to think of your time during work experience from this standpoint and keep copies of anything that you’re proud of. It might be a good idea to ask the company if it’s happy for you to do this as a courtesy, but most will just want to help you as much as possible. If your work gets featured online while you’re doing work experience, make sure you keep a record of the URLs to reference during interviews.

Volunteer work

This is very similar to work experience, but it could give you a bit more flexibility in terms of what you do and the kind of evidence you can build up. Approaching charities, clubs, events and organisations with an offer to do something that relates to the job you eventually want to get is another great way to build up evidence. If you want to be in marketing, offer to help with their promotional activity; if you want to be a designer, offer to create a poster or flyer; if you want to be a biologist, offer to go in to do a talk on a chosen subject that might be of interest to the people they support etc. Again, keep a record of everything that you do and refer to it in interviews when you’re trying to take your first steps in the working world.

Get creative

If you’ve already ticked off a number of these, you can take things to the next level by adding video to your evidence log. With smartphones, it’s easier than ever to film yourself or others talking knowledgably about your industry. And with YouTube you can easily post these to the masses and share on social media. It’s not going to be for everyone, but if you’re a confident speaker and you’ve got subjects you’re passionate about then it could be a creative way to evidence your interest and understanding of your industry.

Try to be entertaining, interesting and engaging while filming and don’t forget that if you’re not happy with the initial results, you can always just do another take to get it right.

Create a portfolio

This can either be online or a physical portfolio of your work, but it will act as a strong talking point for your interview. It comes in handy when asked questions about how you might tackle a particular situation, providing you with tangible examples of what you’ve done in the past.

Your portfolio can include any written work you’ve had published for your industry, or if you work in the creative sector then you can include design work, film, apps, games, websites etc. that you’ve worked on in the past.

It’s important to structure your portfolio so that you can easily refer to items without scrambling around, so a tabbed reference could be an option to make it easy to find something specific when you’re being interviewed.


Gerard Harris is the editor of entertainment news and reviews magazine, Tuppence, which has developed a flexible work experience programme to allow budding writers and designers to gain experience, a reference and an online portfolio to evidence their work. Over the last 15 years, Gerard has worked in the digital sector for fashion companies like Office Shoes and UNIQLO, as well as time at other big brands, including Odeon, RAC and Ford.


 

Why project management is an excellent career choice for graduates

Projects take place in every industry around the world. Think of all the construction projects you see in cities, or of the marketing projects that happen whenever a new product is released.

The world thrives on projects and this means there will always be a need for project managers. Read on to find out what this role entails, why to enter the field and how to get your foot in the door!

What is a project manager?

Project managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of projects. They are results-driven and goal-orientated creatures with a knack for organisation, leadership and communicating effectively.

A typical project manager will be involved in:

  • Planning the project
  • Budgeting
  • Organising and motivating the project team
  • Setting deadlines and delegating work
  • Carrying out risk and quality assessments
  • Working with stakeholders
  • Solving problems as they arise
  • Ensuring project goals are achieved
  • Delivering the project on time

This is not a job for shrinking violets! Project managers are strong leaders who are capable of organising and motivating people. You must therefore be a team player with an eye for spotting risks and solving problems. It can be a challenging job, especially when deadlines loom or things go wrong, so being able to cope with pressure is essential.

Why be a project manager?

Here are our top reasons to choose a project management career:

  • Project managers are required in every industry and sector. It is true that sectors such as IT and engineering are major ‘project’ sectors. However, every industry performs projects, so creative and humanities graduates are welcome too!
  • Because projects happen worldwide, project managers often get to travel and work with a variety of different people.
  • As every industry requires project managers, this means there are lots of jobs out there. Project managers will always be in demand and this won’t change any time soon. Projects will always exist.
  • Salaries are excellent. Project managers in the UK earn on average £40-£50k. Depending on the industry and how much experience you have, this salary can reach quite a height.
  • Job satisfaction is huge! Being part of a project, watching everything come together successfully and working in a team are all some of the highlights of this career.

How to kick-start a graduate project manager career

Much like any other job, landing a role as a project manager requires experience and qualifications. Here are our top tips for entering the world of project management:

  • Which sector do you want to work in? Many graduates use their current degree as a starting point. However, you can also complete further study after graduation in the form of a PgDip or master’s degree in project management. Bear in mind that if you want to manage projects in a very technical field such as engineering, finance or IT, it is normally essential that you have a degree in one of those subjects.
  • Work experience is vital. Try volunteering or contacting companies directly to see if you can do work experience with them. If you have chosen the PgDip or master’s route, work placements are often included as part of the course.
  • Try getting a project administrator or project support role. These entry level positions give you valuable experience working alongside a project manager on actual projects. Getting an entry level job like this will make it much easier for you to progress onto a managerial role, either at the same company or elsewhere.
  • You might see qualifications such as PRINCE2® or AgilePM® mentioned in job specifications. PRINCE2 is a project management methodology. Agile is an ‘umbrella’ term encompassing many different approaches to delivering software. Many employers insist you gain PRINCE2 or Agile certification, because they will be used on the project. It is therefore a good idea to gain at least an entry level qualification in PRINCE2 or Agile, depending on what your chosen sector requires.

pm-salaries-ebook-thumbnailFind out more

Ready to take the next steps? Check out your university career service for further advice. They’ll have a list of internships or volunteering opportunities to apply for, plus they can help you write a killer CV.

To find out how salaries vary by industry and which parts of the UK are project management hotspots, read this Project Management Salary eBook. It’s essential for any graduate thinking of pursuing a career as a project manager.

AXELOS are the official PRINCE2 accreditation body. You can find accredited and approved PRINCE2 courses on the AXELOS website. For accredited Agile courses, please check APMG International’s website.

PMcourses
SimonBuehringSimon Buehring is the founder and Managing Director of Knowledge Train, an accredited PRINCE2 training organization based in London, UK. For over 25 years, Simon has worked as a project manager for a wide range of organizations, both in the UK and internationally, including the BBC, HSBC and IBM.

Working in a school is not just for teachers!

If you have not been back in a school for a few years, you may still be under the impression that it is made up of teachers, dinner ladies, caretakers, school nurses and secretaries.   What may surprise you isschoolrules that there are many many different types of jobs available in the school environment – professional, associate professional and in academic support.

All of these jobs have one thing in common; they are there to help shape the future lives of young people. Sound like an environment you would like to work in?

On Tuesday 28 February, we have invited 25 organisations who offer opportunities to work in schools.  Below are some of the non-teaching roles that these organisations have advertised:

  • Admissions Officer
  • Arabic Speaking Learning Support Assistant
  • Behaviour Manager
  • Behaviour Support Practitioner
  • Braille Trained Learning Support Assistant
  • Breakfast Club Supervisor
  • Clerk to the Governors
  • Cricket Coach
  • Data and Student Services Manager
  • Design Technology Technician
  • Drama Assistant
  • Early Years Support Worker
  • Estates Manager
  • Examination and Accreditation Officer
  • Family Support Assistant
  • Graduate Assistants
  • Graduate Learning Support Assistant
  • Graduate Maths Learning Support Assistant
  • Graduate Music Assistant
  • Health Care and Personal Care Assistant
  • Higher Level Teaching Assistant
  • IT Network and System Manager
  • IT Technician
  • Lab Technician
  • Learning Coach
  • Lettings Officer
  • Marketing and Reprographics Coordinator
  • MDSA / Playleader
  • Music Secretary
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Office Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Pastoral Care Worker
  • Pastoral Manager
  • Personal Coach
  • Physical Education Teaching Assistant
  • Play & Development Leader
  • Play and Development Worker
  • Play Worker
  • Premises and Health & Safety Manager
  • Pre-School Assistant
  • Pre-School Deputy Manager
  • Primary and Secondary Cover Supervisors
  • Pupil Services Manager
  • Raising Attainment Assistant EAL
  • School Counsellor
  • School Finance Officer
  • Science Technician
  • SEN Teaching Assistant
  • Site Compliance & Maintenance Technician
  • Special Needs Support Worker
  • Specialist Physiotherapist
  • Speech & Language Therapist
  • Sports Centre Manager
  • Sports Coach / Leader
  • Sports Officer
  • Sporty Learning Support Assistant
  • Strategic Business Manager
  • Support Assistant
  • Support Assistant Sport
  • Swyddog Gweinyddol
  • Teaching Assistant

Some of these roles will require experience and special qualifications, while others may just need your skills and bags of enthusiasm.

Come along and chat to the exhibitors at the Teaching Recruitment Fair, 28 February 2017, 12 – 2pm, Newport City Campus, and find out more about the requirements and opportunities open to you.  They have temporary opportunities in some of these roles for you to experience working in a school.

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Related Blogs

Working as a Teaching Assistant

NQTs – How To Land Your First Teaching Role

Education Recruitment Agencies – Are you all on board?

Working as a Teaching Assistant

Despite the sometimes hectic working environment, a teaching assistant role can be one of the most rewarding careers available. Not only do you become a part of a pupil’s life, but you also get to be the reason that many of them succeed. Students learn best in a safe and encouraging environment and teacher needs help in everything that she does inside and outside the classroom to create and maintain this kind of setting. Because of this we’ve combined all the facts you need to consider before hitting the apply button, intrigued? Read on…

Main duties:

  • To work under the guidance of the teacher
  • Prepare the classroom before each class as well as tidying at the end of each class
  • Support reading groups
  • Work on a one to one basis
  • Lead small groups
  • Have excellent knowledge of the school curriculum
  • Have excellent numeracy, literacy and ICT skills
  • Monitor and record pupils progress
  • Report feedback to the teacher
  • Carry out administrative duties

It is also useful to bear in mind the attributes that your employer will look for when hiring a candidate. Although you may have the drive to work in a classroom, it’s important that you hold all the skills needed to work with children.

The qualities your interviewer will look for are:

  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • Creativity and confidence
  • Good reading, writing, and numeracy skills
  • Flexibility to work with a diverse range of children
  • The ability to build excellent relationships with both staff and children

So how do you actually get into the school we hear you say?

Every school will have their own set entry-level requirements for teaching assistants, depending on what you will be needed for. Although many will accept you on the basis that you have great work experience, some will look for qualifications such as ‘Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools’ and  ’Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools’. Most paid jobs will also require for you to have GCSEs in both literacy and numeracy, or the equivalent.

Before you begin working with children, you will need to apply for an enhanced background checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and be registered with the EWC. These can both be applied for by popping onto their websites and filling out the forms provided. Both can take a number of weeks to complete, so it’s best to get these completed and sent off as soon as possible.

Once your checks are back, registrations complete, and your CV up to date, there are a number of ways that you can gain experience and jobs within a classroom environment. Check jobs boards, contact your local schools, and sign up with agencies that have plenty of contacts… Ahem. Whether long or short-term, each and every placement you take will gain you time, experience, and the chance to get your foot in the door, which in plenty of cases results in the offer of full-time work.

Roles will vary depending on the specific setting that you are placed in. Secondary schools will more than likely mean that you will be placed in a classroom with a specific subject, or be assigned to an individual that may need guidance, support, or help. In Primary school you will generally take on a more general role, working with a class across the whole of the curriculum and offering the teaching help with anything they need. If you decide to go down the special educational needs route, you may be assigned to a particular pupil, or work regularly with a particular class, it is also very common for there to be more than one teaching assistant present in this type of environment due to the needs of the students.

By Hannah Tuck, Staffroom Education

Want more information and help on becoming a teaching assistant or working in a school? Come along to the Teaching Recruitment Fair this month where you can speak to Hannah and other teaching representatives about the opportunities on offer.

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5 reasons to apply for your next role through a Recruitment Agency

reedblogIf you’re close to finishing your degree or you’re on your summer break there is a good chance you will be looking for a temporary or permanent job. When exploring your options the question may come up; is it better to apply through a recruiter or approach the company directly?

There are many unknown advantages to applying via a recruitment agency.

Here are the top 5 reasons to work with Reed Scientific:

1   Your CV is more likely to be seen by the hiring manager

An employer receives an average of 250 applications for every job advert. He or she will spend 5-7 seconds looking at a CV. When your CV matches the requirements of a role your recruiter will not only make sure your CV is seen by the employer but will also discuss your experience and skills with them, supporting your application.

2   You get the advice needed to improve your employability

Recruiters know the market. In addition to CV and application guidance your specialist consultant will provide pre-interview support, including an overview of prospective employers based on their knowledge of the company.

3   You will have access to multiple opportunities through one point of contact

Recruiters keep you updated on relevant vacancies. They provide you with information on the market and discuss the different opportunities you can access with your experience – even if it’s a career path you may not have considered.

4   You have constant support whilst you are looking for work.

Recruiters help you apply to the right roles and give you last minute advice before an interview. They chase for feedback and negotiate offers on your behalf. They will also call companies on your behalf to see if they have suitable vacancies in their teams.

5   And it is all for free!

Most recruitment agencies (including us) provide their services completely free of charge for candidates.

reedscientific
For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us at aislinn.brennan@reedglobal.com or join us on  our LinkedIn page https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3764511 for further tips and advice

Reed Scientific – Science Jobs in South Wales (Employer talk & Drop-in)
31 January, Upper Glyntaff
 

Meet us there!

 

NQTs – How To Land Your First Teaching Role

Finding your first teaching post is a process that doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult if you are well-prepared and plan ahead. We know it’s hard to think about when you’ve just got a shed load of coursework out-of-the-way, but now is the time to put the work in. With interviews surfacing for the new school year, we’ve put together our top tips on how to bag your first teaching role…

First and foremost, it’s important to identify the type of teaching vacancies you want to apply for, think about your preferences:

  • location – are you willing to commute or is it too much for your first year as an NQT?
  • type and size of school
  • year group/key stage
  • subject
  • full-time or temporary – would you take a short-term post?

So where do go to find your new role?

  1. Teaching fairs and university portals are a great place to start. Here you’ll find temp/full-time/part-time vacancies that can suit all needs.
  2. Recruitment agencies.
  3. Social media; Linkedin offers a range of jobs and you can search #hiring #teachers on Twitter to narrow your hunt.
  4. Indeed, TES and plenty of other boards are guaranteed to feature most of the vacancies that are out there. It’s a good idea to sign up and upload your CV so that potential employers can contact you too!

Then, CV & applications

If you’ve found a particular job that you want, tailor your application to that specific school. Too many applicants end up being disregarded due to silly mistakes, so find out the name of who you’re addressing it to and make sure to pick up on why you want to work for them. Make it hard for the interviewer not to consider you and include a strong cover letter that shows your passion and drive.

Before applying, it’s a good idea to Google yourself and evaluate your digital footprint. Are all of your accounts private and is there any sort of content that may be deemed offensive?

It’s also important to remember not to sit by the phone…

Network aggressively with friends and acquaintances—a kind word from a colleague to a school administrator may open doors. Spread the word about your job search to your Facebook and Ning friends, and look for job feeds on Twitter.

Struggling? Why not consider the supply route?

Without blowing our own trumpet, Supply is a great way of securing an income and getting your foot in the door whilst waiting for that dream teaching role. The more schools you visit, the more people you meet, and we’re all very familiar with the saying ‘it’s who you know’, when it comes to the big job hunt.

You get the call, are you prepared?

Turn up with evidence to support your application. Class work, great references and portfolios are a strong way of communicating ‘Hey, look! I’m a great, organised and passionate candidate!”. You may be asked to teach a lesson or give a presentation, so make sure you understand what is expected and required. You should enquire about class size, location and available resources as well as considering how you are going to differentiate yourself from the rest.

The school will also be keen to know how well you could work with other teachers, other adults in the classroom and how you will relate to parents. Supporting your answers with examples will strengthen their impact and show that you have the experience needed for the desired job. Remember to relax, relate AND ASK QUESTIONS! You can find some of our top tips for that on another recent blog here.

By Hannah Tuck, Staffroom Education

Meet Hannah and other teaching representatives at the Teaching Recruitment Fair next month!

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Why you should work for PwC Swansea..

For more information on vacancies or how to apply, please contact:

Scarlett Seager, Student Recruitment Manager (scarlett.e.seager@pwc.com)

Kate Buffery,Student Recruitment Officer (kate.buffery@pwc.com)

PwC’s graduate and placement opportunities in Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol and Nationwide are live on Unilife Connect