Epigram sat down with Martina Beleva, Arts Faculty Rep and the brains behind the University’s first ever Arts Faculty Careers Week, to find out why Arts students have been missing out and how this is all about to change.
The Arts Faculty Careers week, beginning on Monday 20th February, is a five day stretch of careers talks given by industry experts and representatives from an array of sectors, including Publishing, Law, Business, Education and Politics.
‘The whole purpose of this event is to give people an idea of what they could do [after university] and think beyond what the institution often introduces them to,’ Martina Beleva, Arts Faculty Rep and third year historian, told Epigram.
Bookings are coming in fast for 2017's careers fairs and employer presentations. We're looking forward to our upcoming events! pic.twitter.com/bIQOqwVtBd
— Bristol Uni Careers (@UoBrisCareers) February 14, 2017
Pointing to other careers events offered by the University, which typically feature opportunities in corporate law firms, banking and consultancy, she commented:
‘You always get encouraged to go to places based on the employer’s desires, because the Careers Service often bases its research into what people can do after university based on what employers want.
‘And that makes sense, but from a student perspective, it’s better to actually see, and directly speak to, people who have succeeded in their spheres.’
Each one hour session features two alumni from the same, or similar, industries. Students can expect an introductory talk, followed by twenty minutes from each speaker on their careers and a Q&A session.
‘Students will get the opportunity to network amongst themselves and with the alumni speakers,’ Beleva said. ‘They’re all amazing people who have got the most out of their time after Bristol, which is a great example to set for students.’
‘they are not doing enough for Arts students’
‘This very important aspect of many people’s degrees is something that the University are not paying [enough] attention to. If a part time officer has to put this together, then we have a problem there.’
She also highlighted the lack of ‘specific’ careers-focused events for Arts students in comparison to other faculties.
‘The initial inspiration for me to create Arts Faculty Careers Week was that I recognised that the Arts Faculty is the only faculty at this University that doesn’t get its own careers fair,’ she told Epigram.
‘There’s a Sciences careers fair, a Law careers fair, a general careers fair [the Autumn Careers Fair] but there’s nothing specific for Arts students.
‘I was thinking of creating a fair but realised this would be far more useful, because it’s more specialised. You can actually choose which talks you want to go to, which industry you might be interested in and all of them are free, of course.’
She suggested that providing focused, specialised career resources for Arts students is more complex than other faculties.
‘I think that the big problem with Arts students is that their skills are transferable, but they don’t clearly lead to the next step.
‘There are certain degrees, such as Engineering, where there is a very clear, logical way to embrace that degree if you choose to do so after university. There are loads of graduate schemes and all sorts of employers are happy to invest in you, but when it comes to Arts students it’s much harder to pin down the next step,’ Beleva said.
‘That’s why, if anything, it’s vital that Arts students get the most attention in terms of careers because it’s less clear where it leads them. They need to see their opportunities, because their opportunities are limitless.
‘I hope this careers week will make those opportunities more tangible.’
Many of the events for Arts Faculty Careers Week are sold out, however you can still find tickets for events in Business and Education. Students keen to attend sold out events are encouraged to turn up and see if there are any last-minute cancellations.
Do you feel that Arts students are well catered for by the University in terms of specific careers-related resources?