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Online Undergraduate Handbook

Finding a job

Finding a job (while and after you study)

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There are a variety of things that you can do with your degree from Alliance MBS. Start exploring career options, occupations and industries early so that you can get relevant experience and gain transferable skills which employers are looking for. There is information on all types of careers that you can think of for you to have a look at.

So, if you’re thinking you might need to get a job or some experience in the next few years, you’ve come to the right place. Whether it be to earn a bit of extra spending money during term time or to start shaping your career over the summer it’s all here. The University offers all students tailored advice on how to get any experience that you might want. Click on the different sections to find out more.

While you study

Part time jobs

There are hundreds of part time jobs each year on CareersLink, but many opportunities will just be advertised in shop windows or by word of mouth. Find out more about how to look for and apply for part time jobs.

Work experience

In first year you have the opportunity to improve your CV and gain experience through both paid and voluntary work experience. This can be done in various places from working for a small business to becoming one of the “Welcome Week” Interns for the University. Internships are often competitive so it is a good idea to start getting experience early! To find out more about various schemes open to first years and how to find more visit the Career Service page dedicated to finding work experience for first year students.


An internship can dramatically increase your attractiveness to employers and could very well be the deciding factor of whether you finally land that interview for your dream job. Not only that but it provides invaluable experience in the workplace, offering you a first-hand insight into how a company performs its day-to-day activities. There are both graduate and student internship opportunities in the University as well as large and small organisations across the UK and overseas.

Read more about what internships are and when to apply for them, the University’s paid student experience internships and the different ways to apply for graduate internships here.

Casual vacation work

Use your summer effectively, it’s a great time to earn some money and get experience whether you plan to stay in Manchester, return home or go overseas. If you need help thinking of ideas of what kind of work you could apply for then there are a lot of examples on the Careers Service’s Finding casual vacation work page, as well as links to safe websites with legitimate job vacancies.

Work experience bursaries

If you’re looking for work experience but are finding it financially difficult to take up the opportunity that you want, then you might benefit from a Work Experience Bursary.

The Careers Service has a limited fund to award to undergraduate students to cover travel, accommodation and/or dependent care costs that may result from undertaking your work experience.

Find out more about work experience bursaries.

Networking and using social media

Ever heard the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? People make new professional contacts (sometimes known as ‘networking’) for many different reasons: for information, advice, uncovering new contacts and business deals, or even just to meet people and find out what’s going on in their industry. Making contacts can also be a good way to find out about jobs and careers. Social media, if used in the right way, has become a particularly effective way of networking.

Find out more about how to use your networks to help you in your job search here.

Networking is not just through social media. Networking also consists of face-to-face interactions with people in order to create contacts that will be of use to you now and/or later in life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking someone for help – later down the line they might be the ones asking you for help!

Contrary to popular belief, networking isn’t necessarily charming your way through life. All you have to do is talk to people about yourself and ask about them, then get their contact details and give them yours (this is what social media is good for!)

After you study

Find a graduate job

Graduate jobs are often associated with graduate training schemes. In reality, structured graduate training schemes only represent a small proportion of the overall number of jobs suitable for graduates.

Finding a graduate job can be a daunting task but the Careers Service can offer some good advice on where to start with 3 'how to' guides here.

Find graduate schemes

Graduate schemes typically last for around two years (although this can vary between a year and up to three years or more) and allow you the opportunity to experience different placements within the organisation to gain an understanding of how it operates. They are often a stepping stone to a long and successful career. The Careers Service can offer information on the types of graduate schemes that are out there as well as help with finding one

Manchester Graduate Internship Programme

The Manchester Graduate Internship Programme (MGIP) is managed by the university and is exclusively for University of Manchester students who have recently graduated. Those who are successful in securing one of the internships can expect a paid graduate level position for 4-12 months in the Greater Manchester area. See more information about eligibility and how to apply here.

Find other graduate jobs

Organisations who recruit smaller numbers of graduates often recruit directly into the relevant job. Many jobs exist where there is no set requirement for a graduate, but your skills and education could be highly valuable. For more information on where to find these as well as schemes available where you can get graduate level work, usually for 1 year or less, visit the Careers Service.

Alliance MBS Grad recruiters

The types of companies that recruit Alliance MBS graduates are:

Allied Healthcare
Auto Trader UK
BAE Systems
The Co-operative Bank
Deloitte LLP
Deutsche Bank
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ltd
Grant Thornton
Hallmark Cards Plc
Omni Resource Management Solutions
Procter & Gamble
TVS Supply Chain Solutions
Tessella Ltd

For more information it is best to visit the careers fairs and talk to firms' representatives directly but you can look at company websites to see any opportunities that they may offer or you can book a careers guidance appointment to discuss your options.

SMEs/Manchester based firms

Not everyone wants to work or intern for the big multinational firms - sometimes it is preferable to work in a smaller company. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) consist of 1-250 employees. There are thousands of SMEs over the country. Here are a few examples of those which have had positions advertised on the university's CareersLink:

Alexander & Co
Active Energy Direct
AKW Group
Altium Capital
Beattie Communications
Brilliant Media
CDI-AndersElite Ltd
CLB Coopers Chartered Accountants
Eco Save Ltd
Forever Manchester
Fusion People
Harris Interactive
Intelling Ltd
iProspect Manchester
JAM Recruitment Ltd
Join the Dots
Liquid Personnel
One2One Customer Insight
Premiere People
Selection Group
Trendsetter Home Furnishings Ltd

The easiest way for you to find opportunities in SMEs both in and outside of Manchester is through CareersLink and click on Organisation Search - Advanced Search - Organisation Size - 1 - 250. If you're looking specifically for Manchester based firms then the best way to search is to go on Vacancies - Vacancy Search - Advanced Search - Region - 01 North West England and then the majority of what comes up will be in and around Greater Manchester. Other ways include asking your own family/friend's contacts or contacting the company directly to tell them what you can offer and whether they have something for you.


Increasingly, it is becoming a more popular idea for graduates and even undergraduates to start their own business rather than work for someone else's. There is a lot of support available throughout the University for starting your own business such as the Manchester Enterprise Centre's Resource Centre which has advice on things like how to write a business plan and implement it successfully, how to calculate start-up, information on trademarks and branding and much more. Find out more about numerous other ways that the university support here.

Work shadowing

Work shadowing is a more informal type of work experience. Basically, you observe someone in their daily tasks to see the type of activities they get up to. This can help a lot when choosing your career because it gives you an insight into the type of work that you'd be doing. If none of what they're doing interests you, then maybe you should start thinking of a different job! On the other hand, if it all looks exciting to you then this may show you that you're aiming for the right thing and spur you on to make sure that you achieve it. For more advice on offer how to find opportunities for work shadowing follow the link.

Alumni Profiles

Start thinking about your future and how you can make yourself more employable by seeing what those that have come before you are doing and how they got there. Have a look at what they have written in their profiles about their career path and their time at University.

Kwaku Afrifa

Kwaku Afrifa graduated in BSc (Hons) Management in 2011 and has secured his dream job as an Analyst at Goldman Sachs in London.

Were there any particular elements within your course that helped to prepare you for your career?
Although frustrating at times, the fact that so many course units had group work was really useful. There is a big emphasis on teamwork in all graduate roles and, thanks to the course. I had a lot of experience of working in teams and managing people.
The experience of working in good teams and bad teams alike helped put me in good stead in interviews when they wanted to know about my experiences.
My course also had several finance modules that helped prepare me for a career in finance

What job have you gone onto since graduating?
I completed the Goldman Sachs Sales & Trading Internship at the end of my final year to explore all the different roles available at the bank. By the end of the internship I found my dream role and thankfully I was offered a graduate role, which I have since accepted. I am now an Analyst at Goldman Sachs as an Equities Sales Trader.

Saeol Lim

Saeol Lim is originally from Seoul in South Korea and graduated in BSc (Hons) Accounting in 2013 and now works as an Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London.

Were there any particular elements within your course that helped to prepare you for your career?
I found it extremely helpful talking to Mike Woodrow, my course coordinator and lecturer about careers. He was very helpful with going through all the stages of a job application as well as giving me insight, information and advice for my career.

What job/s have you gone into since graduating?
I am working as an ACA trainee auditor for PwC's assurance department. I work for the London office and the main clients are mid-tier companies, thus I have great exposure to different types of business with a lot of responsibility.
Before I commenced my graduate role with PwC London, I completed an internship with PwC Korea for 3 months working for their global banking and finance team being in charge of resolution and recovery planning.

Elizabeth Stapley

Elizabeth Stapley graduated from BSc (Hons) Management in 2012 and successfully applied to the human resources graduate scheme at Centrica.

What job(s) have you gone onto since graduating?
I have started an HR graduate scheme with Centrica, a leading UK energy company. I will complete a variety of placements including a stint in a British Gas contact centre, generalist and specialist HR roles in recruitment, learning and development, communications and HR business partnering. There is also scope to take part in corporate social responsibility roles, organising and planning fundraising events, which would allow me to see the wider business.

Were there any elements of your course that helped prepare you for your career?
There are so many skills that have been incredibly useful, including team work, communication skills, presentation ability, organisation and time management to name but a few. Some HR-specific subjects have also been very useful as I have entered a job with knowledge of HR practices, employment law and business principles. Moving to a big city also helped to prepare me for my graduate scheme as I will be in many different places within a short timeframe.

Laura Draper

Laura Draper graduated from BA (Hons) International Business, Finance and Economics in 2005 and now owns her own business in Didsbury - the Airyfairy Cake Boutique

What job(s) have you gone into since graduating?
I did a bit of travelling straight after graduation and then worked for BAE Systems on their commercial graduate scheme for two and a half years.
I then took a completely different direction as I found I loved communications and went to work for Stockport Council in internal communications. I then became the change communications manager for a national Housing Association. I took redundancy from this role and around the same time I had started being asked to make cupcakes for different functions.
I used my garden leave to build up my business and then took over the lease and opened the Airyfairy Cake Boutique in Didsbury.

Were there any particular elements within your course that helped to prepare you for your career?
Being a well-rounded course, it has really helped me with starting up my business, from doing the accounting, to the IT aspects, marketing plans and also aspects of analysing manufacturing processes have all been useful.

Ashwin Sinha

Ashwin Sinha graduated from International Business, Finance and Economics (IBFE) in 2013 and is now working for Ernst & Young in New Delhi

What job/s have you gone into since graduating?
I am currently working for Ernst & Young in New Delhi. I am working in their Risk Advisory Practice on process and internal audits for a luxury automotive client in the Indian market and an American multi-level marketing company.

Were there any particular elements within your course that helped to prepare you for your career?
The diversity of my course meant that I was able to take course units that fell outside of my interests. This helped me learn how to perform well outside of my comfort zone, which was a great skill to learn. Also, the small class sizes meant that I had lots attention from lecturers and tutors. This was very helpful, especially in course units with a practical element.

Chris Bickerstaff

Chris Bickerstaff graduated in BSc (Hons) International Management in 2012 and landed his dream job as an executive trainee at Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong.

What job/s have you gone into since graduating?
I began work at Gazprom Marketing and Trading as a settlements analyst. My job was on the power (electricity) desk, supporting the traders and operators, settling, reconciling, invoicing and paying for all of the power the company traded. I learnt so much about how a business runs and all the politics, crises and problems faced.
In Hong Kong I will be working as an executive trainee for Jardine Matheson. In short, they buy companies, gut the managerial design and build their own unique infrastructure. The idea is to prepare you to become a future executive of one of the companies they own and earn your CIMA during your first few years.

How did you course prepare you for your career?
Industrial Economics was my favourite course unit as it applied market designs to modern industries, such as reputation-based companies (Amazon), auction websites(eBay), platforms (Facebook), as well as exploring mergers and acquisitions, and the impact of intangible assets such as managerial talent.
A number of course units related to international marketing, MNCs and global management gave me a baseline understanding of how to approach clients from vastly different cultures, and the dangers of ethnocentrism. This has helped me to become more culturally sensitive, and will stand me in good stead for beginning my career in Asia, where elements of Confucianism and collectivism play large parts in everyday life.

Zhonglun Nie

Zhonglun Nie graduated from BSc (Hons) Management (Accounting and Finance) in 2013 and is currently working for Lazard in investment banking

What job/s have you gone into since graduating?
I worked as an intern for PricewaterhouseCoopers and now work for Lazard in investment banking.

Were there any elements of your course that helped prepare you for your career?
Aside from the academic knowledge, the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities were really beneficial in preparing me for the future. From being a peer mentor, an active volunteer, to representing MBS in the USC Marshall International Business School case competition, these kinds of opportunities are available and all you have to do is to reach out for them. These opportunities broadened my horizons and taught me a wide range of skills (e.g. presentation, public speaking, teamwork etc.) which I continue to benefit from.