Blog post

How to make the most of your university choice through Clearing

Katie Seymour-Smith, Employability Delivery Manager at the University of Derby, discusses how students can boost their CVs and make sure they bag their dream career after coming through Clearing.

By The Corporate Communications Team - 15 August 2018

Stop, breathe and think – what do you want to get from being a student?

It is worthwhile spending some time thinking about why you want to go to go to university. Having a clear idea of what you want from your university will ensure you to get the best from your experience and will help you to stay motivated.

Try to visualise your time at university and focus on what you want (not what your parents, partner or former school want). Why have you chosen this subject? Can you imagine studying it for three years and enjoying it? Why this university?

You’ll benefit from thinking about these things before you arrive.

Believe you can do well

If you get a place at a university then you have the ability to be there. Trust in the judgement of the professionals at your new university and start planning to do well. Those of us who work at universities know that this can be an emotionally turbulent time – exciting, scary, stressful, and uncertain. However you feel, it is okay.

Use your imagination to help you get beyond this time. Imagine how you will be in six months, when you’ve settled in, you’ve made friends, you are working hard and enjoying university life.

Simple mental exercises like this can help you feel more confident and make the process of going to university more enjoyable.

Remember too, that your university will have staff in place to support you. Use us! We only exist to help you.


While you’re studying at university, this is an opportunity to get stuck into all kinds of things. With many of you being at university for three years, you have plenty of time to make your CV shine and show potential employers stand out from the crowd.

You may need a CV while at university for part time work, internships and placements and it is a good opportunity for you to be able to see how much you have developed over the years – this will help build to that graduate CV.

At Derby, for example, the Careers and Employment Service can help you learn new skills as well as providing great advice. You can sign up to the Futures Award, where you can acquire and develop your skills and experience in volunteering, social media or even entrepreneurship.

If you want expert advice on how to apply for those competitive graduate roles or placements you can sign up to the High Fliers course, which runs throughout the year to help you gain interview techniques, meet recruiters and show you what it’s like to be part of a real life assessment centre – all in a matter of weeks.

Alongside all of these opportunities, you can visit a careers consultant all year round for 1-1 appointments to focus on your future career and help applying for jobs, with extra support throughout the application process.

Get involved in societies and extra-curricular activities

Securing your dream job isn’t always about amazing work experience and good grades. Showing you’re an all-round person also demonstrates a variety of skills and shows your passion for something.

Derby’s Union of Students has over 60 different societies you can up to, ranging from American Football to Quidditch. Societies are not only a great way to make new friends but also to do something different and share your common interest with others.

Seek CV advice

Don’t leave searching for a graduate job until the last minute. Do not stress out about finding a job but equally, start thinking about what you want to do and have an idea for when you leave.

To register for Clearing in advance, go to:

For further information contact the press office at

About the author

The Corporate Communications Team
University Press and PR

The Corporate Communications Team manage the University's Press and PR, putting forward academics, support staff and student representatives for 'expert comment' on different topics to local and national broadcast media. The team is highly experienced in communications and journalism - locally, regionally and nationally - as well as in-house and agency public relations.