BA Community Justice 2014 Police community support officer, Greater Manchester Police
Why did you apply to the University of Bradford? Why did you choose that particular course?
I applied to the University of Bradford as I wanted to live out and experience student life. I was keen to study a subject which included working with communities.
What did you like and enjoy about the University and your course?
I really enjoyed my lectures, my work placement and my course. In particular the university tutors worked very hard to give me the support I needed. My course enabled me to gain valuable experience and linked in really well with my intended career path.
How did Career Development Services support you during your time at University?
I was given the maximum support by career development services. From my first year until after I graduated, the careers advisors worked with me either via email or in one to one appointments and also at career fairs to help me decide where and what I would like to when I graduated. The careers service helped me to create my CV, apply for jobs and helped me to get two different internships within the university. I worked at the University for a year and a half whilst studying. The time and effort that is given by the career advisors to support students and graduates is fantastic and as a graduate, I am very grateful as I now have the job I wanted to do. I struggled throughout my university studies for a number of reasons, however the career advisors always helped to motivate and guide me in the right direction. By being given time, support and reassurance I have now become a more confident individual.
What tips would you give to prospective students?
Take advantage of the careers service as you have nothing to lose! You will be given support and shown various opportunities that will be of use to you and your course. If you do not gain valuable work experience whilst a student then you are potentially limiting yourself for the future as most jobs will require some sort of work experience.
Tell us about your current job (include job title, company, start date and brief responsibilities)...
I work as a Police Community Support Officer for Greater Manchester Police. I started in January 2015 which was 4 months after I graduated. My main responsibilities are to patrol a neighbourhood community on foot - maintaining law and order, preventing crime and providing assistance to police officers. I attend incidents, help with solving local community issues and gather information as required.
What action did you take to improve your employability whilst at University?
I checked for internships on the University of Bradford’s Careers website as well as other websites to ensure I could gain relevant work experience. I also visited the career service on a regular basis to get help with my applications. My tutor assisted me with obtaining experience at Bradford Youth Service where I volunteered for 3 years. I also worked for West Yorkshire Police as a police support volunteer for over 2 and half years. I then went on to work in the University as a Student Safe Spot intern followed by a period as a recruitment and outreach intern after my graduation.
What advice would you give to current students wishing to enter this type of career?
Get some work experience under your belt! If you are interested in applying for police roles they you should try and get some experience in with the police, youth provision and any other relevant linked organisations that focus on working to support people. You should regularly check the police force websites for jobs as well as read up on the roles you wish to be considered for.
Make sure you work with the career advisors and keep your options open.