Photograph of University of Oxford student Jiaqi Li, featured in the careers case study
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Case study: How the Careers Service has supported me during lockdown

The Careers Service continues to serve all Oxford students despite the ongoing pandemic. While its buildings are temporarily closed, students can still benefit from one-to-one advice, and all events and careers fairs are taking place online.

One student who took advantage of its remote services is Jiaqi Li, an engineering student studying at St Hugh’s College. When covid-19 hit, Jiaqi took the decision to return to China, from where Oxford careers advisors supported him through an application process for an internship with a blue-chip company. Here he shares his experience.

"Just after I returned home to Shanghai, my phone rang with an email from Bloomberg Recruitment: they invited me to interview for an internship.

I immediately wrote to my career advisor and booked a remote 20-minute discussion session on CareerConnect. My advisor’s instructions were professional, efficient and meticulous; ranging from where to look when answering the questions to how to react to different happenings during teamwork. Everything I practiced and learned during the sessions came up during the Bloomberg In-house assessment day.

“And that day turned out to be magical: I was invited to the manager round of the interview, enjoyed all exercises (especially the group exercise), made it to the top candidates considered and received resources, commendations and advice that will continue to guide and inspire me in the days to come.

“When I had my first 20-minute session at the Career Service I knew little of how the real world operates in terms of talents, skillsets, and career paths; I had a few names from my past in mind and that was all to my considerations. I had often seen the Office’s events on Facebook and so I visited there to learn about the types of appointments I could make.

“The Career Service’s reception was incredibly kind and helped me make my first appointments. Throughout the sessions I learned that it is not just about the big names or the job title: it is about figuring out what I want to do for the rest of my life and finding the place and people that I want to work with. From my first Micro-Internship to the Bloomberg interview, the Careers Service and its professional Career Advisors backed me every step along the way: From their guidance I not only learned the techniques with which to secure a position and to develop a career path that’s unique to me, but also honed the attitude and work ethics which I take to life, work and society.

“If you wish to learn more about the Careers Service I would recommend attending the workshops as well as Career Fairs offered when the school year begins. Don’t be afraid to reach out and don’t hesitate to make appointments via the CareerConnect portal should you need help with applications/interviews.  Prepare ahead of the meetings with materials and a list of points you wish to learn, and bring a notepad so you could keep a record of the key information.

“The Oxford Careers Service have empowered me to seek out a life, an attitude, and a path where I may follow my passion, work with amazing people, and make an impact on my community. The lessons and relationships made through the Service are to be cherished, and for that, I am grateful.”

Find out how the Careers Service can support you