Funding Your Future

Tracey Dall
Thursday 26 October 2023

This post provides advice on how the Careers Centre can help you access funds to support you with work-related activity, how to find a part-time job and how to protect yourself against job scams.

Employability Bursary 2023/24

The Careers Centre Employability Bursary provides up to £700 to help University of St Andrews students complete work-related activity.

The bursary could be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • accommodation for internships
  • professional clothing
  • dependants’ care costs
  • development courses
  • travel expenses
  • volunteering.

To receive the full amount of £700, you must:

  • be completing, or have completed, a supported pathway programme at St Andrews or
  • be a current Sanctuary Scholar or
  • be care-experienced, a carer or estranged, meaning you have been in care at any stage of your life, or are currently in care, or currently caring for relatives, or living without the support of a family network or
  • have attended one of the following widening access programmes:
    • Sutton Trust Summer School
    • LEAPS
    • Focus West
    • Lift Off
    • Aspire North
    • Reach
    • Fife First Chances Programme
    • Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP).

All other students can apply for up to £400. Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Eligibility

All students currently studying at the University of St Andrews are eligible to apply for the Employability Bursary.

Read blog posts written by recipients of the Employability Bursary for examples of how the bursary can be used, and what impact it can have.

Applications for our Employability Bursary are now open! Further details and apply.

Part-time jobs

As well as earning some extra cash, finding a part-time job can help you:

  • gain valuable ‘soft’ skills including time management, communication, teamwork and problem-solving.
  • network and make connections
  • enhance your personal development and your CV!

Graduate recruiters highly value students who have had part-time jobs. Gaining a wide variety of  transferable skills can make your CV stand out from the crowd.

It’s really easy to find part-time jobs on CareerConnect.  Simply sign-in with your university credentials.  Search for vacancy type ‘Look Local’ then you will see all the part-time jobs. You can also sign-up to receive email alerts for the jobs you are interested in.

There are various other ways to find a part-time job in St Andrews. Websites such as Indeed, Totaljobs and Save the Student can be helpful. The University of St Andrews also has a jobs vacancy portal. Remember that some smaller, local employers may decide not to advertise their vacancies electronically, but within their own stores, so inquiring in-person may be worthwhile.  Simply pop into a shop, café or restaurant and hand in your CV.  Explain that you are a student at the university and how many hours you are available to work.

Read our part-time jobs blog post for further advice.

How to avoid job and opportunity scams

Caroline McWilliams, CV Adviser, gives her advice on how to spot fake job opportunities and recruitment scams.

A world in which we could trust every person and every advertisement would be an idyllic one. Sadly, this is not our current world, and it is important to be aware when looking for a future job. Most job advertisements on trusted job listing sites will be genuine but it is easy for scams to hide amongst the true ones. These scams seek to obtain your personal details or to have you pay money upfront for services.

We have compiled a list of ten questions to ask yourself about each job you consider. While this is not foolproof, it should weed out the majority of scams.

1. Does the job seem too good to be true?

With most things in life, if a job, especially if it is entry-level, seems too good to be true, make sure you question all aspects. Perhaps it offers more benefits than you have ever seen before, or the flexibility seems like it might detract from the position’s effectiveness.

2. Is the pay offered extremely high?

Always compare the offered salary with other jobs in the sector. If it is much higher than average, be on your guard. Additionally, if the job is advertised as freelance or solely based on commission, ask yourself if this is normal for the job sector.

3. Are you being rushed?

This does not mean that the job application deadline is tomorrow, and you have only just found the advertisement. If you are being pressured to give an answer to an offer or to provide the supposed company with your details, take a step back and ask yourself if it seems safe.

4. Have you been given an offer before your application or interview?

Even if you are headhunted for a role, a basic application and at least one interview should be part of the normal process.

5. Are the job descriptions and requirements very vague?

Job descriptions vary in length, but they should typically feature a company profile, a description of the specific job, and a person specification. Vague scam job descriptions seek to draw you in and never actually answer the most basic questions.

6. Does the communication you are receiving seem unprofessional?

Perhaps there are inconsistencies in syntax or grammar. Perhaps there are lots of spelling mistakes. These can be key indicators of scams.

7. Does the company have a website or social media accounts?

If a job is not legitimate, you may struggle to find information on the company.

8. Can you find details of the employers and employees?

Are there profiles on the website of key company members? Can you find their contact details? Do they have LinkedIn profiles? If you cannot find any details, it may be an indicator that the company does not exist or does not exist in the form it claims to.

9. Does the company require upfront payment?

While you may need to factor in costs related to travelling for interviews, a legitimate company should never ask you for money.

10. Is there expensive training that you are required to fund yourself?

If a company is asking you to complete expensive training before giving you a final offer, they may simply be trying to sell you a product.

Further advice

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