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University is an education in the broadest sense. Our University section will enable you to make the most of your time at University and take advantage of all of the opportunities available to you.
Making the most of your time at University
In this section you can find all the advice and guidance you need as you apply for jobs and prepare for interviews.
In the Recruitment section there is a wealth of information about completing applications forms, online tests, and the various stages in the recruitment. Whilst the Disability section provides advice on how to manage your disability during the recruitment process including information on how to inform an employer of what you require and referring to your disability during an interview.
Managing Your Disability
The Organisations section is where you can find out about various organisations, the opportunities they offer and their individual approach to disability.
Profiles / Stories
It’s always great to hear from those who have been successful.
This section profiles many individuals, working across different industries, at various stages of their careers. Their interviews demonstrate that is possible to have a successful career regardless of whether or not you have a disability. They also illustrate the adjustments that can be made in the workplace.
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By J Andrews; Graduate, Kings College London
recent survey has found that more than three-quarters of disabled students and
graduates are afraid to let potential employers know about their disability. It
is a classic dilemma for people with disabilities - and it's one I've been
have just graduates with from King's College London. I've decided on my next
step - a career in commercial law - and prior to graduating had already secured
two summer vacation schemes at top firms in the hope of obtaining a training
contract. Unlike most applicants, I'm disabled. I have an autistic spectrum
disorder, as well as symptoms of dyspraxia.
I first committed myself to commercial law about a year and a half ago, I was
very concerned about being open on application forms, and throughout the
friends and family almost unanimously advised me against being open - or to
"disclose", as they put it - because of a fear that this information
would be used to sift me out at the first stage of the application process. The
way they saw it was that no company would want the hassle of employing me -
they'd be scared about the effects of autism on my work, and wouldn't want to
"waste" money on adjustments when they could instead hire someone who
didn't need them.
with autism is affected in different ways - I have difficulty gauging social
interactions, such as how long to speak for and how long I should maintain eye
contact. Contrary to the stereotype of avoiding looking at someone's eyes, I
often find my eyes can linger too long and make people uncomfortable. I find it
hard working out if somebody wants to interject or has grown bored of my
talking but, unlike people with more severe autism, I can read tone of voice
very well. I'm not so good at controlling my own tone and can sometimes come
across as angry or blunt when I don't mean to be.
attending a number of disability employment events, I was able to meet city
graduate recruiters at large firms - including the legal, banking and energy
sectors - and learn first-hand about their approach to disability and the
appropriate adjustments. So when applying for commercial law jobs, I'm now a
lot more confident about disclosing that I'm on the autistic spectrum because
I'm assured the information won't be used to discriminate against me. Instead,
I'm told this information will be used positively to allow me to perform to my
full potential if I get the role.
I will only ask that my interviewers and assessors be made aware of my autism,
and how it might affect my performance in an interview, allowing them to look
past certain traits, avoid misinterpreting how I come across, and focus instead
on the content of my answers.
recruiters know, they then have an explanation for behaviour they'd otherwise
find odd. Revealing that you are aware of this too will paint you as a
confident, mature person with attention to detail and it will also show you
have an interest in self-improvement.
being said, this doesn't mean I have no concerns at all about being open in my
future career. The recent Great with Disability report that reveals that more
than three-quarters of disabled graduates are afraid to let potential employers
know about their disability doesn't surprise me.
I'm convinced that being open makes applying for graduate and entry-level roles
easier, I am concerned about the low numbers of openly disabled people in
higher levels of the professions; in particular, the apparent lack of any
openly autistic partners or counsels in the legal sector.
might be that nobody with autism has ever reached these positions. It's more
likely that they have, but chose to remain quiet about their impairment or may
not have been diagnosed.
way, without open role models, I sometimes worry whether I will be able to
reach those top jobs, and wonder what it is that is holding some disabled
large law firms might have a great attitude, top jobs in the legal sector are
largely client-facing, and I can't help but worry that client concerns about
disability play a large part here - so a law firm's internal positive
disability policy may not help.
like employers to understand the benefits of disability - it can make people a
lot more determined to achieve goals and the challenges it throws up often
force us to become good problem-solvers. A different way of looking at the
world is vital. Recent evidence shows how diversity - of experience, background
and belief - benefits business. But if people aren't open about their needs,
then they can't perform at their best.
choose to tell potential employers about my disability so that, should I
require any adjustments, they'll be available - and I can walk into work and
spend all my energy on doing my job rather than hiding who I am.