Advising young people on the next stage of their journey

Diego Fanara

Diego Fanara is co-founder and CEO of Unibuddy, an online tool embedded on university websites to connect young people with current university students. Unibuddy was born out of his own frustration in trying to make my university choice without being able to visit campuses. Unibuddy is used by over 250 universities worldwide, and over 3 million messages have been exchanged.


Follow @unibuddy_

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As lockdown continues, students around the world are unsure of what happens next. For those that are in the final years of college or Sixth Form, there’s even more uncertainty. What will happen on results day? Will I get into university? Will there be jobs and internships available? Will universities open in September?

UCAS is predicting that some students will opt not to go to university in September. Many more students that planned to study abroad will be thinking about changing their plans. When schools are open, many would have careers and future planning ingrained into the curriculum. Whether that’s through pastoral sessions, careers guidance or personalised support. But as education moves online, that careers education should move online too. Not only that, but students considering Higher Education are missing out on those vital Open Days, HE and Careers Fairs.

The important thing for young people is to be informed about all of the options that are out there right now, and get support to make a decision that’s right for them.

Online resources for careers education

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available to support young people with their careers education and future planning. I founded a company that supports students because I was in a similar situation. I lived in Switzerland but wanted to study and work in the UK, but I couldn’t visit and see first hand my options. Since then, the tools that are available online have made decision making easier. 

Here are some:

The UCAS Hub

UCAS is the UK’s universities admissions service, but they offer a range of tools for young people around the world who are thinking about what they’ll do post-18. For those thinking about Higher Education, the UCAS Hub allows students to search courses, speak to a current student, and find out how their grades translate to tariff scores.

UCAS also has advice on writing your CV, finding internships, or planning a gap year. 

The National Careers Service

One of the best tools that the National Careers Service provides is a skills assessment, to help young people identify their top skills, and their potential skills gaps. It’s a great time to develop new skills, particularly if a young person is considering a break come September. 

Target Careers

Target Careers is made for school-leavers who are considering their options. Whether it's Higher Education, internships, apprenticeships or careers. One of the best features here is the resources for teachers and parents. Some of these will be very helpful for providing that remote support. 

Psychometric assessments

There are lots of psychometric assessments online, which help young people understand their own priorities and motivations. They can help young people understand what they are good at, and help them begin to see why certain experiences might suit them, and others might not. 

These assessments can form a part of the careers advising sessions young people might be missing out on at school or college. 

Virtual Open Days and fairs

Usually, students in their final years of school would start attending university Open Days, or Higher Education fairs, to get an idea of where they will go next. These events help them decide whether they could see themselves attending that institution, and get a sense of belonging. 

Thankfully, universities are moving these events online so students don’t need to miss out. In March, there was a 900% surge in the number of virtual university events that students could attend via Unibuddy. If you can’t find details of a virtual event on the university’s website, you can reach out directly to the university - even via social media. 

A difficult time for decision making

Decision making has always been tough. It’s the reason I founded Unibuddy! Now, it’s tougher than ever. Without those vital in-person events, sessions or meetings young people might feel like they are missing out. There is an abundance of information online, but this overwhelming quantity of content has the effect of making decision making harder, rather than easier.

But impartial advice, a friendly ear and signposting to these brilliant resources will go a long way in supporting school leavers through a difficult time. So don’t neglect that careers education, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support - we’re all in it together!

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"