An easy first step to help with choosing a career path

The Careers Service Blog

Kate, our EmployEd on Campus intern, has been experimenting….

It can feel daunting thinking about work after Uni, especially if you don’t know what you want to do for a job. Heading into my fourth and final year, the question of what I want to do is starting to weigh heavily. I decided to do some thinking during the summer holidays, because even with a full time internship I know I’m less busy now than I will be during the semester.

It was suggested I look at the Career Assessments (located under the Resources tab on MyCareerHub). There are a number of assessments, each tailored to identifying a different set of personal attributes that may influence workplace preferences. I completed the assessments on ‘Strengths’, ‘Workplace Culture’ and ‘Motivation at Work’. The assessments ask you to identify how strongly particular statements apply to you, and produce a report of your attributes…

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It’s Over! What you can learn from Candice and the Great British Bake Off…

Can Candice bake like Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood? Does she get it right every time? Does she stop being ambitious (remember that peacock)? Does she give up when it all goes wrong?

It’s a resounding ‘no’ to to all of the above. It’s why we love her. And why, if you can emulate her approach, recruiters will love you too.

So, what can you learn from GBBO winner Candice? Here’s our take….

#1        Respect experience

Candice is an outstanding baker. But she can’t trump Mary and Paul. At least not yet. You can be excellent – and still have room for improvement. Know this at every stage of your career, and more importantly, show you know it.

#2        Take feedback

Honest feedback can hurt.  It doesn’t mean you’re not brilliant. It just means that, if you listen and learn, you can be more brilliant. Listen, hear, take notes and be gracious.  Cry later if you need to – but do take it on board and act on it.

#3        Go for it

If we could tell you just one thing, it would be to GO FOR IT. When Candice applied to GBBO, she didn’t think she’d win. She had no idea of the standard required and the competition she would face but she applied anyway. You should do the same. See a job you like the look of? APPLY. Most people won’t – they’ll focus on the things required that they don’t have. If you can meet most (not all – that’s an ‘ideal’) of the criteria – and show willing – you stand a really good chance. Be brave. Be bold. Go for it.

We wish you luck. And if you need inspiration for your graduate career, head over to Gradsouthwest.com for lots of SW graduate jobs with companies that value graduate skills.

Charlotte Weston

Charlotte is a graduate with many years’ experience in both large and small organisations. She now works as a consultant to a range of SMEs across the south west and is a Non-Executive Director of Gradsouthwest.

Get business ready with the Young Professionals Academy!

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We’ve joined forces with Zing Associates to bring you the Young Professionals Academy; a unique course designed to fast-track graduates like you to a higher level of proficiency and professionalism.

The Young Professionals Academy will give you a deeper understanding of yourself and others, enhancing your skills to contribute faster, take the initiative and become a valuable ambassador for your employer.

In short, it helps you avoid early career mistakes and makes you more business ready. We really rate it – and so do lots of big name employers.

The next programme kicks off in Bristol on Thursday 13 October 2016 – and there are others running throughout the year.

Interested?

Check out information about the Young Professionals Academy on the Zing Associates website or find out more by calling Zing Associates on: 0117 959 4135.

 

 

 

 

Science and technology students should take every opportunity to enhance their employment

We like this blog post from HEFCE, written by , Chair, Wakeham Review of STEM Degree Provision and Graduate Employability, so much we copy it here:

“Two independent reviews show that STEM graduates need to take up every opportunity available to them in their degree and during their time at university to help to improve their employability and to get a rewarding job.

I have spent the last year leading a review into the employment outcomes of STEM graduates following concerns over poor employment outcomes among graduates from certain STEM disciplines.

A parallel, more in-depth, review was led by Sir Nigel Shadbolt and looked into the reasons behind poor employment rates for graduates from Computer Sciences. My own review has looked across the whole of STEM. 

Both reviews have a clear message: engagement and collaboration between universities and colleges, and employers and industry to meet the future needs of both industry and the economy is really important.

But there are further, equally important, messages for the individuals at the centre of these reviews – the students, who become graduates and employees of the future.

It’s clear that students need to start engaging with their careers at the earliest opportunity. This does not mean that they need to decide upon their career with certainty early on, but they must make themselves aware of the wide range of options available to them.

They need to take up the opportunities to explore careers available either within their degree programme or outside of it. They need to improve their employability, and be prepared to upskill and adapt to a career that may span 50 years and a significant number of technological and industrial changes.

What should we expect of higher education and employers?

The review gathered evidence from an online survey, focus groups and in consultation with a range of representative bodies.

The voice of employers was plain enough. They wanted graduates who were, to all intents and purposes, ‘oven ready’, or able to walk into the workplace and hit the ground running.

They wanted, in other words, graduates who understood the principles and foundations within a particular discipline, but also an ability to apply those principles to the ‘real world’ and to apply them in a way that fitted with their employer.

Understandably, the universities, colleges and students who also took part in the research had a different view.

They acknowledged that higher education providers should work in participation with industry and help their students to access opportunities, such as experience through quality work placements. But they also raised the responsibilities of employers.

Evidence from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) points to decreasing investment by employers in formal training – with a slight fall in the net number of total training days funded or arranged by UK employers between 2011 and 2013.

So are the expectations of employers unrealistic and what are the key messages for students in this mixed, often contradictory, body of evidence?

Experience matters

The headline statistics show that STEM graduates who completed a sandwich course have markedly better outcomes than those graduates who did not.

Similarly, those who completed an integrated Master’s degree programme have very impressive employment outcomes.

So the evidence suggests strongly that work experience matters. Students should take every opportunity to develop their experience of the work place.

Universities and colleges have a responsibility here to help their students access placements. Employers of all sizes also need to offer students more quality placements of varying lengths and formats.

But the teaching methods which form part of the curriculum can also help to develop those skills so valued by employers – such as team work and communication.

Students therefore need to understand and embrace the opportunities to work with their peers in group projects, or by presenting and communicating their work to representatives from industry or their fellow students.

Continuing professional development

Second, students need to commit to upskilling and continuing their professional development throughout their career.

Higher education providers need to make sure degree programmes are equipping their students with the tools to do this, but graduates should enter the jobs market with the expectation that their degree may only get them to a certain point.

For many STEM graduates, postgraduate qualifications are required to enter a range of some of the most rewarding roles. And employers here need to accept responsibility for training their employees, so that they can apply their vital knowledge to the benefit of their business and to the wider UK economy.

Finally, they need to give genuine time, effort and interest to opportunities to learn more about STEM careers – this might involve taking a non-credit bearing careers-related module at university.

The review has found that the reasons for the employment outcomes of some STEM graduates is more complicated than one headline statistic about what graduates are doing six months after they leave university might suggest.

Still, it has also found that there is a role and responsibility for students themselves in addressing some of the broader issues that the review has highlighted.”

If you want to see the original go to: http://blog.hefce.ac.uk/2016/05/17/science-and-technology-students-should-take-every-opportunity-to-enhance-their-employment/

 

 

 

LATEST GRADUATE JOBS BULLETIN (27 May 2016)

Some fabulous graduate jobs for you to apply for over the bank holiday weekend. All listed over at Gradsouthwest. Good luck!

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Latest Graduate Jobs Bulletin – 13 May 2016

Jobs are coming in thick and fast at the moment! If you’re looking for a job with a company that will value and use your graduate skill, check out the full list over at Gradsouthwest!

Here’s a taste of what’s on offer right now….

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Gradsouthwest becomes Business Provider on West of England Growth Hub

We are proud to announce that we have recently become a business support provider on the West of England Growth Hub, helping our local business community to grow sustainably.  Growth Hub Partner Logo

The resource works by creating a two-way referral and collaboration process between the West of England Growth Hub and the existing local business support infrastructure. Becoming a support provider to the West of England Growth Hub gives us the opportunity to offer our ‘one stop shop’ graduate recruitment service to a wider range of businesses.

Gradsouthwest features, alongside other services, on the fantastic new West of England Growth Hub website. It’s a great place to find out about local providers – and we recommend that businesses check it out to see how they might get involved and benefit.

The West of England Growth Hub is powered by Business West for The West of England LEP.

For more information visit: www.wearegrowth.co.uk or email: info@wearegrowth.co.uk.

 

Calling Graduates! We’re Hiring!

Our latest jobs with companies across the south west that value graduate skills.

You’ll find them all at Gradsouthwest

Time to get applying!

April 2016 Vacancies GSW

 

Just Jobs. Fabulous Graduate Jobs.

Because sometimes we just want to cut to the chase and show you what we do best….

Head on over to www.gradsouthwest.com to check out these beauties.

Latest jobs

Interested in a career in the corporate world? Enter the Zurich Enterprise Challenge! Deadline 8th May