Making students employable with Plymouth University

Plymouth_New_Logo

June 2017 saw Gradsouthwest undertake a student project with Plymouth University.

Through Plymouth University’s Inspiring Futures team, we have been working with a group of BSc(Hons) Business Management students completing their 2nd year of study with a Project Management module. The students completed a 2 week business project that we set the brief for – reporting their findings back to us.

By engaging with students, as part of their courses, on real life business projects, we are helping the next generation of students become more business ready and immediately employable. Something our employers are always looking for in their new recruits.

Dr Deborah Watson, Director of Gradsouthwest said, “Here at Gradsouthwest, we very much believe in ‘walking the talk’ – we encourage employers to take the leap and work with their local Universities and Colleges – and so it is only right that we do so too!”

The students received a short written brief and a verbal briefing from Gradsouthwest on the project we wanted them to undertake – in this case a short competitor analysis. The students then took 2 weeks to project manage and research the brief, before reporting back to us.

“We were very pleased with the quality of the work presented to us by the students. They completed the brief, providing an electronic report and verbal feedback. Our challenge now is to use their insight to improve our service to both students and employers.”

Penny Hele, Inspiring Futures Project Officer at Plymouth University said: “Plymouth Business School students develop their employability and entrepreneurial skills whilst adding value to local business community by undertaking free, consultancy projects as part of their studies. Projects include creating a social media strategy, undertaking competitor analysis, conducting a website review and researching funding options.”

If you are interested in undertaking a project with Plymouth University, please contact penny.hele@plymouth.ac.uk for more information.

Is Postgraduate Study for you?

November is traditionally Postgraduate Open Day season where many University’s open their doors to prospective students looking to continue their studies at postgraduate level.

What is Postgraduate Study?

Postgraduate study is an opportunity to take your subject further and deeper, to focus and specialise. There are three categories of postgraduate study:

  1. Taught courses – including Masters Programmes that tend to be 1 year full-time leading to MSc or MA type qualifications.
  2. Research courses – usually 2+ years leading to MPhil or 3+ years leading to PhD qualifications these courses tend to allow greater academic independence.
  3. Professional Courses – which enable entry into a given profession, e.g. PGCE for teaching.

Why Postgraduate Study?

The reasons people chose to do postgraduate study vary hugely. It is important to consider why you want to continue your studies and what motivates you:

  • Is postgraduate study needed to move into your chosen career?
  • Does postgraduate study allow you to change career path?
  • Do you love the subject and just want to study it in more depth?
  • Do you enjoy being at University and want to stay longer?
  • Will postgraduate study abroad gain you international experience?
  • Are you not sure of the jobs market?

What are the benefits?

A postgraduate qualification is an excellent way to enhance your prospects – whether that is within academia, within your chosen career, or to enable you to change career paths.

For some a postgraduate qualification is a necessary career step. For others it is the chance to grow and develop ideas and interests.

Is funding available?

There are many funding options available for postgraduate study and your best bet is to contact the University that you are interested in studying at for the options they have available for that course.

What next?

If you are looking to stay in the South West here are a few links to help you:

If you’ve missed the autumn Open Day date, then many Universities have further open days in the spring.

If you remain here in the South West or go further afield for your postgraduate study, don’t forget to use www.gradsouthwest.com to get your job in the South West when you finish!

If you are advertising postgraduate study and would like to talk to us about promoting your Postgraduate Open Days or Programmes then give us a call on 01392 241302 or email recruit@gradsouthwest.com

 

Dr Deborah Watson, Director, Gradsouthwest Ltd.

What are students telling us?‏

Speaking to students and graduates is one of the great CareersFlierMarch16things about working with Gradsouthwest. Having spent last Friday at the University of Exeter’s Creative, Public and Third Sector Careers Fair we were mulling over the many conversations we had with students and a few things sprung out as worthy of a blog post.

 

Messages for Employers:
1. Students are actively thinking about their careers from the earliest stages of University. We spoke to many first year students, who still have at least two to three years at University, but they were at the Careers Fair seeking information about the jobs available locally: summer placements, longer internships and permanent jobs for when they graduate. We’d certainly encourage employers to consider offering more summer placements and internships: they are a great way for the employer to get an extra pair of hands and some fresh eyes/new ideas and for the students to get real experience. Summer placements and internships can be seen as a long job interview and can lead to permanent employment at graduation when both the employer and student hit it off.


20160311_123551.jpg2. Many of the students were heading towards dissertation deadlines in the run up to Easter… so we think employers need to give plenty of time on their closing dates at the moment to enable applicant’s to do a good job on their applications. Recruiters: if you want to add a couple of weeks to your job advert with us, we’ll do our bit to help you and our students and will add the extra time for free. Just tell us if you want us to add an extra couple of weeks.


Messages for students:
3. Lots of the students we spoke to were unaware of the great opportunities for recent graduates to work in the South West. When we showed them the jobs currently available they were pleasantly surprised. Many students wanted to remain local, but didn’t know if it would be possible – it is! We recommended registering with Gradsouthwest to get a better feel for the local graduate jobs market.


4. A few of those we spoke to really didn’t know what they wanted to do upon graduation. We recommended thinking about the things they love, the skills they have (or want to develop) and the type of work they’d like to do. We also recommended looking at what types of graduate jobs were currently available, what employers were seeking in terms of skills and experience, and thinking about what they could do before they graduate to fill the gaps.


So if you are a student considering a career here in the South West then we would recommend you register for our job alerts. This way you will get a feel for the employers and the types of jobs available in your chosen field. And if you haven’t chosen your field yet, keep the search wide and use the job alerts as a way to test what is out there – something you see may inspire you!


Gradsouthwest attends the University of Exeter Careers Fair


Finally, we wish all those we spoke to graduating this summer all the very best in their finals and imminent job search – good luck!


Dr Deborah Watson, Director Gradsouthwest