Careers Fairs – The Benefits

November 6th, 2012 by

With the Cardiff University Science Careers Fair iminent, Chemistry Admissions Tutor Tom Tatchell gives his account of the benefits of attending such events.

 

Hello Everyone!

I’m Dr Tom Tatchell and I’m the admissions tutor from the School of Chemistry. I was a student here at Cardiff and am now employed by the university to oversee the admissions process for all incoming students, I’ve seen both sides of what its like to be a student here and also work for Cardiff University. Having been through the daunting phase of “What do I do after I’ve finished my degree?” myself, I’m eager to help ally these fears that our students have. Aspects I’m passionate about is increasing students employability, improving their awareness of job opportunities and pathways and promoting the sandwich course of MChem with a Year in Industry. Having undertaken this degree myself, I found it an excellent mix of academic study and gaining real industrial experience.

You’ll find that this Science Careers Fair will host many recruiters whom offer placement years for students and so its an ideal forum for discussion and to find out what types of placement are available. Some attending members are alumni members themselves and so are eager to encourage Cardiff students to undertake these placement’s and to have as good an experience as they did!

Even if you have some idea of what you’d like to do after you graduate, I still urge you to attend as you may discover one potential career pathway that you had not originally thought of. Many of the talks being delivered will inform you of what employers are looking for so you can polish your CV’s and improve your performance at assessment centres or job interviews. This fair is open to all students of all years and so please come along and see the exhibitors and attend the varied talks that are scheduled all day.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Meet The Cardiff Award Students!

November 5th, 2012 by

The Cardiff Award provides Cardiff University students with an opportunity to gain official recognition for the learning acquired via extra curricular activities. It aims to improve participants’ professionalism and employability, to increase self-awareness of their skills and enable them to articulate these effectively to future recruiters. The Award will complement and enhance learners’ university experience and better equip them for graduate employment.

Over the coming months you will see a serious of posts from students who are involved in the award detailing their experience following it’s initial launch. You can meet them here along with the Cardiff Award Manager.

 

Sam Reid

 

“My name is Sam and I am a Postgraduate student studying an MA in International Public Relations and Global Communications Management, a mentor for the Cardiff Award and on the Award myself. I studied my Undergraduate degree in Law and French at Cardiff Uni. Between studying my Undergrad and Postgrad I was Cardiff Students’ Union’s Education and University Affairs Officer for a year, during which I helped the Cardiff Award Team develop the award for this year’s intake. In my spare time, when I’m not studying for my Masters or doing work for the Cardiff Award, I campaign with the National Union of Students as the second Welsh Representative on their National Executive Committee, I enjoy catching up and going out with friends and I am a huge music fan. Doing the Award as one of the only Postgrads to have done it is going to be a challenge, but follow my blog posts throughout the year to see how I am getting on!”

 

Eleanor Halsey

 

“Hi! My name is Eleanor and I am a second year undergraduate studying English Language at Cardiff University. I applied for the Cardiff Award because I liked the recognition it offers participants for their extracurricular activities. I was also interested in the benefits the scheme offers in terms of future employability. I am excited to be taking part in the Cardiff Award and am looking forwards to writing blogs documenting my experiences throughout the year. I hope that you will enjoy reading them too!

 

 

Marc Falconer

 

“Hi, I’m Marc, and I’m in my second year of studying French & German. I applied to do the Cardiff Award because let’s face it, a good job on leaving uni is getting increasingly harder to find these days and the Award seems to be the perfect way of gearing me up for the world of graduate employment. Outside of lectures, I enjoy running, cooking and playing my guitar.  I look forward to sharing my experiences with you!”

 

 

 

Andy Love

 

“Hi I’m Andy – a second year Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University (I’m a mature student too!).  I’m seeking opportunities to stand out from the usual University student. I joined the Cardiff Award with aspirations to improve my professional skills.  I am trying to build a great CV so I can prove that I have gained necessary employment skills during my studies. The Award can provide me with that through their certificate, giving me a differential over my peers leaving university with little professional experience.”

 

 

Kath Foot

 

“Hi I’m Kath and I am the Cardiff Award Manager, I have been working at Careers and Employability for 11 years, helping students find and gain work experience! I now run the Cardiff Award, it’s a great programme and something I am really proud to be a part of.  I look forward to sharing my experiences with you…”

 

The Cardiff Award – First Impressions by Eleanor Halsey

October 23rd, 2012 by

Today’s post is a guest post from Eleanor Halsey. Eleanor is participating in the Cardiff Award this year and gives her account of the Award launch and her thoughts on employability from a student perspective.

 

Hello, it is Eleanor here!

The Cardiff Award launched on Monday the 8th of October 2012 with an Introductory Session. This session involved several different speakers giving ‘awardees’ a clear sense of what the Cardiff Award entails. The speakers all emphasised that completing the Award is a truly worthwhile experience. In my opinion, this viewpoint seemed especially convincing coming from the representatives from Ernst & Young due to their real world standing as a graduate recruiter. Other memorable speakers, from the Student Development Service and Union, made the audience aware of the wide variety of opportunities for self development available throughout the University.

An element of the session that I found extremely useful was the Endsleigh skills table. This table let me reflect on what skills I have accumulated from jobs I have held in the past. It also highlighted the areas which I need to focus on in order to get the most rounded wealth of experiences possible in order to serve me best in my graduate job hunt. I also really enjoyed getting to know my fellow ‘awardees’ at the subsequent networking event. Below is a photo from the session. I have circled myself in red!


I would like to move now to a major focus of the Cardiff Award: employability. More specifically I would like to talk about making a good first impression to potential employers. Research shows that people form an opinion of someone in one-tenth of a second. Several sponsors and potential employers attended the launch event and therefore ‘awardees’  were encouraged to dress in accordance with a ‘smart casual’ dress code so as to make an appropriate first impression. I was not sure exactly how smart or casual to be. In the end I decided that a ‘the smarter, the better’ approach couldn’t fail me. I have attached a photo below so that you can see the outfit that I decided on. I really felt the benefit of dressing more formally for the evening. It made me feel as if I was in the right frame of mind to think and act professionally when talking to employers at the networking event.

That is all from me for now!
Eleanor

Business and Finance Careers For All

October 18th, 2012 by

I’m pleased to share news of more events here at Cardiff and some great opportunities for all our students.  Our Employer Liaison Team have been working hard to bring you this year’s Business & Finance Careers Event.

Whatever your degree there is an opportunity for you in Business and if any of these organisations appeal to you then don’t miss the chance to meet them and find out more when they visit Cardiff University next week:

  • ACCA
  • BAE Systems
  • Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
  • CU Careers & Employability
  • CIMA
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Grant Thornton
  • GO Wales
  • ICAEW
  • Instructus Trading
  • KPMG
  • Mazars
  • Network Rail
  • OSTC Wales
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • PwC
  • TARGETjobs
  • Teach First
  • Wales Audit Office

Careers Drop-in, Monday 22 & Tuesday 23 October, Aberconway Building
For careers advice you should drop-in and see our Careers Advisers Jane and Mandy at the Careers & Employability Drop-in, where you can chat informally and gain help and advice with all your careers queries including: potential employers, Cardiff’s graduate destinations and all aspects of your career planning and preparation. The drop-in runs on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 October in Aberconway Building.

As well as the drop-in you can also attend Employer Skills Sessions.  These sessions give you the perfect opportunity to find out more about the recruitment process and typically will give you hints and tips on how to succeed in all areas of the recruitment process.

Employer Skills Session running Monday 22 October in Aberconway Building
10.10am - Room P01
International Students: Employment Regulations

11.10am - Room P01
KPMG – Commercial Awareness

12.10pm – Room P01
CIMA – The CIMA Qualification

1.10pm – Room P01
Deloitte – Application Skills

2.10pm - Room P01
ICAEW – Getting a Graduate Job – skills employers look for

3.10pm - Room P01
Grant Thornton – Interview Skills

Employer Skills Session running Tuesday 23 October in Aberconway Building
10.10am – Room P01
Network Rail – Applications, Competency Interview Techniques, Recruitment Hints and Tips

11.10am  -  Room P01
Teach First – CVs and Covering Letters

12.10pm  – Room P01
Ernst & Young – Strengths Recruitment

1.10pm – Room P01
OSTC – Careers in Trading

2.10pm – Room P01
PwC – Who are PwC? – Room P01

You really should take advantage of these sessions as they can be invaluable and really do offer you an insight that you wont get from a website or recruitment brochure.  What’s more, you don’t need to want to work for these employers to benefit from these sessions as most of the hints and tips are typical of the graduate recruitment process adopted by lots of organisations.

Careers Fair, Tuesday 23 October, 4pm – 7pm in the Julian Hodge Building
The events finale –  here you will have the chance to meet and chat with some 15 organisations (listed above) who will be exhibiting and want to meet you.

Last year’s event was a huge success with hundreds of students benefiting – you can too, come along this year – next week!

For further hints and tips on Fairs please read my Prepare for the Fair Blog posted last week.

 Enjoy!

 

 

Post by Katrina Taylor, Marketing Manager

 

 

Careers Fairs – Don’t be afraid, be prepared, attend and impress! That job could be yours …

October 11th, 2012 by

Cardiff’s Careers Fairs start Tues 16 Oct and run weekly until Weds 7 Nov

Katrina Taylor- Careers and Employability Marketing Manager has worked at Careers for nearly 12 years and has organised over 50 Careers Fairs & Events and liaised with hundreds of different employers and organisations.  Fairs are a great opportunity for students and graduates to meet organisations who are keen to recruit them.  Here are Katrina’s key thoughts and top tips for why you should attend Fairs and how to get the most out of them.

 Why Organisations Exhibit at Careers Fairs …

  • To raise their profile on campus
  • To promote their vacancies
  • To ensure you are accurately informed and to answer your questions
  • Cost effective access to large numbers of students and graduates
  • To sell their organisation and encourage you to apply to them!

 Why You Should Attend Careers Fairs …

  • To make personal contact with representatives from a number of organisations
  • To talk to current graduates – now working
  • To pick up literature to help you research
  • To find out about vacancies for graduates and student placements
  • To get your questions answered instantaneously and face to face by recruiters
  • To build networks & establish links – create a good impression
  • To hone your interview skills
  • To learn industry information

Make the Most of Careers Fairs! 
No doubt your time is valuable so Fairs are a great way to …

  •  Meet multiple organisations
  •  Make face to face contact
  •  Attend just one short event
  •  Don’t waste your time – make the most of fairs!

 

Prepare Yourself for Careers Fairs!
You will present a far more professional image at the Fair if you have prepared in advance –invest time now, it’s your future!

  •  Think about what you want to know in advance and what you can’t find out for yourself
  •  Size of firm, Type of work, Culture, Location, Size of intake, Work/life balance, Training?

Do your Research!

  • Identify the firms that best meet your requirements:
    Use the Careers & Employability Centre, 50 Park Place
    Publications& Directories
    Internet – organisation’s websites
    Students and Alumni already working for that organisation
    News and Media
    Friends and Family
  • The more you know beforehand, the more you will get out of the Careers Fair
  • Decide which stands you intend to visit – know why you are interested in each organisation
  • Prepare questions you genuinely want answered

                “Come and be interested and interesting.  Employers want to see that you’re enthusiastic and that you’re not afraid to ask questions about what they can offer.  Make sure that you’ve done some research before though so you are reasonably well informed and know what you want to get out of the conversation.  Remember that employers will want to know about you and your aspirations but you need to walk away having learned something too.”  PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Think About What Questions You’d Like to Ask?

  • What do you want to know the answers to?
    What areas does the organisation specialise in?
    What sorts of things do you need to do to increase my chances of getting a job?
    Do they have any international offices?
    Do they offer work placements
    What type of work do graduates do
    Do they offer deferred entry?
    When should you apply?
    Can you apply with lower a-level points?
    What are the organisation’s minimum requirements?
    What level of training will be provided?
    Will you have to move around the UK?

Get Ready to Sell Yourself!
What can you say about yourself?  Think about …

  • How you became interested in the organisation
  • What you know about the industry
  • Your academic degree specialism, projects and relevant coursework
  • Prizes, awards and achievements you’ve gained
  • Specific job training you’ve had
  • Technical, computer and language skills you have
  • Volunteering activities you’ve undertaken
  • Your career aspirations
  • Your interest and enthusiasm for the position/organisation you are applying for

It’s Fair Day … take it away!

  • Smart-casual dress
  • Arrive on time
  • Have something to say when you approach a stand
  • Be confident, positive, enthusiastic & professional
  • Take notes
  • If the stand is busy wait patiently, or go back later
  • Only take ‘freebies’ offered to you

What Now?  After the Careers Fair …

  • Read Exhibitor’s materials
  • Diarise important dates for applications & other events – don’t miss deadlines!
  • Attend any further Presentations/Skills sessions/Talks your preferred employers are running
  • Follow up any interesting contacts you made
  • Decide which organisations to apply and attend any additional presentations or events
  • Revisit publications & websites
  • Start applying – with help from Careers & Employability!

That’s it …I hope this has helped to give you an insight into Fairs and how to prepare for them.

For further information about Fairs and the organisations exhibiting go to the Careers & Employability website http://cardiff.ac.uk/careers/whats-on/career-fairs/

Alternatively, call into the Careers & Employability Centre at 50 Park Place.

Enjoy the Fairs!!!

 

Katrina Taylor- Careers & Employability Marketing Manager

 

Brain’s Placement is a Success

October 8th, 2012 by

Today’s post is a guest article by Danny Donovan who has just finished a GO Wales Placement with Brains.

 

I decided to apply for a GO Wales placement because I felt the structure of the programme best suited my skills and experience as an entry level prospective employee, whilst allowing me the flexibility to learn on the job too.  Moreover, the process of searching and applying on the website was clear and simple to use – making it a lot easier to find the relevant opportunity for professional development.

Clarity and fairness were crucial components of my decision to apply; it was extremely clear from the outset what would be expected of me at the company, as opposed to feeling swamped and confused by most other full time positions as advertised on recruitment search engines.

My project encapsulated certain desired outcomes which were identified prior to me applying, and elaborated on during my induction meeting with the manager I worked under, on the very first day. I worked between brand, and retail marketing and my role was to support the press and PR team in keeping the company’s high profile by the implementation of an external relations strategy via direct contact with Welsh and National media. My day-to-day activities included drafting and distributing press releases; feature writing; supporting internal communications; website and social media support.

During my project I aimed to improve the flow of information, both internally and externally, generate new ideas to increase or improve the profile of the company, and to maximise good news opportunities and publicity throughout the business.

Whilst there are many, a particular highlight of my placement was the success of an internal newsletter I designed, produced, and edited.  The aim of ‘Brains News’ was to develop a method of internal communications to highlight the good work going on at Brains, and circulate the information around head office and the managed pub estate. The news stories were collated into an internal newsletter which helped to spread good news, and highlight relevant employee newsworthy content for press and social media.  The aim of the newsletter was to maximise publicity for Brains by grasping good news opportunities as they arise from inside the business, and to improve the flow of information internally.

It brought back great community stories and charity fundraising going on around the pub estate, which in turn highlighted opportunities for external news content to be aimed at local press and our website.  Interest from the South Wales Echo, South Evening Post, and websites like fundrasing.co.uk, brought a lot of coverage for the brilliant efforts made by the Brains pub community.

The successful implementation of Brains News is represented in the excellent media coverage of a bar manager’s personal story about his charity fundraising.

After the placement I am travelling to Germany, where I aim to pursue a career in international public relations.

The Go Wales placement has been a crucial part of my professional development since leaving University in pursuit of my dream career.  The co-ordination and support from the team ensured I was adequately prepared prior to starting, and looked after during the course of the placement.  The organisation of the placement encouraged me to work proactively, and make the most of the experience.   I was always aware that the resources and support were available from the team, and I felt assured in the knowledge that their efforts were always concentrated towards getting me to where I am today.

 

You can read some of Danny’s work here:

Fundraisers go the distance for charity

Brains’ launches new charity beer

 

  Post by Guest blogger- Danny Donovan

 

Introducing the Cardiff Award…

September 18th, 2012 by

I’ve not written a blog before, but in the spirit of the Cardiff Award (where participants are expected to get involved in new experiences, develop new skills and build their confidence), I thought as Award Manager I should lead by example and give it a go!

For those of you unaware of the Award it’s the University’s employability award.  It rewards students involved in extra-curricular activities and develops participants’ professionalism, self-confidence and self awareness.  It also builds transferable skills and ultimately makes students more employable!  The Award requires those involved to undertake 70 hours of extra-curricular activities.  In addition, students attend a series of employer-led skills sessions, complete a numeracy test and submit a CV and application form at the end of the process.  Not only that, participants must also deliver a presentation on their learning to an Employer panel!  It’s hard work but hugely rewarding.

The Award is highly regarded by industry; prestigious sponsors include Ernst and Young, Rate My Placement, Endsleigh Insurance, Cardiff Council, Dwr Cymru, Champions, Microsoft, Petersens PR, E-Academy and AIESEC Cardiff.  We also work in partnership with the Student Union and could not run it without them.

To introduce the Award team:

I’m Kathryn Foot, the Award Manager.  I have developed this programme and now manage it.  I have been working in the Careers Service for a long time – 11 years on October 15th to be exact!  I haven’t always worked on the Award, I was the University’s Work Experience Adviser for 7 years and placed students into small businesses prior to that.  Pre-Cardiff University I worked for Asda, I was accepted onto their graduate scheme in the summer of ’97 after graduating from Cardiff University – as you can see I have not strayed far. At Asda I worked in HR, based in the Head Office in Leeds; I also worked in just about every store in South East Wales, sometimes venturing towards the West when asked.  But that was a long time ago, I now live and breathe employability and put every effort into making the Cardiff Award the best employability Award in Higher Education and ensuring the students make the most of this unique opportunity.

My working partner is Helen Lloyd.  Helen is the Award Administrator and another long serving Careers and Employability employee.  Without Helen the University would not have the Award!  I am sure she dreams about Award paperwork, Campus Groups and Learning Central.

This year we run the Award programme with nearly 170 students and I am really looking forward to delivering this unique programme and meeting the new cohort!.

The students from last year’s pilot have been busy completing the evaluation survey and have provided brilliant feedback, hugely constructive and very positive!  100% would recommend the Award to peers!  75% of those who found vocational work experience felt the Award assisted them in their success.  Furthermore, quote after quote stated how the Award developed skills, confidence, opened new social circles, provided new opportunities, presented networking opportunities with employers – I could go on.  Their comments have helped to shape this year’s programme.

Applications for the Award 2013-2014 open in October so if this interests you it might be worth checking out our regular blogs for updates and information.  This year we have 5 participants blogging about their experiences.  You will be introduced to them in October, once the programme is underway.

That’s it for today!  I look forward to speaking to you all again very soon…

 

The Cardiff Award

 

 

   Post By Kathryn Foot- Award Manager

About This Blog

September 13th, 2012 by

Welcome to our blog, which features the latest news, events and interesting articles from staff across Careers & Employability and our guest student authors.

This blog is for you and your peers whatever your subject or year group, and is designed to offer valuable information, advice and announcements for all our client groups.

Our Careers Blog family also features the Graduate Advice and Support blog for graduates.

Our Bloggers include Careers & Employability Staff and Cardiff Students, who have been tasked with writing interesting, useful and thought provoking content to help and inspire you. Amongst others, you can expect to hear from:

Career Consultant – Megan Jenkins

GO Wales Placement Manager – Nikki Vivian

Marketing Manager – KatrinaTaylor

Several Student Guest Writers

As well as our blog, you can access further information, advice and support via our website including our online careers resource Careers Central as well as our fantastic facilities and resources at the Careers and Employability Centre at 50 Park Place.

Welcome to our new site!

July 6th, 2012 by

This is a big day for us – we have finally launched our new site, complete with blog, online calendar, online booking and an enormous careers resource.  Our aim is that students, postgraduates and recent graduates of Cardiff University can look on here and find practically everything they need to get them started in their career search.

Our main site gives you a description of our services and enables you to book appointments and events.  You will also find this section useful if you are a prospective student, wondering what Careers & Employability will do to help you throughout your time at Cardiff.

Career Central contains all of our resources and is for Cardiff students, postgraduates and recent graduates only.  There are questionnaires, quizzes, videos and downloadable material and masses of information and advice.  We’ve tested Career Central out with students and staff and it is unanimous – this site is amazing!

But don’t just listen to us.  Try it out for yourselves.