- Speed-networking: A bit like speed dating! Students get the chance to talk to a range of different employers in turn, find out what they look for in graduate recruits and also give the employers a short “elevator pitch” about the skills and experience they have to offer.
- Learn-Thru-Music workshops facilitated by ReWise Learn Thru music: Founded by a recent graduate from Swansea, this company provides interactive learning resources and team building sessions based on music.
- Pushing your boundaries through outdoor pursuits: Outdoor pursuits such as abseiling, rock-climbing and water sports can provide opportunities for personal development and teamwork in an exciting and challenging environment. These activities would be supported by recent graduates from Swansea who run their own outdoor pursuits businesses.
- Careers and Employability workshops: With training and support from Careers Advisers, students are able to help other students get to grips with a variety of career management issues such as writing CVs and preparing for interviews.
- Facebook: Collaboration between Careers staff and students to promote and develop content on the Careers and Employability Facebook Page.
Community project sparks student employability drive
A final year Business Management Student from the School of Business and Economics at Swansea University has piloted a student-led approach to getting students ‘work-fit’ after taking inspiration from a community project.
21 year old Laura Pettit, from Warwickshire, is an active member of the Swansea Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) group which brings together students, industry leaders and academic professionals with the aim of developing and using entrepreneurial skills on projects to improve the lives and economic wellbeing of local communities.
It was during her final year when considering her own future employment that Laura came up with the idea of combining an entrepreneurship course project with the SIFE ethos in order to explore sustainable approaches to developing students’ employability.
She also wanted to help provide them with the skills to manage their future careers.
She said: “I wanted to think and act big! My aim is to improve employability for students at Swansea University, as well as increase awareness of employability skills. In achieving these aims, the project had to be fun, free and successful.
“These activities would also highlight awareness about the importance of enterprise skills both for employees as well as people aiming to start up their own business.”
Consequently Laura organised a week of activities which offered a lively, enjoyable way for students to develop their understanding of the high-level and skills needed in the world of work, and be able to articulate them.
Laura also set up a collaboration, Recipe4Life, between the Careers and Employability Service, Swansea University’s Entrepreneurship Development Officer, business start-up role models who are recent Swansea graduates, employers and local business support services and students to provide a winning solution that would combine Careers Advisers’ professional expertise with students’ creativity and enthusiasm in order to disseminate advice, information and ideas.
The types of activities being explored via the collaboration include:
Jo Davies, Information Officer at the Careers and Employability Service, Swansea University who offered Laura support and advice whilst setting up the student-led project said: “We encourage the development of Employability and Enterprise Skills in all aspects of the Student Experience. This includes the academic curriculum and experiential learning through work placement programmes such as GO Wales, volunteering and social activities. Recipe4Life brought together the social enterprise ethos and energy of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and the professional support of the Careers and Employability Service to create a valuable experience.”
This news item forms part of Swansea University’s support for the second annual Universities Week, which takes place from 13-19 June 2011, and aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the universities in Wales and across Britain.
Universities Week looks at the many different ways in which universities affect all of our lives — from supporting the economy, to working within local communities, to looking at how their research programmes could change our futures. Hundreds of events will be taking place around the country open to members of the public, as well as high-profile media coverage and activity across social media networks.