Libby Anderson

Libby Anderson - SEA graduate

"I went to a presentation on the Swansea Employability Award and thought that it would be a useful addition to my CV.

The first part of the Award was to demonstrate that I had undertaken two volunteering or work-related "experiences", and to write 250 words on each. I wrote about my experience working as one of the University's student ambassadors, and described how I have helped out at open days,  meeting and greeting prospective students, and giving campus tours. I also wrote about my experience of being a course representative, liaising between my fellow students and the academic staff. Both these experiences helped me to develop my communication, interpersonal and organisational skills, and they increased my confidence.

The next stage was to undertake a few tests designed to tell me more about my learning style and personality. The results were spot on and confirmed a lot of what I thought about myself. They also revealed that I am an explorer, and I like to find new opportunities, which is true. The results also said that I am better suited to musical careers, rather than business management, but I'm still determined to pursue a career in management!

The SEA also requires you to complete a profile on the GradIntel website, which took longer to do than I was expecting, but which I think will be really useful. My profile is now visible to potential employers across the UK, which is obviously going to help my job search.

The hardest part for me was the mock job interview, but it actually turned out to be really rewarding. The interviewer gave me some valuable feedback about how I conducted the interview, as well as some hints and tips for improving my answers to interview questions. I've a much better idea of how to give interviewers more information, and how to maximise every interview opportunity. I have a number of job interviews (including telephone interviews) coming up, so this was a very useful experience.

Overall, I enjoyed taking part in the SEA. There seemed quite a lot to do at the outset, but I managed to complete it pretty quickly. I found the whole process interesting, and it has certainly helped to improve my employability - particularly because the SEA will be part of my academic transcript when I graduate, so I can show potential employers that I've gained additional skills that will be of real use to them!"

Libby is in the third year of a BSc in Business Management

Steven Begbie

Steven Begbie "I was looking for a way of gaining a competitive edge in my job applications when a friend mentioned the SEA. I had a look online and decided that, as it didn't look too demanding, it would worthwhile investing the time to complete it.

For my "experiences", I described my involvement with a three-month summer camp in America, where I worked on a range of outdoor activities with kids and helped them to develop teamwork, communication, and leadership skills - which also benefited me! I have been able to apply many of the skills I learnt in America to my job applications.

I also wrote about being a course representative, which entails liaising with staff and students to discuss issues relating to my course. This has given me good debating and negotiating skills, and boosted my confidence.

I found the psychometric testing part of the SEA really useful. I had an idea of what I was like as a person and the sort of jobs I would be suited for, but it was good to have this confirmed by the tests. They told me I was suited for banking and finance - which I want to pursue - but they also suggested I consider teaching, which could be an option. The verbal, numerical and logic tests were also useful because a lot of major organisations use them in their application process, so the experience will benefit me.

The careers interview and the mock job interview were also really useful, and I had some valuable feedback about a range of things, such as how to improve my CV and cover letters, and how to improve my performance at interview.

Entering the GradIntel profile took longer than I expected, but it's definitely worth doing to get your CV in front of potential employers. For me, though, the biggest benefit is that the SEA is on my CV and will be in my degree transcript, which means I've got tangible evidence to show employers that I have gained valuable skills and experiences.

I'm glad the SEA is available to all students, in all years, because I wish it had been available to me in my first year. I'm sure it would have been a great help in helping to plan my career at an earlier stage."

Steven Begbie is in the final year of his BSc Business Management degree.