BSc (Hons) Human Biology student Hannah Badger on how Queen’s careers team can help you find your purpose and follow your passion.
Where can I find it?
The Student Guidance Centre (situated beside Elmwood Hall) houses a number of services to support you throughout your academic journey. This includes the Careers, Employability and Skills team at Queen’s. They’re a team of people united in the goal of helping you find your ideal career, improve your employability and assisting you in gaining the skills employers want.
What is the SGC Hub?
On the ground floor of the Student Guidance Centre is The Hub. Here you’ll find the student assistants who can show you how to use MyFuture, inform you of skills workshops and fairs and assist with any careers-related queries. Additionally, you can find lots of takeaway resources from CV checklists to sector specific information (from the University and industry). The ground floor of the SGC is an open area and students are welcome to come in to relax or study when presentations aren’t taking place.
Who can I speak to?
Every student in the University has access to a careers advisor who they can meet for careers-related help and advice. Face-to-face support can come in the form of a CV check or careers consultation. Most students receive this face-to-face support through appointments booked on MyFuture. However, throughout the year, careers advisors go to locations across the University, such as the McClay Library, to offer on-the-spot CV checks. Your subject-specific careers advisor will also send you a newsletter every month informing you of relevant opportunities.
A number of large careers fairs are held throughout the year in Whitla Hall, allowing students to interact with employers. These fairs usually have a theme, whether that is work experience or placement, graduate recruitment or global opportunities. The opportunity to speak to employers directly is invaluable. From my own personal experience I’ve discovered companies, got specific details of recruitment processes and found opportunities I didn’t know existed – both in Northern Ireland and further afield.
Smaller careers fairs also run over the course of the semester – usually they’re subject/area specific and held within your school. The companies that attend would like graduates with your specific knowledge and experience. The larger fairs can be a little overwhelming, but the mini-fairs are less daunting.
Gaining Experience and Skills
Development Weeks are another aspect of university life promoted by the CES team. Each year, you’re given three weeks to take part in workshops or skills enhancing experiences that you may not have the chance to take part in while you’ve got scheduled class. There’s an extensive range of programmes and with little difficulty you can find several programmes of interest to you. The majority of activities are also Degree Plus accredited!
Online Access to the Service
The careers service can also be accessed through the Careers, Employability and Skills (CES) website or MyFuture. The CES website is loaded with information from sector relevant careers resources to room bookings for Skype interviews. Additionally, MyFuture can be used to browse upcoming events, sign up for workshops, book careers appointments and apply for jobs.
It’s been a long journey from the start of my degree until now. My final semester. The decision between further education or employment has become very real. It can be difficult to get your head around it all – there are so many options out there – but your careers advisors are there to help.
As a way of a final note, all of the resources, help and guidance you receive is for FREE so why not see what Careers, Employability and Skills can do for you.