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Some of the 70+ Great Companies You Can Meet on Day Two of The Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair

(Psst! There are over 300 jobs on offer over the two days!)

Wow! What a jam-packed day of amazing exhibitors we had yesterday at the Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair. We have over 70+ more organisations coming today, so make sure you come back and check them out. The Day Two event lobby is already open, so you can pop in and check out employers and jobs, request interview slots with selected employers and follow employers to receive alerts.

Here are just some of the awesome companies signed up for Day Two – they are all hiring students just like you! If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so here:

https://virtualcareersfairs.qub.ac.uk/events

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody is a leading Irish law firm

https://www.algoodbody.com/

Accenture

Accenture plc is a multinational professional services company and a Fortune Global 500 company.

https://www.accenture.com/gb-en

Alchemy Technology Services

Global centre of excellence for insurance software implementation 

https://www.alchemytechs.com/

Almac Group

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services across the drug development lifecycle to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally.

AquaQ Analytics

AquaQ provides consulting services to several top tier investment banks.

Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland Group plc is a commercial bank operation in Ireland and one of the traditional ‘Big Four‘ Irish banks.

https://www.bankofireland.com/

Belfast Health & Social Care Trust

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) is a health organisation covering Belfast, Northern Ireland

Bombardier

Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains.

https://www.bombardier.com/en/home.html

British Army, The – Army Careers

The Army is always recruiting, and there are a wide range of roles available for both officers and soldiers.          

https://www.army.mod.uk/careers/

British Council – IAESTE

From electronics in Japan to earthquake detection technology in Colombia, an IAESTE placement is a guaranteed way to boost your career. 

https://www.britishcouncil.org/study-work-abroad/outside-uk/iaeste

BSG Civil Engineering Ltd

BSG Civil Engineering Ltd is a Premier Civil Engineering Contractor, delivering all Multi Discipline Schemes.

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell is Northern Ireland’s most dynamic law firm.

https://www.carson-mcdowell.com/

CDE Global Ltd

CDE Global is the world’s no 1 wet processing equipment company.

https://www.cdeglobal.com/

Citi

A global bank providing financial services.

https://www.citigroup.com/citi/

CK International              

CK International is one of the world’s leading waste baler manufacturers.

Clear Pharmacy

Clear Pharmacy is a family run group of community pharmacies

CME Group

The world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace.

https://www.cmegroup.com/

CommScope

CommScope helps design, build and manage wired and wireless networks around the world.

https://www.commscope.com/

Cygilant UK Ltd

Cygilant provides Cybersecurity-as-a-Service.

Department for the Economy

The Department for the Economy is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive.

https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/

DPS Group Global

DPS Group is a global consulting, engineering and construction management company.

https://www.dpsgroupglobal.com/

Dunbia         

Dunbia is a red meat processor that sources and manufactures beef, lamb and pork products for retail, commercial and foodservice markets locally, nationally and internationally.

ESO Solutions UK Ltd

ESO offers an integrated suite of software products for EMS agencies, fire departments, and hospitals.

https://www.eso.com/

EY (UK)

A multinational professional services network (Accountancy Firm).

https://www.ey.com/en_uk

Farrans

Farrans Construction is an established building and civil engineering contractor.

https://www.farrans.com/

fDi Intelligence

fDi Intelligence, a service from the Financial Times, is the largest FDI centre of excellence globally.

https://www.fdiintelligence.com/

FinTrU

Multi-award winning Financial Services company providing resourcing solutions for Global Investment Banks

https://www.fintru.com/

Fox Contracts

An award winning Northern Irish based Civil Engineering company

https://www.fox-contracts.com/

Graham Construction

A large award winning UK construction company. 

https://www.graham.co.uk/

Harbinson Mulholland

Award winning accountants rooted in Northern Ireland,

https://www.harbinson-mulholland.com/

HMRC

The Non-ministerial department of the UK Government responsible for the collection of taxes and other forms of support within the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs

IBM

American cloud platform and cognitive solutions multinational technology and consulting company

www.ibm.com

iManage

Large software company focused exclusively on professional work product management.

www.imanage.com

Infosys

Global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting.

www.infosys.com/

InterTradeIreland – Career Boost

Provider of practical cross-border business funding, intelligence and contacts.

www.intertradeireland.com/

Invest NI

www.investni.com/

Invest Northern Ireland is Northern Ireland’s regional economic development agency.

Jacobs UK Ltd

http://www.jacobs.com/

Jacobs is multidisciplinary engineering company that operates globally. 

Jameson Graduate Programme

Part of the Irish Distillers Company.  It is the largest distiller of Irish whiskey.

https://www.jamesongraduateprogramme.com/

Jones Day

Commercial Law Firm

https://www.jonesday.com/en

Kainos Software Ltd

Large NI & UK based software company.

www.kainos.com

Kingspan Group

Building Materials company based in Ireland.

https://www.kingspan.com/

KTP@QUB

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) at Queen’s University Belfast

https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/graduate-support/employers/Knowledge-Transfer-Partnership-(KTP)-at-Queen’s/

Lakeland Dairies

Irish Dairy Co-operative and manufacturer of application specific food ingredients.

www.lakeland.ie/

Marks & Spencer

Large major multinational retailer.

www.marksandspencers.com/

Marsh and McLennan

Marsh & McLennan is the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people.

https://www.mmc.com/

McAleer & Rushe

McAleer and Rushe is one of the UK’s largest design and build construction companies

McCann FitzGerald

Leading Irish Law firm

https://www.mccannfitzgerald.com/

MCL InsureTech Ltd

A high-quality provider of services to the insurance industry.

http://www.mclinsuretech.co.uk/

Mott MacDonald

Consultancy Firm

https://www.mottmac.com/

MRP

Sales & Marketing Innovation That Fosters Business Transformation.

Musgrave Limited

Irish Food Wholesaler

Options Technology

The leading provider of cloud-enabled managed services to the global capital markets.

PA Consulting Group

Consultancy Firm

https://www.paconsulting.com/

PAC GROUP

A UK-based leading provider of a diverse range of electrical and mechanical engineering applications and solutions.

https://www.pacgroup.co.uk/

Philip Morris Limited

An American multinational cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company, with products sold in over 180 countries.

https://www.pmi.com/

PM Group

International Project Delivery Firm    

https://www.pmgroup-global.com/

Puppet

Automation software development company

https://puppet.com/

PwC

Accountancy Firm

https://www.pwc.co.uk/

Randox Laboratories Ltd

Randox provides clinical diagnostic solutions to laboratories worldwide and is dedicated to improving health on a global scale.

Rapid7

Rapid7 powers the practice of SecOps by delivering shared visibility, analytics, and automation to unite security, IT, and DevOps teams.

https://www.rapid7.com/

Specialisterne

A socially innovative company where the majority of employees have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum.

Synergy Learning

Experts in creating learning with impact. Premium Certified Moodle Services Provider & Platinum Totara Partner.

Terex GB Ltd

Terex Corporation is a global manufacturer of lifting and material processing products and services delivering lifecycle solutions.

https://www.terex.com/

Thermo Fisher Scientific

An American provisioner of scientific instrumentation, reagents and consumables, and software and services to healthcare, life science, and other laboratories in academia, government, and industry.

https://www.thermofisher.com/uk/en/home.html

TLT NI LLP

Commercial Law Firm

https://www.tltsolicitors.com/locations/belfast/

TPICAP

TP ICAP plc is a global firm of professional intermediaries that operates in the world’s financial, energy and commodities markets

https://tpicap.com/tpicap/

TriMedika Ltd

Company developing innovative medical devices.

Version 1 Ltd

Version 1 proves that IT can make a real difference to our customers’ businesses.

WuXi Biologics

WuXi Biologics is a Chinese headquartered organization that provides open-access, integrated technology platforms for biologics drug development.

https://www.wuxibiologics.com/

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Degree Plus Five-Minute Explainer

Whether you are graduating this year or just want to bank the award early, Eimear Gallagher, who heads up Queen’ s employability programme, is here to answer all your burning questions.

What is Degree Plus?

“Degree Plus is about encouraging you to get involved in extracurricular activities in and around Queen’s, but also to give you the opportunity to get a reward for that; to get an accreditation from the University and have it recorded on your Queen’s QSIS record,” says Eimear.

She adds: “At graduation, in addition to your Queen’s parchment confirming your degree, you also get a Degree Plus certificate. That is confirmation from the University that you completed an activity or activities and it will name the specific activities you have undertaken as well.”

What counts towards Degree Plus?

“There are a large number of activities to choose from, the last count was over 180. There are two different routes – Provider Verified and Combined Experience,” says Eimear. 

View the Provider Verified menu

View the Combined Experience menu

Provider Verified is the most common and straightforward route – around 2,000 students each year gain the award this way.

Combined Experience offer an opportunity to put yourself forward for the award -around 300 students gain the award this way each year. 

Learn more about the two types of Degree Plus here

Who can apply for Degree Plus?

It’s open to all students, both postgraduate and undergraduate, and you’ll get a Degree Plus, Graduate Plus or Researcher Plus certificate at graduation, depending on your study level. 

For enquiries about Graduate and Researcher Plus, please contact The Graduate School.

“There is no compulsion to do it,” says Eimear. “It’s for people who want to differentiate themselves and to stand out from the crowd; stand out from others with whom you’d be competing in graduate labour markets.”

Eimear Gallagher is the Business Operations Manager at Queen’s Careers, Employability and Skills. To contact the Degree Plus team, email degreeplus@qub.ac.uk

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My Virtual Recruitment Success Secrets

Queen’s Law graduate Norma Taggart just secured a graduate position as a legal analyst with FinTrU Belfast after a rigorous virtual recruitment process. Here is how she did it.

Norma Taggart

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the recruitment process as employers are forced to shift away from in-person interviews to online recruitment methods. Many businesses have had to quickly become accustomed to online recruiting by using video software and telephone interviews instead of the traditional styles of interviewing. This new approach to recruitment can be daunting to a student or graduate who has not been exposed to this process before. 

However, if the idea of online recruitment intimidates you, I recommend viewing it as an opportunity to upskill rather than as a challenge. By going through the online recruitment process, I have learned how to use numerous video call software, such as Zoom and Bluejeans and have developed my ability to adapt to a changing work environment. As the world becomes more tech savvy and firms are transitioning to remote working, these technological skills will become highly sought after. Students and graduates that have a proficiency in software such as these will stand apart from the crowd.  

I gained first-hand insight into this process as I have recently secured a graduate position as a legal analyst with FinTrU Belfast after completing their 6-week FinTrU Legal Academy. FinTrU is a multi-award winning financial services company that gives local talent the opportunity to work on a global stage with the largest international investment banks. The company conducted three stages of recruitment in order to fill the positions, thus I went through virtual recruitment as opposed to the traditional recruitment process. Although it was a daunting idea at first, I have learned valuable tips and tricks to nail a video interview and get the job. 

How to Get the Interview and Succeed 

The first step in succeeding in the virtual recruitment process is to utilise the Queen’s Careers team. The Careers Department have been an invaluable resource in preparing me for both recruitment and the world of work. The Careers Team support students and graduates with all aspects of career planning and decision making. They offer practical, tailored advice for every step of your career journey. My advice is to seek their help long before you need to start applying for internships, graduate jobs or placement. 

I was fortunate enough to work as a student assistant in the Student Guidance Centre where I witnessed first-hand the amount of work that goes towards helping students get ready for the world of work. I took part in CV workshops and one-to-one CV sessions with experienced Career Consultants where I was able to tailor my CV to the industry I was applying to. Your CV is the first impression you make to an employer; therefore, it is important it is up to date and well laid out. 

The Graduate and Placement Fairs organised by Queen’s Careers Team are an excellent source of information for students and graduates. I recommend going to as many as you can throughout your time at Queen’s as they give you insight into both the industries you are interested in and the ones you are not. For example, I did an undergraduate degree in Law which often has a very traditional career path associated with it. The Graduate Fair, alongside employer panels, insight days and employer presentations organised by the Careers team, allowed me to become more open-minded to different career routes available and develop my skill set beyond strictly legal skills. Therefore, when the opportunity arose for me to apply for a career in the financial services sector, I knew I was capable of adapting and succeeding as an analyst.

MyFuture also can act as a vital tool in your job search as it is constantly updated with new opportunities and it is where you can book Career Consultations with experienced members of the Careers Team. Participating in different employability programmes and events will make you more of a well-rounded candidate and show employers that you are not afraid to go outside your comfort zone. The Careers Team are there to help you in every stage of your job hunt, therefore I recommend taking advantage of their help as soon as possible. 

Tips for Virtual Recruitment 

The virtual recruitment process for the FinTrU Legal Academy consisted of an online application where you expressed why you want to work in the financial services sector and for FinTrU specifically. The second round of the recruitment was a telephone call and the final round was a video interview conducted over a software called Bluejeans.

I had never done a live video or telephone interview before. It was daunting as it is difficult to convey the same enthusiasm over a phone or webcam than when you meet the recruiter in person. Technology can also be temperamental so I was aware that a lot could go wrong. To combat these concerns, my top tip for the next student taking part in virtual recruitment is to be prepared. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be and the more you can focus on the task at hand. 

In preparation for the interview, get familiar with the job description and the specific skills they are looking for in a successful candidate. You can familiarise yourself with the company and its employees by attending graduate fairs, industry insight days and employer panels. Using the STAR method, identify times throughout your career where you have used or developed the skills in the job description. This will show the interviewer that you have a number of transferable skills that will benefit their company if you were to get the job. 

On the day of the interview, log onto the software early to download it and test your internet connection. Confirm that your camera and microphone are working as soon as you agree to the interview. I made the mistake of waiting until it was time for the interview to click the link to join. I then had to download the software which made me stressed before the interview even began. The more you do to mitigate stress before the interview, the more comfortable you will feel. 

Set up a space in your house where you will not be disturbed and ensure that the lighting is appropriate. If the interview begins and you realise that they cannot see you properly, this will put you on edge and you will lose your concentration on answering questions. If you are in a well-lit area without distractions, it will also show the hiring manager that you are professional and taking the interview seriously. 

You should not memorise answers to questions as this will come across impersonal and rehearsed. One of the benefits of a virtual interview is that it allows you to have your CV and notes beside you. Utilise this to your advantage and have your preparation close by. Employers will go through your CV in depth so make sure you have it nearby so that you can reference it in answers. 

Do not forget to dress to impress. Even though the interview is being conducted online, employers still expect you to look presentable and interview ready. This is good practice for when you get the job as clients and senior management will expect the same level of professionalism when you are working alongside them, whether that is online or in person. 

One obstacle associated with virtual recruitment is that it can feel impersonal. It is difficult to express your enthusiasm for the job when it is over a webcam. You cannot shake the interviewer’s hand over a webcam; therefore, it is essential that you monitor your body language. It is important to sit up straight and look into the camera when speaking and not at the screen. Ask a friend or family member to run through possible questions with you over a Zoom call so that you can get feedback on both your answers and the impression you make with your body language. 

Know your chosen employer inside out and stay up to date with the industry. I attended numerous employer panels where I was given the opportunity to ask questions about the world of work and the skill sets needed to succeed. I was told to stay informed with the industry I want to go into by reading the news, following relevant outlets on LinkedIn and keeping an eye on exciting developments in the area I was looking to qualify in. By doing this, you can display your enthusiasm for the industry by asking the interviewer relevant and informed questions. 

Join Norma at the Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair on 22 Oct for more top tips.

Register here: https://virtualcareersfairs.qub.ac.uk/events

 

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Career advice from top employers

At our recent Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair, we hosted over 130 top employers from all industries and sectors. We took the opportunity to grill them for their best career advice, so you can learn from leaders at the top of their game. Prepare to be inspired…

Use Queen’s Careers Service

“I would advise students to engage with the University Careers Service.  Guidance from careers advisors in making applications, developing your CV and identifying future career paths is invaluable. The University Careers Service works closely with employers such as Almac, they know what we are looking for and can really provide added value through employability training and support. Programmes such as Queen’s  Degree Plus Award provide students with a great opportunity to develop and hone the key skills needed to succeed within the workplace.”

Kim McAllister, Talent Acquisition Manager, Almac Group 

Keep an open mind

“If I was to go back in time, when I was starting my career, the key thing I would say is to keep an open mind. Back when I was finishing my undergraduate degree, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted to do but I ended up going down a route I wouldn’t have imagined in terms of working in recruitment and HR. I studied drama and English initially and the field of work I am in now is really focussed on people. I actually draw on a lot of the stud I learned in terms of communication styles and people from my undergraduate degree into my current role. So yeah, keep an open mind when you are finishing your degree about what it is you want to do. Be patient. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right kind of fit for you when you are graduating. Even in your first year or two of a graduate role you want to get everything right from the first go. It is okay to make mistakes along the way so be patient with yourself.”

Adrian McCarthy is the manager of For Purpose

Back yourself

“Always take the opportunities, don’t doubt yourself. You don’t know where they will lead and what you will learn along the way.”

Joelene RidgillPurchasing Manager at Seacoya Group Ltd

Build up your work-related experience

“I’d say, try to get as much experience as possible whether it be through part time jobs, internships or volunteering. For example, working in a shop or restaurant…if you can handle angry customers, you can handle anything! 

“Also remember that it’s not just about having the grades. Yes, they are important, but transferrable skills such as proficiency in Microsoft packages, time management, first aid training or experience in organising events, to name a few, are also important. A well­rounded individual who can adapt to different environments and maybe bring something new to the table is very appealing to employers.”

Robbie Barr, Partner, Muldoon & Co

Engage with employers

“Go to as many events run by employers as possible. They really give you an idea of the culture of the workplace and a feel for the people that work there. Liberty IT have a Tech Carnival event which we make as reflective of our culture as possible, it’s pretty casual, has a focus on our people’s passion for technology and is full of employees that are happy to tell you anything you want to know about working for LIT.”

Birgitta Swanberg, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, Liberty IT

Have a career plan

“Know what your end goal is and plan your next move from there. Know what you need to do now to get where you need to go. Look for opportunities, even if you take small steps, those steps might take you closer to your end goal, whatever they may be. Be patient but don’t settle. Do your research and make a plan. This will help you when you want to apply for promotion or career advancement.”

Clodagh Mckeefry, Corporate Recruiter, MRP

Try new things

“Try new things and put yourself out there. You could end up in the best position by taking a chance and trying something new. Sometimes it is good to fall outside of the box and not to limit yourself to obvious career choices. Skills are interchangeable.”

Jared Kearney, Senior Campus Recruiter, Citi UK and Citi Ireland

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How to impress an employer at the Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair

We asked some top NI employers for their careers fairs tips ahead of our Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair on Oct 21 and 22. Here is what they had to say:

Do your research

“Employers are impressed by students who have taken the time to do some research before the event.  Appearing informed about the organisation and industry that is of interest to you demonstrates a genuine motivation and creates a great impression. Doing research beforehand and targeting relevant organisations also ensures that the student gets the most out of the event, making the best use of their valuable time.”

Kim McAllister, Almac Group, Talent Acquisition Manager

Have questions ready

“I notice students who have already done a bit of research and know what they are looking for. Have specific questions about the company and the role itself then I’ll definitely remember you.”

Elisa Herbig. Talent Acquisition Specialist at AquaQ Analytics

Come prepared

“Being prepared if you are going to speak to a recruiter. If you are going to a stand whether it’s in person or virtual maybe having researched that organisation a bit beforehand and having a few questions in mind that you might like to ask them. It does really stand out if someone has looked into your organisation beforehand and if they have shown kind of a real interest in it.  Often times as well, the people who are going to be at these recruitment fairs are going to be working for the HR department or the recruitment team for the organisations that they are placed with. Sometimes they have graduates who have been hired there as part of the recruitment team, so it is really good and it does stand out if people have done their research beforehand.”  

Adrian McCarthy, Manager, For Purpose

Be willing to learn

“By asking questions about the company and the careers available. Being open to discuss entry level careers and willing to hear the success stories of people who perhaps started off in summer/temporary roles and are now directors.” 

Joelene Ridgill, Purchasing Manager at Seacoya Group Ltd

Read around your industry

“An obvious passion for software engineering goes a long way. If you’ve been coding in your spare time, tell us about it. If you’ve read anything interesting about the software engineering industry as a whole, tell us about that too. If you’ve been to any Liberty IT tech talks or events, let us know what you thought of them.”

Birgitta Swanberg, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, Liberty IT

Tailor your CV to the role you want

“Come to the recruitment fair prepared, with an up-to-date CV with you, ensure you are presenting the best version of yourself. Dress for the role that you want; display good communication skills. Speak confidently and articulate your skills and experience clearly. Don’t be afraid to approach us and ask any questions.” 

Chloe Brown, Corporate Recruiter, MRP

Use the opportunity to find out about the company

“Show interest in the company. Ask questions that are more specific. We bring along colleagues of different levels to have a chat and give you the opportunity to find out more.”  

Jared Kearney, Senior Campus Recruiter, Citi UK and Citi Ireland

Have you registered for the fair yet? If not, you can do so here:

https://virtualcareersfairs.qub.ac.uk/events

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Study USA: My Time in North Carolina

Phoebe Craddock-Bligh, Queen’s History and Politics student spent a year at William Peace University Raleigh, NC, as part of the Study USA programme. Here is how she got on:

I applied to take part in the Study USA programme after hearing about it at the Go Global Fair two years ago. I also attended other talks but decided that Study USA was the one for me. In a very boring and practical way Study USA was the most economical way for me to take a year out and to be honest that was my driving factor in applying (that and REALLY wanting to go to America). – Getting accepted was just the biggest rush and it just goes to show you, if you don’t apply you won’t ever know- so why not take the risk?

Learning a new subject

I was placed by Study USA in William Peace University in Raleigh, NC with the primary goal of studying business classes and gaining an understanding of American culture. As a History and Politics student I was initially nervous about taking business classes, especially as I hadn’t taken a maths class since 2016! There were moments where I did struggle (especially in micro and macroeconomics) but I quickly realised that it wasn’t just me who was finding the content hard- the whole class was, which was quite the relief. 

Through some hard work, a bit of mentoring and wonderful and caring teaching staff, I ended the semester with a distinction from the Dean and a 4.0 GPA! I was also pleasantly surprised at how interesting I found the business classes, plus I was able to take 1 elective per semester, so alongside organisational behaviour and marketing, I tried out completely new classes such as creative writing and women’s studies. In short – don’t rule out applying for Study USA just because you’re not a business student. The business skills I gained made me feel stronger in my position going forward into my career, and I’m grateful I had the chance to learn more about business in such a unique way.

A taste of the USA

Now for the fun stuff: living in the States was amazing! I loved every second, even when I wasn’t loving it. When I was presented with the reality of returning home pre-lockdown, I was distraught to be leaving so soon and not getting to finish the year on a high. Of course, I’m still incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity and the experiences I did. I got to visit NYC, explore Washington DC, take a Spring Break road trip to the mountains, and even a 9-hour drive to Florida (and back- we should have flown). And, of course, explore plenty of North Carolina. One of my favourite parts of being in The South was the BBQ! I can’t even write this without thinking about North Carolinian chopped BBQ, coleslaw and vinegar based hot sauce – and then there was the Mexican food! Sorry Boojum, but I’ve seen the light.

Joining the frat pack

Ultimately though, my favourite memories of my time in the States are less to do with all the cool places I got to see, and more to do with my friends and experiencing American college life. I thought I was prepared for the ‘American college experience’, I’d seen the films I thought I knew the craic. One thing I was not ready for was the sheer level of enthusiasm I was met with. From day one I became a Pacer, embroiled in college tradition and part of tight knit, caring community. I loved all the free merch we got to show off our ‘Pacer pride’, the welcome dinners on the front lawn and the events put on for students. Weekdays were always so busy with sports games (I’m now an avid basketball fan), ice cream socials or movie screenings, not to mention several failed Zumba classes. It was great being so involved. 

Treasured friendships

My friends made my year though. I met some of the most fantastic people (and of course some not so great ones – but that’s just life!). I got particularly lucky with my suitemate Shawntez though. We met in the bathroom, where so many great female friendships begin, and were pretty much inseparable after that. What I miss the most from my time on Study USA is the people. It’s cringey but it’s true. It was my friends who made 8am classes bearable, or broke up the tedium of cafeteria food with weeknight trips to Wendy’s for burgers. My favourite memory with Shawntez was the NC State Fair. We accidentally parked 2 miles away, refused to wait for the shuttle bus so walked down a highway in the rain only to queue for 40 minutes just to get inside. But you know what, we still had the best time. Our night ended at 1am with a giant turkey leg, chocolate dipped cheesecake, and an entire deep fried onion. An initial disaster turned into the best memory.

Interested?

Your main reason for studying abroad might not be to meet amazing friends you will inevitably have to leave, but it’s these people who end up making the day to day life, classes, homework and missing home enjoyable. 

Sometimes I scroll though my camera roll looking at my photos from last year, and it still doesn’t always feel real. The experiences I had genuinely changed how I look at and approach the world in the best possible way, and my resilience has increased 10 times over. It wasn’t all plain sailing. Naturally there were times when I longed to go home and see my family, but I would do the whole thing all over again in a heartbeat if I could, the bad and the good. 

If you’re even the tiniest bit considering that you might like to spend some time studying abroad, I would encourage you to take the plunge and apply. Start the process and you never know how far you might get. 

Find out more about Study USA by joining our information session on Oct 21

Register here: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/121/6klklig5

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70+ Great Companies You Can Meet on Day One of The Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair

You may have heard that our Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair is going virtual on Oct 21 and 22. Did you know the event lobby is already open, so you can pop in and check out employers and jobs, request interview slots with selected employers and follow employers to receive alerts.

Here are just some of the awesome companies signed up for Day One – they are all hiring students just like you! If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so here:

https://virtualcareersfairs.qub.ac.uk/events

Abbvie

Pharmaceutical Research & Development

https://www.abbvie.co.uk

ACCA

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

https://www.accaglobal.com/in/en.html

AIB Group

Financial services group

https://group.aib.ie

Aiqudo

Artificial intelligence-based technology

Aldi Stores Ltd

Supermarket chain

https://www.aldi.co.uk

Allen & Overy LLP

International law firm

https://www.allenovery.com/en-gb/global

Allstate Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s largest IT Company

https://www.allstate.com/northern-ireland.aspx

Analog Devices

Semiconductor manufacturing company

https://www.analog.com/en/index.html

Andor Technology

Manufacturer

https://andor.oxinst.com

Arm Ltd

Semiconductor and software design company

https://www.arm.com

Arthur Cox

Legal Firm

Arup

An independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants and technical specialists

https://www.arup.com

ASM Chartered Accountants

Chartered Accountants

Avolon Aerospace Leasing

A Global leader in aircraft leasing

Baker McKenzie

Law firm

https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en

Baker Tilly Mooney Moore

Accountants & Business Advisers

British Council

Cultural relations and educational opportunities

https://www.britishcouncil.org

Cadence Design Systems

Computational software

https://www.cadence.com/en_US/home.html#

Cavanagh Kelly

Chartered Accountants

https://www.cavanaghkelly.com

Chartered Accountants Ireland

Membership body representing 26000 influential members throughout the globe.

https://www.charteredaccountants.ie

Colgate Palmolive

Global Household & Consumer Products

https://www.colgatepalmolive.com/en-us

Collins Aerospace

The Future of Aerospace and Defence

https://www.collinsaerospace.com/en

CyberSource, a Visa Solution

 E-commerce credit card payment system management company

https://www.cybersource.com/en-gb.html

DCC

International sales, marketing and support services group

https://www.dcc.ie

Deloitte UK

Audit, Consulting, Financial Advisory and Tax 

https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en.html

DLA Piper

A global law firm

https://www.dlapiper.com/en/uk/

Dynamic Signal

Trusted Employee Communication

https://dynamicsignal.com

Electricity Supply Board (ESB)

State owned electricity company operating in Ireland

https://esb.ie/who-we-are/about-esb

Energia Group Limited

A modern customer centric utility focusing on renewable energy and technology

https://energiagroup.com

Entekra Ltd

Off-Site Construction

https://www.entekra.com

EY (UK) EVENT SPONSOR!

Consulting, assurance, tax and transaction services.

https://www.ey.com/en_gl

First Derivatives

A leading provider of products and consulting services to some of the world’s largest finance, technology and energy institution

https://firstderivatives.com

Foods Connected Ltd

Offers all modules and tools connected on one cloud-based system for ultimate time and cost efficiency

https://www.foodsconnected.com

GEDA Construction

A leading Building, Civil Engineering and Property Development Company

Global Payments

Payment technology and software solutions

https://www.globalpaymentsinc.com/en-gb

GMcG Chartered Accountants

A leading professional services firm providing a range of strategic and practical Accounting, Taxation and Business Advisory solutions

https://gmcgca.com

Grant Thornton

Network of independent accounting and consulting member firms

https://www.grantthornton.co.uk

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Leading professional services businesses

https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com

Hutchinson Engineering

British made engineering of the highest quality

https://www.hutchinsonengineering.co.uk

Instil Software

Software products and learning experiences 

https://instil.co

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Promotes, develops and supports chartered accountants and students across the world

https://www.icaew.com

Intel Ireland

Advanced manufacturing, cutting edge research and design

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/jobs/locations/ireland.html

Kerry Group

A public food company headquartered in Ireland

https://www.kerrygroup.com

KPMG (NI & ROI)

A wide range of audit, tax and advisory service

https://home.kpmg/ie/en/home/insights/2020/04/kpmg-in-northern-ireland.html

Liberty Information Technology

Innovative technology solutions

https://www.liberty-it.co.uk

Lidl Ireland

Supermarket chain.

https://www.lidl.ie

Metaswitch Networks

A pioneering network software provider.

https://www.metaswitch.com

Mills Selig

Corporate and commercial law firm.

https://www.millsselig.com

Moy Park Ltd

One of Europe’s leading poultry producers

https://moypark.com

Muldoon & Co

Firm of accountants in Belfast

https://www.muldoon-accountants.co.uk

NantHealth

Precision medicine and software

National Treasury Management Agency

Asset and liability management services to Government

https://www.ntma.ie

Nikon Precision Europe GmbH

A leading global supplier of Semiconductor lithography systems

Northern Ireland Audit Office

The Local Government Auditor

https://www.niauditoffice.gov.uk

Olenick

Software Quality Engineering services

PayPal EMEA

Online payment solutions

https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide

PepsiCo

Multinational food, snack and beverage corporation 

https://www.pepsico.com

Pinsent Masons

International professional services business

https://www.pinsentmasons.com

PKF-FPM Accountants

A leading accountancy and business advisory practice

Proofpoint

Cybersecurity solutions

https://www.proofpoint.com/uk

Royal Air Force

Aerial warfare force

https://www.raf.mod.uk

Ryobi Ltd

Manufacturer of components for automobiles, electronics, and telecommunications industries.

https://www.ryobi-group.co.jp/en/

Signifyd

Industry leader in fraud prevention

SONI

The electricity system operator for Northern Ireland

http://www.soni.ltd.uk

SpotX

Video advertising platform

https://www.spotx.tv

Susquehanna

Trading and technology firm

https://sig.com

Synopsys

Electronic design automation company 

https://www.synopsys.com

Teach First

A charity that develops and supports teachers and leaders

https://www.teachfirst.org.uk

Telestack Limited

Bulk material handling solutions

https://www.telestack.com

Tracey Concrete

One of the largest precast concrete manufacturers

Categories
Go Global Go Global ambassadors Go Global Fair Go Global Week Study USA

My Study USA Diary

Queen’s Philosophy student Ryan Lavelle spent a year in North Central College, Illinois as part of the Study USA programme. Here is his diary.

I had always dreamed of one day moving to America, and on 12 August 2019, I finally stepped on a plane bound for Chicago to make that dream a reality. I remember standing wide-eyed in Dublin Airport with a bag-load of dreams, nerves and expectations. 

I worked so hard for this moment: in the months leading up to my move to America, I worked three jobs so that I could save enough money to enjoy my time in Chicago. Unfortunately, I also suffered a close family bereavement shortly before my date of departure, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be able to go ahead with my great American adventure and have the best time possible. My goals? To propel myself further in life by meeting new people and making new connections, seeing new places and learning new things. I did all of this and more, and though the year came to an abrupt end, there has been a remarkable difference in my levels of confidence, resilience and knowledge as a result.

Touching down in Chicago

When I arrived at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, it was hot and humid, and very rainy outside. For some reason I expected to walk out of the gate and see someone with my name on a sign waiting for me. That wasn’t the case. I instantly felt the fast-paced American culture all around me, with lots of people shouting and rushing around. I was no longer in Dublin. I did not panic though. In fact, I kind of liked it. Luckily, I happened to see this bushy blonde-haired woman with a sign that read ‘North Central College’ walking around, so I approached her and said “I think you’re looking for me.” Little did I know I wasn’t the only person she was looking for as she had about seven other students due to arrive any minute. 

The first night

This woman was Kimberley Larsson, Executive Director of the Center for Global Education at my college for the year, North Central College. One-by-one, the other students were found. French. German. Spanish. Bosnian. Australian. Russian. Japanese. Right away I was in the thick of cultural diversity, and I loved it. We then crammed into the red North Central shuttle bus and headed to Naperville, about 40 minutes from O’Hare. I was in awe of the massive highways, billboards and buildings that surrounded us. I really was in America! Because we arrived late, we pretty much went to our rooms after being given bedding and pillows by staff. I thought about how previous exchange year students spoke of an immediate feeling of dread when that bedroom door shuts for the first time. I couldn’t have been further away from feeling dread – I was thriving. In terms of culture shock, nothing ‘shocked’ me per se, but I loved the challenge of adapting to a new environment as I had never taken up such a drastic transition in all my life until then. With that said, I was at ease. Thankfully, this feeling persisted all throughout my experience and homesickness never really became a thing for me.

Making friends from all over the world

From the next day onward, all international students partook in orientation week. The international students all became very close in the first semester. I made some of my best friends within the group of international students, and I plan on visiting them one day. What’s nice about getting close to other internationals is that they are in the same boat as you. They’re far away from home and adapting to a new environment, just like you. The sad part about getting close to other internationals is that so many of them are only there for one semester. Going back after Christmas break was somewhat daunting as I knew some of the people I spent a lot of time with would no longer be there, but this just meant I got much closer to the American students I was already friends with. The cultural diversity at play was, at times, astonishing. It was great to experience people from so many different backgrounds. Whilst enjoyable, it was also challenging. At times certain people would get frustrated with one another because they were misunderstood for saying or doing something that would be so normal in their home countries. I was once explaining Brexit to a fellow classmate when he interrupted me and asked the following: “wait, what’s Brexit? Is that a country?” You just have to laugh in those moments! 

Chasing the American dream

America is a highly diverse country, but it’s also competitive. This is what makes it such an exciting place to be. People are always going somewhere or doing something. They always have a goal in mind, a meeting to be at, or money to earn – even if they’re the most zen person you could ever meet. It’s hard not to get caught up in this lifestyle. I developed better practices in the States because of this, such as keeping a good routine, waking up early, studying more regularly, drinking less and exploring the world around me more. Thus, I think the cultural diversity has been good to me. I’ve taken things from each culture I’ve befriended and used these lessons in my own daily life whilst remembering how alike we all can be in some sense, too.

Living in a college movie

Within a week of orientation, I was right into classes. It felt surreal being in an American classroom given that my childhood was consumed by American television shows centred on the American high school and college student experience. For the fall semester I took classes in marketing, international business, environmental economics and an elective called ‘people and nature’ which was a socio-political look at humanity’s relationship with the environment. In the spring, my classes were social entrepreneurship, an introduction to computer programming, business law and another environmental studies elective. 

Finding my niche

North Central College has an amazing focus on sustainability which drew me to the college in the first place, and I knew I wanted to take as many environmental classes as I could. This aspect of my college life has been one of the highlights of my year abroad. I am interested in the dynamic between business and the environment, and my year abroad allowed me to focus my studies on just that. Now I feel better informed and prepared to complete my dissertation in final year, which I hope to do on environmental ethics. The environmental field is growing and the jobs market for candidates with this kind of knowledge and experience is only going to get bigger in the future. I have since decided I wish to steer my career journey in this direction and hope to pursue postgraduate courses and jobs in environmental law, policy or management. 

A new life outlook

Moreover, the social entrepreneurship class I took has also changed my outlook on life. It involved me coming up with a fully-fledged social venture plan to address a social issue I am passionate about. The result of my work was a business plan for a social enterprise that addresses the link between our environment and mental health in the context of climate anxiety. This is something I would love to one day work on again, perhaps even at Queen’s! Thus, my classes have meant a lot to me and in the grand scheme of things. I was gifted with a renewed entrepreneurial spirit during my time studying in the US, which in itself comes with an eagerness to take every opportunity that presents itself to you.

Flexible study model

I very much welcomed the differences between the US and UK education systems and appreciate both in their own ways. I recognise what makes the system I am used to at Queen’s so great, but preferred certain elements of the system at North Central College. In regards to the latter, I especially liked the flexibility of choosing classes and electives, and found it interesting how American students do not apply to colleges per course they want to do, as they can declare their ‘major’ well into their studies. I think I would definitely benefit from this back home as I enjoy so many fields of study and found it hard settling on just one. That being said, courses at home are more rigorous. The flexibility in the American system gives room for lenient teaching and grading, more varied and school-like assessments and having classmates that find they don’t really want to be there (if they’ve taken your class just for credit). That’s not to say I didn’t learn anything – I actually learned a lot, and regular homework was common in the US! University in the UK, however, holds you to a higher standard in terms of independence and responsibility, especially when it comes to researching and essay writing. 

Extracurricular activities

It seems American students have a much heavier focus on extracurriculars in conjunction with their studies, with many of them receiving scholarships for sport, music or acting which then take precedence over their social and academic lives. Having said this, I myself got into the routine of taking part in extracurriculars such as Enactus which was a nice contrast to my social life in Belfast which mainly consisted of either working or going out. In a way, I think studying in the US has helped me develop a more balanced mindset when it comes to student life – it’s not all about partying hard and spending obscene amounts of money every week. Since coming home, I already feel much more positive, healthy and fiscally responsible than I was before.

Highlights I’ll cherish

I will be ever grateful for my year abroad. I look back on my time at North Central College fondly and I tend to think about specific moments or people I met along the way every day. I think my favourite moment was attending the Global Climate Strike in downtown Chicago with some of my best friends in September 2019. That moment exuded everything I learned throughout the year – friendship, reflection, Chicago, passion, activism, confidence, strength and resilience. I have an almighty appetite to return to the States one day (maybe next year?), but for now I am quite content in Belfast. 

Lessons learned

I have realised that all of these places I had been so used to are now new to me again as I step back in old environments with a new persona, a new being and a new sense of direction in life. That’s all thanks to my global opportunity and the additional opportunities it created along the way. It goes without saying that the 2019-20 ‘year abroaders’ won’t be forgotten about any time soon. Being abroad during the unravelling of a global pandemic is a life lesson in and of itself. However, it does not take away from the fun and enjoyment I had in the last few weeks before my departure, but also the whole year. I can confidently say that I left Chicago having made some small difference in people’s lives, but the difference in my life is much greater and more profound. So, if you’re reading this and considering giving a year abroad a go – there’s no harm in at least applying! Attend workshops, work on your application, go to the interview… And if you’re lucky enough to get the chance to go abroad – take it!

If anything this year has shown us, it’s that life is full of risks. I can confidently say that studying abroad was the best risk I’ve ever taken (even when my personal life was a bit chaotic). That said, I’d do it all over again.

Fancy studying in the USA like Ryan? Don’t miss our Study USA information session. 21 October 12pm. Register here:

https://event.webinarjam.com/register/121/6klklig5

Categories
Competition Employers Feedback Prizes surveys Trendence UK

Win £500 to spend at a shop of your choice and help the Careers Service at the same time

The Careers & Employability Service needs your feedback to continue to give you excellent careers support. We are taking part in the Trendence survey, one of the UK’s largest student surveys about careers aspirations.  Trendence UK is providing our service with careers reports which will tell us how satisfied you are with your careers support and the university experience. As well as which employers you aspire to work for and which events you find the most effective. 

This year, in particular, it is crucial you provide your feedback on how you would like to access careers information. Take the survey, and you will be giving us valuable feedback on how we can tailor our services to best suit you. 

In return for your help, Trendence is giving away…

  • a £100 Amazon gift card (given away every week – 14 to give away)
  • a pair of Apple AirPods (two given away)
  • a £500 gift card! Choose from options such as ASOS, Uber, Argos, Amazon, John Lewis, GAME, JD Sports and M&S (two given away)

Tell us what you think of your university course, which employers you like, and how you’re feeling about your future career. Trendence UK will continue to use the results to put together research reports to help universities and employers across the UK, so they know how to support your career journey.

It only takes 15 minutes (and you can take it on your mobile!)

Take the survey now: http://sgiz.eu/s3/careerservice

Would you like to know more about Trendence? Here’s some extra information:

The Trendence Graduate study is the UK’s most comprehensive piece of research into students’ views on graduate careers and recruitment: over 74,000 UK students took part last year. Trendence also powers The UK 300, so ranking your favourite employers is a great way to influence their status in the publication. 

Trendence is an excellent tool for helping students to think about graduate careers: the questions require you to rank employers in a variety of ways, helping you to think laterally about your career options and why you like, or don’t like, certain companies. 

Your answers are completely anonymous. You are welcome to read our privacy policy which can be found here.  Trendence abides by all MRS codes, ESOMAR codes and ISO 20252. We are conducting this survey in partnership with your Careers Service. 

Categories
Applications CVs Graduate recruitment Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair Graduate success graduate training schemes graduateland Job Hunting job search Online profile postgraduate

Virtual Recruitment Fairs: Build a Stand-Out Online Profile

At the Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair on Oct 21 and 22, employers will use your online profile to find you. How do you build a profile that stands out from the crowd? Read on and find out.

You can upload your CV to your profile, so that will let an employer know what you’ve done. The key is to articulate what you have learned and the skills you have collected along the way. Employers want to know what skills and experience you can bring to the role. Below you will find a list of top skills employers told us they are looking for in student and graduate recruits, along with a brief explainer. Tag as many of these as you can to your online profile ahead of the event.

Cognitive/intellectual skills, such as:

  • Problem solving:  Ability to analyse issues, identify barriers and offer/implement potential solutions. This may involve prioritising tasks, coping with complexity, setting achievable goals and taking action.  It may also involve innovation at relevant points.

(Other terms might include – Thinking creatively/Decision making)

  • Applying subject knowledge and understanding: potentially from the degree pathway.

(This might also include researching the types of industry/roles that the subject knowledge could lead to and mechanisms for doing this.)

Professional attributes/attitudes such as:

  • Communication skills: the ability to communicate effectively in a range of professional contexts (both orally and in writing).

(Could also include body language, presentation skills, listening skills, communication styles)

  • Teamwork: the ability to work with others in a team, to communicate, influence, negotiate, demonstrating adaptability/flexibility, creativity, initiative, leadership and decision-making.

(Might include knowledge of their teamworking style, types of teams, working with remote teams, leading teams, running meetings)

  • Interpersonal skills:  includes ability to engage with and motivate others, sensitivity, global and cultural awareness, moral and ethical awareness and the ability to adjust behaviour accordingly.

(Other terms might include – Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, building on strengths, self-management)

  • Leadership skills: leading other individuals or groups through a set of complex decisions as part of goal achievement within projects or significant and challenging activities.   

(Leadership styles, leadership theories, performance, motivation)

Technical skills such as:

  • Utilise modern technology: associated with work place or work-related activity.  
  • Information technology skills: includes ability to learn, apply and exploit relevant IT programmes.

Business and organisational skills such as:

  • Business operational skills/ Commercial awareness: understanding of relevant commercial, marketing, management and/or financial processes/principles. Awareness of differences in organisational cultures and practices.
  • Business communication skills:  Written, verbal and/or online.

(Could also include – Business etiquette, coaching, collaboration, influencing others)

Language Skills and Cultural Awareness 

  • Proficiency in foreign languages: developed through courses or overseas experiences. 
  • Cultural awareness/intelligence: and the ability to implement this in a variety of multicultural contexts.

If you haven’t registered for the Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair yet, make sure you do it today. Use your QUB email to enjoy uninterrupted access to our virtual platforms and register for both days so you can experience everything on offer.

Register now