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Queen’s Careers Service Recognised for Excellence as they Support Graduates through Covid-19

The Careers Service at Queen’s has been awarded an AGCAS Membership Quality Standard for their service to students and graduates, as the university climbs the Guardian League table to 11th in the UK for student employability.

The Careers, Employability and Skills Team at Queen’s has been awarded Membership Quality Standard by AGCAS,the expert membership organisation for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

The award comes as it’s revealed that the University is now ranked 11th in the UK for career prospects after 15 months by the Guardian University Guide 2021

Trevor Johnston, Head of the Careers Service at Queen’s said: “Our AGCAS membership is testament to our ongoing commitment to supporting the best possible career outcomes for our students. This prestigious award is a result of the incredible hard work of staff across the Careers Service who have worked tirelessly to build online provision for career support and guidance amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

 “We recognise that the pandemic is having a huge impact on students and graduates. We remain committed to supporting our students and graduates to access the tools they need to maximise the career opportunities available to them.” 

As a result of government-imposed restrictions in the wake of Covid-19, the Careers, Employability and Skills team at Queen’s moved their entire programme of activity online overnight.

“From offering virtual one-to-one consultations to the increased use of live chats and virtual events and masterclasses, we’ve been able to offer our students and graduates access to the guidance and support they need to develop their employability,” said Mr Johnston. 

Recent Law graduate Norma Taggart said: “The Careers Service is a tailored, student-friendly accessible service. The staff genuinely care about your career path and work tirelessly to help you with practical advice on CV checks, interview skills and techniques to ensure you enjoy great success at Queen’s and beyond.” 

The Careers Service was quick to respond to lockdown, offering targeted support to graduates with the delivery of Gradfest2020, an online careers fair swiftly organised in June, in lieu of the cancelled Northern Ireland Graduate Recruitment Fair. 

“Gradfest2020 comprised bespoke workshops designed to help graduates navigate job uncertainty while developing key employability skills during the crisis. We have also played a key role in linking our students and graduates with our partner organisations, facilitating student-employer networking opportunities in the digital space, such as the upcoming virtual Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair,” said Mr Johnston. 

He added, “We are proud of our staff and students, particularly our graduating cohort, who have successfully navigated a challenging end to their university experience. With our continued support, we hope they’ll build the tools and resilience they need to enjoy a positive start to their careers.”  

The Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair is taking place on 21 and 22 October 2020 between 2-m and 6pm. Go.qub.ac.uk/Careersevents

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Actober Career planning Events Fairs

Free Download: Your Career Plan for Autumn 2020/21 by Study Stage

Not sure where to start with career planning? Overwhelmed with options? We’ve streamlined your journey for you so you can easily see where you need to be and what you need to do to stand the best possible chance of propelling your career forward.

To help inform your career-planning journey, we’ve created a snapshot of the steps to success for every study stage. You can download the guide relevant to you to remind you of key events and milestone dates.

Our Careers website is a great place to start planning your career. Whether you have no plan, a vague plan or a firm career plan in mind, we’ll help you set and achieve short and long-term goals.

Don’t forget, the Careers service are here to support you, so if you have a question feel free to get in touch!

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Career planning Leadership

7 Ways to Get Involved with Careers at Queen’s

Peter Moor, BA English graduate lists seven ways to get involved with the Careers Service at Queen’s.

Trips

This has to be the best bit about the careers service – the different trips on offer!  I went on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York and Washington D.C as part of the Global Leadership Programme. For just £250, we went away for a week to learn leadership skills and all about the future of work. Each year, around 30 students go on the trip to a different exotic destination so this year it’s Toronto. There are also different trips to the likes of Germany, Brussels and London – all of which give you invaluable experience of what it’s like to work in different places across the world.

CV clinics

To get any form of work placement or graduate job, you’re going to need a mighty fine CV. The careers service offers regular CV clinics to make sure your CV is the very best it can be. These are free and have been so useful for me gaining different work placements. They’ll even have a nosey at your LinkedIn profile, making sure it is up to scratch.

Interview Practice

When you’re going for that graduate job, the likelihood is you’ll be put through your paces with a range of interviews. A good way to gain confidence in this area is to meet with one of the careers consultants to give you some hints and tips! Also, the Student Guidance Centre, where the careers services are based, have a room available if you ever need to do a video interview by webcam.

Careers Fairs

If you have no idea what area you want to go into then the Careers Fairs are perfect. Every few months, you’ll find a fair with representatives from all the big graduate employers. It’s a great opportunity to network with the people that you could one day be employing you! They’re also really good for finding work placement opportunities. A lot of degrees now include a paid year out in industry so these fairs are the best way to find the company you want to spend a year working with.

Social Media

One way to get involved Queen’s Careers service is to follow them on their social media on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. You’ll find tonnes of useful advice and reminders for any events coming up. As a student, you’ll also have access to their online portal MyFuture to book onto any careers related event.

On-Campus Jobs

On the MyFuture portal, you can find lots of different part time jobs on offer at Queen’s. These range from being a campus tour guide and student ambassador (my job!) to helping with catering on campus. All of these roles are really flexible so if you have exams or assignments due, then you don’t have to do any work if you don’t want to. It’s also a good source of income to top up that student loan.

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Leadership

5 Ways Queen’s Careers team can change your life

Shing Him Mak, LLB Law, on how he’s used the Queen’s Careers service.

1.They’ll make sure your CV and Linked in profile are on point

Have you ever struggled to write a CV? Do you know what to put and what not to put in your CV? Do you know what HR managers are looking for in a CV?

Queen’s has a number of experienced career consultants who are always willing to check your CV. At most career fairs, you’ll find them at the booth near the entrance to provide a quick CV check service for you. You can also book a CV check slot online through Queen’s Career website any time.

2.They can help you formulate a career plan

Throughout your time at Queens, you may have different thoughts about your future career. Whether you’re applying for an internship, or you want to start up a business, the careers team are here to help. In my experience, Queen’s career consultants are very experienced and professional, and they can answer any career query you might have.

If you are struggling with career options, or any career related matters, book a consultation slot online through the careers website.

3.They have a direct line to major firms 

The employability team organise massive career fairs where almost all of the big firms are represented. Some firms even conduct their interviews on campus. If you want to know more how to get into your dream firm, or want to know more about the firms that can help when it comes to making key career decisions, then I would suggest you go to the fairs and talk to the firms. It is also a great chance to network, which you may find useful when it comes to the dreaded job applications.

4.They can hook you up with key employers

Many employers will have outreach programme where they will visit Queen’s campus and organise workshops for students. The most common workshops I have seen are CV workshops, communication skills workshops and employability skills workshop. If you have spare time, then you should definitely go to one these sessions.

5.They can take you on a life-changing journey

I’d say this may be the best part of Queen’s career service. I took part in the Global Leadership Programme, in which I got an opportunity to travel to the USA for a seven-day leadership training course at a discount price. They run a lot of programmes throughout the year, such as the London Law / Finance Tour, City Scholarship Programme and Brussel Study Tour among others.

It is never too early to plan for your future. And remember, with Queen’s Careers, Employability and Skills team, you are never alone in shaping a better future for yourself.

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Career planning

How to use the careers development services at Queen’s

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.

Meeting Employers

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.

For those of you on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, CES has their own account which they use to advertise and promote various opportunities throughout the year as they arise.

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.