Categories
Inspiration Leadership New Year Semester 2

NEW YEAR MESSAGE FROM TREVOR JOHNSTON, HEAD OF CAREERS, EMPLOYABILITY AND SKILLS

“I’d like to wish all our staff and students a very happy and healthy New Year. Providing award-winning careers support and advice to over 24,000 students has presented extra challenges in 2020. From very early on, staff in the Careers Service recognised the importance of continuing to support our students and graduates with all aspects of career planning and decision making. That meant embracing digital platforms and moving all our activity online.

The response from our staff and students was to adapt quickly and immediately engage with our new mode of delivery. I’m pleased to say we have discovered some unexpected benefits that we hope will have a lasting effect from this point forward. We have found that we have been able to reach a wider audience and deliver support asynchronously, with students able to re-watch skills sessions and employer presentations in their own time. As a result of this flexibility, our digital uptake has increased.

Behind the scenes, staff have worked extremely hard to source software and a range of digital platforms that have enabled us to diversify our delivery, offer relevant content and engagement opportunities online, and ultimately transform the student experience.

I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together. There are, of course, many elements of this past year that we will want to leave behind, but it has also sharpened our focus on how we deliver our service.

As we prepare to launch a new semester, we are encouraged by the enormous scope of possibilities and we are focussed on offering a more flexible and accessible Careers Service in the future.”

Happy New Year from all the staff in Careers, Employability and Skills!

Categories
Alumni Events Networking

GradFest2020: Valuable lessons from previous graduates

Our alumni session at GradFest2020 gathered together four successful graduates who told Rachael Corridan about the career lessons they’ve learned since leaving Queen’s. Here is what they had to say.

“Every rejection is a learning experience”

Niall McLaughlin, kdb+ developer, AquaQ Analytics

“I studied Chemistry at Queen’s and obtained valuable skills such as analytical skills, great communication skills, problem solving and adapting to new challenges. After graduation, I spent some time working as a chef, this was extremely beneficial as it’s placed me in a high pressure environment where time, teamwork, efficiency and multitasking were all critical to the day to day tasks. These experiences have helped me grow as a person and I now feel fully equipped to handle anything life throws at me. 

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself; you will get there. I had a non-traditional route to a grad job, which taught me a lot of transferable skills. Take every rejection as a learning experience and learn to be the best version of yourself.”

“Develop your soft skills until you find the right job”

Jack McCloskey, Seagate

“I graduated Mechanical Engineering in 2019. On the back of my placement, I did an employer project with Seagate. After graduation, I developed soft skills through part-time jobs, volunteering, interview skills and travelling until a graduate job eventually came up. There are good and bad points about working in your placement company. You are familiar with the working environment, but you are straight in the deep in working with senior management.”

“Working as part of a team is so important”

Zachery Jordan, First Deriviatives

 “Make the most of the transferable skills you have gained from part-time jobs; it’s so important to work as part of a team and be coherent in the ideas you are putting across.” 

“Explore your options; squeeze every opportunity”

Michael Kelly, IBM London

 “There will never be a graduating class like this one, but the world will not pass you by. Explore your opportunities. I missed the big four application deadlines as I was studying abroad, so I got a job in recruitment with a high basic salary, but it wasn’t the career for me. It served as a launchpad to where I am now. Squeeze as much out of any opportunity.” 

“You don’t just graduate and get picked up by an employer, you have to be proactive; I opened myself to more graduate opportunities by looking in London. Take time to explore your options and find something you love. Throw yourself into everything you are asked to do in the workplace, even if a project doesn’t feel exciting, look at what you can learn from it.”

Skills our grads advised you to develop:

  • Discipline and proactivity
  • Good self-learning habits
  • Good routine
  • Make us of DegreePlus

Want to hear more from our inspiring alumni? Join our Virtual Networking Evening with Guest Alumni Speakers

 When: June 22 at 6pm

Join here: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/54/y1010b7g