What are these Careers Events all about? I hear you ask.

Several components go into producing a worthwhile careers event; a comfortable venue, working audio visual, interesting and inspiring speakers, attentive and engaged students, a good host, an aware facilitator, a roving microphone and something to fuel the networking opportunity at the end.

Over the past few weeks, I have a sat with engaged students who have registered for a series of events organised by careers services. With pen to paper (an iPad or tablet as some preferred) and an attentive ear, students clearly knew the aim of the game and came to gather information to fuel their ambitions with the advice and words of wisdom from speakers who are successful in their occupations and prepared to offer up advice and their valuable time.

The presence of City alumni at these events is invaluable as I saw in the Careers with a Music degree session. Inspirational advice from Celeste Cronje-Doyle (City alumna and Principal of ForeSound School of Music and Performing Arts) and Jon Leong (City alumnus and Engineer at British Broadcasting Corporation) captivated the student audience at no end. The circulation of the mic was a clear indication of this, with many students armed with questions to get answers to help them with their first steps to determining their career paths in the industry.

Modest and with his feet to the ground, Michael Thackray (Independent Occupational Psychologist) speaking at Careers with a Psychology degree, certainly gave good wholesome words of advice to students about the importance of maintaining a good work life balance, and not pitching your downfalls and success against others, as everyone seeks fulfilment from different things.

Students raised their heads when Gloria Yirimambo (Compliance Officer at Willis Group) advised students at the Commercial Awareness in Law event that they should be on the ground and not in their ivory tower to gain and maintain good commercial awareness.

With a beverage in hand and some good finger food, students networked with the speakers quite comfortably. Conversations, debates and discussions could be heard, and in some instances, business cards are exchanged and some handed to those students who have made an impression and have made every effort to stay on till the end and develop their own commerciality.

These events are clearly designed to give ambitious students food for thought, so let’s spread the word ‘Careers’ and get more students feeding off the industry experts.


A snapshot of the Snapshot: Your Insight into Industry Scheme

I read somewhere that a poster must convey its message with immediacy and purpose, because people on the street are often in a hurry. The “in a hurry” part is certainly true about City students! That`s why we were delighted to receive an astonishing number of 241 applications for the Scheme (testimony to the good old promotional posters and flyers that have taken over the main campus in the past few weeks)!

But for those of you who have not visited Northampton Square in a while, or perhaps, have forgotten the password to your University email account and did not see the emails about it (no judgement there, I know what it is like), here is some information about what the Snapshot: Your Insight into Industry Scheme is all about!

Although a predecessor of the Work Shadowing Scheme ran last year, Snapshot was designed as a more flexible programme that will allow students to get in touch with employers, and learn more about their industry of choice. Pretty cool, right? And that`s not all! With a range of opportunities such as meetings at the employer`s office, meetings with the employer at City, and even work shadowing of a industry professional, students will get a real feel of what “life as a…” is really like.

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The minute you walked through the door…

Part 3 of my 4 part series on the myths around getting recruited concerns first impressions. The whispered warning that “They’ll have made their mind up about you within the first few seconds of meeting you”.

I’m not denying an impression will be made but here’s the challenge I would set to you. If, for whatever reason, you feel you’ve made a less than strong first impression than you would have liked then take the opportunity over the rest of the time you spend with them to redress that. That doesn’t mean being over the top. It’s about representing yourself consistently well. Employers assess you over the entire period of their interactions with you. Not just those first few seconds.

Still want to be more confident around those first impressions? Check out Continue Reading


How not to fail employers’ tests

Hands up anyone who hasn’t done well in a test recently.  If you just put your hand up, you can put it down now – thank you – and console  yourself that you are not alone.  Feedback from our employer contacts tells us that City University students don’t always reach the required levels in tests used in selection. For example, 0f 252 City University applicants to a major graduate recruiter last year, 107 were rejected after the test stage.

Maybe those students will never be able to reach required levels.  If so, simple solutions include looking for jobs with employers who don’t use tests or who don’t set such high levels of attainment.

However, if you haven’t performed well in a selection test, just consider for a moment whether you prepared well enough beforehand.  Did you try out a few practice tests online before you did the real thing?  Assessment Day has a range of different practice tests, many of them free, with answers provided too.   Did you think about the kind of questions you might be asked and go back over some of  your  old skills?  For example, many numerical reasoning tests include percentages, ratios, fractions and currency conversions.  If these are a distant memory get your old school books out, start chewing on the end of your pencil and try a few calculations.   Or try sources like the Open University’s Skills for Study.

Don’t forget we often run practice test sessions – look on the events listing on our website.   Continue Reading


Brilliant way to describe your strengths and skills in writing and at interview

How many times have you found yourself struggling to express your strengths and skills  to win yourself an interview or job? Working as a Careers Consultant at City, students tell me everyday that this is something they find both difficult and time-consuming. One way to take some of the hard work out of this is to take the Ernst & Young Strengths Test. It take only a few minutes and you get an A4 printout which summarises your own blend of strengths and skills eloquently and accurately. Try it!