Re-inventing University career advice
An innovative new approach to careers advice, with an emphasis on student research, is being developed by graduate Teresa Orange (Biology and Psychology, 1980). The approach was developed in collaboration with the Business School and aims to help students find their dream job within an increasingly competitive job market.
Working with Elaine Dunn, the Business School’s Head of Careers & Alumni Relations, Teresa led an experimental careers project in 2013/14 involving Business School students.
“I trained a team of 12 students on how to conduct a research project that explored careers in marketing,” she said. “We selected an interesting mix of alumni and other market research professionals for the team to go out and interview.”
In addition to training, the students were given equipment and financial support to enable their workplace visits to be a success. They recorded each interview on video and edited these once back on campus, before presenting their videos to other students in a World Café style event.
Teresa has since completed a masters dissertation based on this experimental project. She concluded that research-based careers advice was an effective way to engage and inspire first and second year undergraduates, enabling them to see a real life view of what selected jobs entail.
“It was very rewarding for me to see how much the students enjoyed presenting their findings to their peers at the final presentation – and it was so impressive to sense the depth of knowledge that they had developed as a result of the project.”
On the back of her research, Teresa has launched a new workshop programme titled ‘The Careers Gallery’. Through the programme she works with groups of students to research specific career areas and create online collections of career portraits for others to view.
Her top tip for those trying to get into the job market is: “Think of yourself as a brand. That means developing a professional identity that you project in all that you do.”
Date: 20 October 2014