Session three: notes and updates

Student Focus Group session three:
Careers Advisers

Notes and recommendations

  • Session 3 Monday 5 December 2016 (16 students)

Tabled questions and topics

  • Careers Adviser appointments (function and accessibility)
  • Raising awareness of what Careers Advisers do
  • Raising student engagement in careers and employability activities

Careers Adviser appointments (function and accessibility)

Main topics of interest or concern:

  • knowing what to expect from an appointment 
  • booking an appointment
  • different types of appointment to meet need.

Suggestions for improvement:

  • Booking at 8.30 is too early to phone for many students. An idea for improvement is to make the bookings online and then select a time and date you are available. This will mean that you receive a reminder for the booking. Advance booking.
  • A group session with friends or course mates will help make 1-2-1s more approachable.
  • We could consider an SMS booking system where a time/date is sent to the system and then they are told if that appointment is available. 
  • Careers Adviser Health Check, 30 mins, to check you are on the right track for what you want to do and whether you need to do any more to enhance your career path.
  • It would be best to be able to book an appointment with the same Careers Adviser each time.

 

Suggestions for improvement (continued):

  • Suggest a chat window ‘Ask a question’ and be able to book an appointment there and then this will give them access to a Careers Adviser more readily and encourage them to come in. Understand that the quality of advice will not be the same over a chat but this will encourage us to make an appointment. Emails can be cold and so a live chat will make it easier to access. 

Would like to see:

  • more Careeers Adviser human resource
  • good idea to have an FAQ on Careers Adviser appointments available on the website and emailed to student after they have booked
  • picture profiles of Careers Advisers really important so they know who they will be seeing and to break down barriers. 

Additional comments:

  • One student had not had an appointment 1-2-1 because they were not sure how to book a careers advice appointment and had not found out how to do this readily available online. 

Raising awareness of what Careers Advisers do

Main topics of interest or concern:

  • Careers Adviser links to faculty
  • Careers Adviser links to student societies
  • Careers Adviser links to curriculum (academic engagement).

Suggestions for improvement:

  • Recording Careers Adviser sessions (lectures) would be a positive idea to share what they do and for people from different programmes to access various career events. 
  • Positive idea for Careers Advisers to support academic clubs and societies with their careers events. 
  • Positive for courses to have a consistent presence in lectures throughout the degree programme lectures to keep up momentum. 
  • Through curriculum/academic engagement we can encourage students to attend curriculum based sessions by making them credit bearing
  • To encourage sharing and raise awareness of the content and value of a curriculum session, a YouTube channel for the Careers & Employability Service on which Careers Adviser taught sessions are hosted as well as hints and tips on employability would raise awareness of what a session entails and broaden the access to those students for whom our service is not embedded. 
  • As placements are applicable to many students, the Careers Advisers could work more closely with placement students, particularly when on placement through webinar/Skype/webchat.


Suggestions for improvement (continued):

  • Careers Advisers could add value to programmes and engagement by organising industrial visits for students to speak with employers and work environments. 
  • Careers Advisers could add value to programmes and engagement by focusing on links to businesses outside the South West, which students may have more difficulty accessing. 

Would like to see:

  • The group suggested they would like two compulsory seminars on careers per year to encourage engagement and heighten academic/curriculum engagement. 
  • A meet your Careers Adviser ‘Picture Profile’. 

Additional comments:

  • What we do well: printed resources are well thought of and useful. Particular positive comment was made regarding the ‘Your Journey’ map. Accelerate brochure is useful but design was not well received: font too small, diary too small and colour washed-out. 
  • The group like Careers Advisers based in faculty and perceive this means that there is more specific knowledge they can access about their particular career area. 
  • The group commented on the fact they like to have someone in their programmes who is friendly and introduces themselves, which helps them talk positively about the service. 

Raising student engagement in careers and employability activities

Main topics of interest or concern:

  • diversity of Careers Adviser activity
  • visibility on campus and online
  • service interaction with course reps.

Suggestions for improvement:

  • Careers Advisers should be made clearer to students on all programmes as the contact person between the service and the degree programme. This can be done through induction, slides, contact with student reps and academics, as well as induction on campus and marketing materials. Students aware this already happens on many courses, but not all and this should be uniform. 
  • Add the careers and employability section to all course DLE pages (more visibility).
  • Making use of the Careers & Employability Hub: more full with furniture and have a 1 - 2 hour Careers Advisers drop-in, more informal and making use of the area. A ‘Careers Coffee’ hour or open drop-in to chat about careers in the Hub would be positive. Students commented that many may see coming to the Hub as a way to ‘solve a problem’ rather than to enhance knowledge (so to come to get help, means you need ‘help’ more than just making sure you are on the right track). An informal drop-in or coffee session would make it friendly (like the writing café). 

 

Suggestions for improvement (continued):  

  • More Careers Adviser interaction that is specific to a course, for example portfolio checks (or arranging for a professional to do this) for subjects where a creative profile is more important than CV. Or a workshop to understand how to better prepare for creative industry roles. Arts and Humanities Week – would also like it in lectures/seminars more.
  • Suggest an increase of participation in the service if we were ambitious in promoting the financial benefit of engaging with the Careers & Employability Service. For example, advertising for financial benefit (getting a job earlier means you will earn earlier) and how students can increase their earning potential through upskilling, volunteering and placements (to speed-up employment after graduation) and tips on negotiating pay etc.
  • A key suggestion is to increase interaction with the course reps – students listen to others students and so involvement with society meetings or events, can substantially help the sharing of services and events through the student body. 

Would like to see:

  • More physical visibility on campus, for example through a stand in the SU, a stand outside the library and more posters/TV screens with all the careers advisers advertised. 

Additional comments:

  • None.