Chelsea Mendes – Careers and Employability Service
For every student, there comes a time when we start to think of our lives post-studies. Our futures in a world not shielded by books, lecturers and the comfort of an elaborated schedule – that is filled with systematic deadlines, but that nonetheless provides us with a certainty of what’s to come.
This period can be overwhelming, especially if one has high hopes for the prospective future. This is a situation I found myself in, and I say this so that you, my fellow colleague, can grasp my relief in discovering the University’s Employability Skills and Opportunities support. I anticipate that by sharing some information about these platforms I can make the process less daunting, and perhaps more exciting for you – because ultimately it should be exciting, as it could lead to the opening of a much-anticipated door.
The University of Aberdeen has a well-established Careers and Employability Service which can easily be accessed via their main website (www.abdn.ac.uk/careers) . Here, qualified Careers Advisers provide assistance through a range of appointments – such as, but not limited to, CV and application checks, cover letter and personal statement support, practice interviews, careers advice and assessment centre preparation. Some of these can be conducted online or by telephone. Additionally, they also present career events, jobs and work experience opportunities, placements and pathways.
The events range from ‘How to access your dream career’ to ‘Leadership Academy Workshops’, so whether you are someone who prefers a step-by-step procedure or someone who learns better through undertaking activities, there is something for everyone. The advertised vacancies can be filtered by Location, Salary, Opportunity Type and Occupational Areas, which will of course vary depending on what you are looking for. However, it is important to note that where these opportunities are provided, they are not guaranteed. It is entirely up to the candidate to apply and present the qualities the employers are looking for. It is also possible to save and refer back to the opportunities that are of interest you and get notified of any new positions, facilitating the application procedure.
Lastly, the University also equips us with a co-curriculum programme which that aids in the acquisition of skills either through events or mentoring programs. This past month the Service ran a virtual ‘Employability Boost Award’, with the classification of levels bronze to gold, which you could acquire by taking part in the tasks provided. It consisted of activities to boost our employability and enhance our CV, namely Mini Career Courses & Self Awareness Resources, Virtual Workshops and Video Interviews. This particular pathway has now come to an end but will be available once again later in the year. In the meantime, there are many other activities available at present on the website.
I can personally attest to having used the sources afore mentioned, and reaping benefits from them. I am beyond grateful for the access to such a programme, because it has in many ways lightened the burden of taking that “next step”. I hope that you will not hesitate to make use of this gem we have been gifted with, or to reach out to myself or a member of staff in the Careers Service or Law School if you have any questions.
Yvonne Gutsohn – Career Mentoring Programme
I am currently at the beginning of a 6-month Career Mentoring Programme offered by the University of Aberdeen Careers and Employability Service. The idea of the Career Mentoring Programme is to be matched with a suitable professional (mentor). Ideally, you get matched with a mentor in the field of your programme or future career expectations, who can share his/her experience with you. His/her advice can support your personal development and your future career.
During the application process, you have to set your personal goals and express your expectations regarding the mentor’s experience. I applied to this programme because I am at a point where I need to decide how to continue my future career. I hoped to get matched with a mentor who has experience from various perspectives in the fields of international commercial law and corporate law to advise me on how to plan the next steps of my career.
Recently I had the first meeting with my mentor. Luckily, my mentor seems to be a perfect match. Already I feel that he inspired me. He gave me insightful advice, presented to me his work experience, and described his profession in detail. I look forward to asking him further questions to find the best, most suitable career perspective. The contact is limited to online meetings (in our case Zoom, email, and phone) due to the pandemic. It is the mentee’s responsibility to organise and prepare the meetings (schedule, agenda). The preparation process is a great opportunity to reflect on your personal goals.
Please note that this programme focuses on mentoring and does not guarantee any employment.
If you are interested in participating next semester, you can find all the details here: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/careers/skills-attributes/career-mentoring.php