Julia tells us about her role as Graduate Trainee at the Careers and Employability Service and what has changed for her since the start of the pandemic.

Tell us about your role at the University.

In my role I support students as they move from university to the world of work or look to enhance their employability during their studies. My job involves conducting CV/application checks with students, leading workshops and assisting my colleagues with the running of co-curricular programmes, most notably the BP Student Tutoring Scheme and the Careers Service Ambassador programme.  I also contribute to marketing strategies and lead on promoting the service though our social media channels, working hard to encourage engagement with students from all levels of study. 

How do you usually start your day?

Whilst working from home I have missed my usual walk to work so instead I start each day with a 3 mile walk up the beachfront and back. During this time I like to listen to podcasts and prepare myself for the day ahead. Once home I have breakfast and read  a few pages of my book or The Week magazine before heading to the spare room/work from home office. 

What brought you to the University of Aberdeen?

I studied my undergraduate degree here and graduated in 2019. As a student I participated in the BP Student Tutoring Scheme and gave a presentation on my experience. A member of the Careers team heard me speak and approached me afterwards to tell me about the job and encouraged me to apply. I was thrilled to be offered the job and the chance to stay on at the University, accepting the offer before my graduation and moving from student to staff member in the space of a couple of months! 

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

The fact that I am always learning. Every day I learn something new, be that from speaking to students, taking time on my own to work on our social media strategy or chatting to my colleagues in our team meetings. I have also had the opportunity to connect with employers and colleagues working in other parts of the university, which brings a great variety to my day and new perspectives from which to view careers guidance. 

What are your work priorities at the moment?

We are currently running our Aberdeen Employability Boost Award so there is a lot of marketing going on around the events, workshops and learning resources that are available to students and graduates. With everything being online our marketing is more important than ever to spread the word about our services and what we can do to support students.  

I am also currently studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education at the University of Warwick. The course is delivered in collaboration with the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services and I am very much enjoying learning more about the role of the Careers Adviser in a university setting.

How do you like to relax outside work?

Before the pandemic I enjoyed playing netball and squash during the week as a great way to keep active and socialise with different people around Aberdeen. I hope to be able to do that again soon but in the meantime I have taken up cycling as a COVID friendly alternative. Having had a bit more time this year I’ve been reading more than ever, and I’ve made the effort to broaden my horizons in choosing books I might previously have overlooked.