“What do I say after I say hello…?”

Whilst it is understood that the content herein will be obvious to tutors already experienced in offering support to students, it is felt that it will be of use to those new to tutoring. The content below does not relate to curricula choice, but as Personal Tutors with a pastoral role. You are encouraged to take a note of attendance at meetings and, although not obligatory, you may wish to make a record of your meetings. You can use this  pro forma (or in Word format).

Level 4 September

Level 4: September Initial welcome, Graduate Attributes and Employability

(to be scheduled in Induction Week centrally by InfoHub Coordinators, or soon thereafter by individual PTs)

      • What the Personal Tutor System (PTS) is, and what it is not.
      • Direct them to Registry Officers or InfoHub staff with general course queries - queries relating to specific courses should be directed to the relevant Course Co-ordinator or Degree Programme Co-ordinator.
      • Reflect on the previous year.
      • This will be the final year for most students - how are they going to make the most of it?
      • Discuss deadlines they might need to know about in different aspects of this year. Deadlines for Carnegie Trust PhD and Nuffield Summer bursaries etc.  NB. Application for PG students in Aberdeen is later than in other institutions, so don’t be caught out.
      • Feedback logs on MyAberdeen – encourage them to complete feedback and share with PTs at later meetings if relevant.
      • At this group meeting, talk generally about problems that they may be facing and encourage them to make individual appointments with you if they feel it is necessary.
      • At individual appointments you can discuss particular circumstances – resits, learning strategies, signpost services etc.  Explore ways in which they might tackle their problems – ask the student to reflect on their experience/failure/disappointment and then it should become more obvious where they can be referred to for additional support
      • Orientation – perhaps set tasks to link to meeting topics outlined for October and February. Give them links to online resources for these topics. This will generate student-led input into the subsequent meetings.
      • Highlight how to contact you – what your office hours are, how to contact you, and what the response time will be – recommended 3 day turn around on email contact (see FAQs).

Graduate Attributes

Suggested questions to explore:

      • How do the challenges of final year dissertations/projects draw on your development of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes?
      • How do the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes relate to the qualities and competencies sought by employers or postgraduate course (academic or professional) recruitment teams?
      • What sort of evidence/examples will you be able to give to support your employment/course applications?

Employability

Download this resource for Level 4 September

Suggested Meeting Agenda

  • Remind students about the opportunity to discuss their options and job-hunting strategy, or lack of them, with a careers adviser.
  • Encourage students to search and apply for vacancies in the autumn, whether this is for work or further study.
  • Remind students that they can meet employers to find out more about what they offer at careers fairs and employer presentations.
  • Ensure students are aware that they can receive feedback and advice on their applications before they submit – the Careers Service has a 15 minute quick query service  (bookable online) from 10.30-4:30pm every weekday with an extended service until 7.30pm on Tuesday in term-time.
  • Ensure students know that they will receive Enhanced Transcript as a supplement to their degree certificate, and encourage them to find out what their transcript will include, and if they are involved with any approved co-curricular activities that could be recorded on it. The Enhanced Transcript has impact on students’ employability as it functions as evidence to recruiters and helps students to identify their skills.

Suggested questions to use at your meeting:

  • What are your ideas about what you would like to do after you graduate? (Online career planning toolsare available on the Careers Service website.)
  • Have you signed up to receive email vacancy alerts from the Careers Service? (http://abdn.prospects.ac.uk/)
  • Which careers fairs or employer presentations are you planning to attend on-campus?
  • How do you plan to make use of the resources and support available to enable you to create an up-to-date and targeted CV, write effective applications and prepare for interviews?

Appendix A: Careers Service Provision  

  • One-to-One Careers Guidance: 
    including 15 minute discussions with the Duty Adviser (bookable online from the day before) and 30 minute careers guidance appointments. During term-time there are extended opening hours on Tuesdays with appointments available until 7.30pm. In addition, on Thursday mornings during term-time there are 30 minute appointments available at Foresterhill. Students should visit the About Us section of the Careers Service website for full details.
  • Vacancies: 
    The Careers Service participates in a shared vacancy service with most other HE institutions in Scotland. This service ensures students have access to a wide range of vacancies (internships, placements and graduate positions). In the first instance students need to visit the jobs & events service and follow the short registration process. Registration will allow students to receive regular email alerts of opportunities relevant to them. The Service advertises approximately 5,000 vacancies each academic year. Additional information and advice on finding graduate employmentis also available.
  • Employer Presentations: 
    A wide range of organisations visit campus throughout the academic year. Students can sign-up for these events through the jobs & events service.
  • Self-employment Advice:
    A range of support is available to students who are interested in starting their own business, in conjunction with organisations such as the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and Business Gateway.
  • Further Study and Funding Advice:
    Support and informationfor making applications to taught and research postgraduate courses and other further study options.
  • Recruitment/Employer Fairs: 
    These are held annually and include the Law Fair, the Engineering and Technology Fair and the North of Scotland Graduate Recruitment Fair.
  • Making Effective Applications:
    Support regarding CV writing, covering letters, preparing for interviews, free online psychometric tests and assessment centres.
  • Virtual Careers Adviser Service: 
    This service offers online CV and application form checks, career planning advice and online career discussions.
  • Information: 
    The Careers Service has a well-stocked library within its open plan area on the 2nd Floor of the Students' Union Building. Students can find information on occupations, further study, work experience and making effective job applications. This is complemented by comprehensive online resources, including researching career options and ideas, statistics on graduate first destinations and current labour market trends.

The simplest way for your tutees to keep up-to-date with Careers Service events, news, competitions and much more is via the MyAberdeen careers tab.

MyAberdeen employability screenshot

Level 4 January

Level 4 - January Meeting - Exam Reflection and Employability

Aberdeen Graduate Attributes in practice - suggested questions to explore:

  • How do the challenges of final year dissertations/projects draw on your development of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes?
  • How do the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes relate to the qualities and competencies sought by employers or postgraduate course (academic or professional) recruitment teams?
  • What sort of evidence/examples will you be able to give to support your employment/course applications?

Employability

Please download this resource for Level 4 January

  • Remind students that a range of employers continue to visit the University in the second-half session, depending on their circumstances encourage your tutees to attend these employer events.
  • Ensure students are aware that they are welcome to continue using the Careers Service after they finish their studies at Aberdeen. 
  • Let students know about completing the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey and that they will be contacted six months after their graduation.
  • Discuss reference requests as the majority of students applying for work or further study will need to include at least one academic reference. Encourage students to gain permission from their academic referee before supplying their contact details on applications.

Suggested questions to use at your meeting:

  • At our September meeting, we discussed your plans for after graduation, how are your plans progressing?
  • How have you sought advice on making employment or further study applications from the Careers Service?
  • How will you use the Careers Service to help you prepare for interviews or assessment centres?
  • Have you thought about who will provide an academic reference as this is a usual requirement for graduate applications and postgraduate study?

Appendix A: Careers Service Provision 

  • One-to-One Careers Guidance: 
    including 15 minute discussions with the Duty Adviser (bookable online from the day before) and 30 minute careers guidance appointments. During term-time there are extended opening hours on Tuesdays with appointments available until 7.30pm. In addition, on Thursday mornings during term-time there are 30 minute appointments available at Foresterhill. Students should visit the About Us section of the Careers Service website for full details.
  • Vacancies:
     
    The Careers Service participates in a shared vacancy service with most other HE institutions in Scotland. This service ensures students have access to a wide range of vacancies (internships, placements and graduate positions). In the first instance students need to visit the jobs & events service and follow the short registration process. Registration will allow students to receive regular email alerts of opportunities relevant to them. The Service advertises approximately 5,000 vacancies each academic year. Additional information and advice on finding graduate employmentis also available.
  • Employer Presentations:
     A wide range of organisations visit campus throughout the academic year. Students can sign-up for these events through the jobs & events service.
  • Self-employment Advice:
    A range of support is available to students who are interested in starting their own business, in conjunction with organisations such as the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and Business Gateway.
  • Further Study and Funding Advice:
    Support and informationfor making applications to taught and research postgraduate courses and other further study options.
  • Recruitment/Employer Fairs: 
    These are held annually and include the Law Fair, the Engineering and Technology Fair and the North of Scotland Graduate Recruitment Fair.
  • Making Effective Applications:
    Support regarding CV writing, covering letters, preparing for interviews, free online psychometric tests and assessment centres.
  • Virtual Careers Adviser Service: 
    This service offers online CV and application form checks, career planning advice and online career discussions.
  • Information:
     The Careers Service has a well-stocked library within its open plan area on the 2nd Floor of the Students' Union Building. Students can find information on occupations, further study, work experience and making effective job applications. This is complemented by comprehensive online resources, including researching career options and ideas, statistics on graduate first destinations and current labour market trends.

The simplest way for your tutees to keep up-to-date with Careers Service events, news, competitions and much more is via the MyAberdeen careers tab.

MyAberdeen employability screenshot


Resources for exam reflection for all students

ALL STUDENTS

Suggested questions for group reflection on exam preparation:

  • How did you go about preparing for your exams? When did you start? Was this early enough, do you think?
  • Did you sit with your lecture notes and read and re-read them over and over again?  This ‘passive’ learning activity is generally shown to be unproductive.
  • Did you do any active learning, reconstructing the material into a different form when revising? This is generally shown to promote greater understanding and deeper learning.
  • Did you test yourself: use online tests/quizzes, brainstorm with friends, use quizzes in textbooks etc.?  These, too, are active learning activities.
  • Did you access past exam papers (through the Library database) and practise timed answers?  The Library has an online guide for students on accessing past exam papers: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/documents/guides/dbs/qgdbs007.pdf

Suggested questions for group reflection on the exams:

  • How was your time management?
  • Do you think you allowed yourself time to read through the instructions and the questions on the paper thoroughly?
  • Did you struggle in the exam to show what you know while still answering the question?
  • Did you move beyond just reciting your notes?
  • Were there parts of the exams that you found easy?  Which bits were difficult? Why was this?
  • How can you improve in the areas you found tricky? (e.g.: Did you find essays more difficult than Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)?)

HONOURS STUDENTS

  • Did you think you show understanding and thought as well as knowledge?
  • Do you think you showed what your ideas were building on?
  • Did you acknowledge the critical work of others?

ALL STUDENTS

Some questions to consider on receiving the exam results:

  • Are your results as you expected?
  • Are your results as good as you had hoped for?
  • Do you think your results are a fair reflection of the effort you put in?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • How do you think you could improve?

What can I do to improve?