I am currently in the final year of my Geology degree and I when I received an email from the Careers Coaching Programme circulated by Durham University’s Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre last year I knew it would be of great benefit to me.
From my experience, the Careers Coaching Programme is an excellent platform to develop the key transferable skills required to enhance an individual’s employability in an increasingly competitive job market. In particular, this programme is aimed at penultimate year students who are yet to discover their skills and capabilities as well as the opportunities available to them in the future.
As part of the programme, I attended a series of workshops aimed at improving our employability by increasing our awareness in two key areas; self-awareness and commercial awareness. The workshops included self-assessment exercises which allowed us to discover our strengths and weaknesses as well as recognise the skills frequently required by employers. The workshops also covered the basics of effective CV/Cover Letter writing as well as interview and assessment centre skills. Above all, each participant was assigned a Career Coach which provided an opportunity for participants to discuss their questions on a one-to-one basis and receive tailored responses.
Another exciting highlight of this programme was the opportunity to visit one of the P&G offices. P&G was one of the top 30 Graduate Employers in 2015, according to The Times and Sunday Times. The visit to their office provided a detailed insight into their recruitment process and an opportunity to participate in a group exercise and presentation. Feedback was also given to us by members of P&G staff at the end of our presentations. Through this visit, I was able to gain first-hand experience into the recruitment process conducted at a major corporate company which almost certainly boosted my self-confidence.
Through the awareness gained as a participant in the Careers Coaching Programme, I have proceed to apply the knowledge learned into my job applications this year. I was able to secure an internship position and am currently looking forward to more favourable opportunities in the future.
Without the help from the Careers Coaching Programme, I would not have developed such an awareness of my skills and abilities which played a very important role when it comes to making a job application that stands out from the rest of the crowd and I would strongly recommend the Careers Coaching Programme to anyone wanting to increase their career opportunities.
Written by Adrian Saw, Geology student.