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Employability Week – a week not to miss

By Agne Mazuraite

Employability Week took place at Newcastle University Business School from Monday 29 October to Friday 02 November, offering various events for students at every stage of their university career. Throughout the week, students had the opportunity to meet alumni; ask questions about their careers, placements, internships and graduate schemes; network; take part in workshops
to improve their CVs and LinkedIn profiles; or be part of the ‘Future of Work’ Challenge.

Students were also given the opportunity to meet and get advice from graduates who now hold positions at companies such as Nike, Amazon, and Virgin Money. Advice was given on finding a job, placement, or graduate scheme, and about what employers look for in prospective candidates. This advice started with advising that students should do exclusive and specific RESEARCH about the job and company they’re applying for, including their values and mission.

SOFT/TRANSFERABLE SKILLS such as communication and teamwork are very important and can be gained and improved by getting involved in as many opportunities as possible. So, GET INVOLVED: volunteer, get a part time or summer job, attend workshops, and as many events as you can. It is not only useful in developing these skills but it’s also a good networking opportunity. Make the most of NETWORKING opportunities, talk to people, make yourself visible, differentiate yourself from others.

One piece of advice that was given by all alumni was to USE THE CAREERS SERVICE. They will help you to perfect your CV, write your personal statement, create professional looking
LinkedIn profiles, give tips on how to succeed in a job interview or even start your own business with the help of Start Up. Specifically with regards to job interviews, having the
RIGHT ATTITUDE is absolutely key, and in many ways more important than technical skills, as the company is going to train you anyway. The most important advice given at Employability Week was IF YOU FAIL, GET UP AND TRY AGAIN. Do not give up after failing, because it is just a stepping stone and a lesson.

The Future of Work Challenge was the final, all-day event of Employability Week. It was a great opportunity to get into an entrepreneurial mindset for a day and to understand that careers
nowadays are have changed a lot. Presentations at the beginning of the day emphasised the importance of adapting to a fast-changing work environment and keeping up with the
technological developments that have an impact on business. Using technology to our advantage, rather than being scared of the unknown, is a very important skill.

After ‘Networking Bingo’, ‘World Creativity Café’ and (free!) lunch, teams had to create a business plan in a very short period of time, and pitch it to the judges during a 6 minute presentation.
This was a great opportunity to develop or improve skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, presentation, and working under pressure in a fast paced environment. To
summarise, the Future of Work Challenge was fun and interesting event, full of creative ideas, knowledge and lots of new skills to add on any CV, as well as meeting some great people!

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