4 minute read
A university degree and relevant work experience are the principal elements for job recruiters to tick when hiring a university graduate. However, have professional skills become an equally critical element?
“The job market has exponentially grown and so has its demands. In addition to the standard requirements related to work experience, companies are progressively looking for specific traits in a university graduate. In particular their professional skill development,” points out Gina Diamond, Manager, CBE Careers and Student Employability.
It is no longer “just enough” to be a university graduate with some part time work experience.
According to Gina, employers are increasingly looking for well-rounded graduates. Who not only have a university degree, but also have internship or work experience in which they have had an opportunity to develop professional skills required in the workplace.
“In the current job market, when recruiters are looking at a university graduate’s job application they are specifically looking to see if the applicant possess a variety of professional skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and analytical skills,” Gina contends.
This suggests that it is no longer “just enough” to be a university graduate with some part time work experience. Students need to seek out internship opportunities relevant to their degree, and leverage those work opportunities to learn skills needed to be competitive in the marketplace.
The CBE Careers and Student Employability team offers a range of programs to build the professional skills required by employers. These programs include the CBE Internship Program, Special Industry Project, the Global Learners of Business and Economics (GLOBE), International Internship Program, and the MomentuM professional development and mentoring program.
In addition, the team runs a series of industry led ‘Future Skills Workshops’, which have included topics such as developing your personal brand, communication techniques in the workplace, design thinking, problem solving and resilience. All of these programs specifically target building professional skills for the workplace.
Student should be aware of employer recruitment cycles and not to wait until their final semester to apply for jobs.
With more than two decades of experience in the higher education sector, specifically in career coaching and student development, Gina has closely watched the job markets’ demands expand.
“When first starting out, career services advice was relatively straightforward in terms of offering general career guidance to students. It has evolved through the years to what we are currently doing at CBE. We are helping students become more employable by preparing them through a range of consultations, career workshops, employer events, employability programs, job lead postings, and other initiatives,” Gina explains.
Having started her career in the US in student advising, Gina enjoys helping students explore career paths and teaching them how to go about a job search. She believes her team is instrumental in helping students clearly identify career goals and determine an action plan for realising those goals.
"We take time to build relationships with students, understand their backgrounds and help them to set a path for their careers," Gina asserts.
She advises that it is extremely important for students to be aware of employer recruitment cycles, both domestic and international, and not to wait until their final semester to apply for full time work as many employers hire one year in advance.
The CBE Careers and Student Employability team highlight recruitment cycles through career workshops and employer events, which are promoted through CareerHub. Click here for more details.