CAREERS BLOG: Why #ETWednesday matters

UoY Careers Imagine the possibilities LARGE dark green  Careers blog written by Isabella Simms, Graduate Intern, Careers

During my time as a student at York I was always very aware that employment opportunities for graduates were extremely competitive. This, combined with the fact that I studied a degree that doesn’t have a clear career path, made trying to decide exactly what it was I wanted to do for the rest of my life very daunting.

I often heard the term ‘Employability Tutorial’ mentioned but I admit that until second year I largely ignored it. I assumed it was time consuming and that you needed to know exactly what you wanted to do in order for it to be useful.

During second year I focused on getting work experience and internships, and although I secured various placements, I was still left feeling unsure about my career options. I also started volunteering with a charity, developing their social media and online presence, which is where my skills really flourished. However, what I didn’t focus on was how the Employability Tutorial could be used to record the skills I was developing as a result of volunteering and work experience, which would have enabled me to see where my strengths were from an earlier stage.

Now a Graduate intern in the University’s Careers department, my understanding of the Employability Tutorial has completely changed. Had I taken the time to discover it earlier, I could have been using this tool to continuously monitor my skills and employability progression from the start of my university journey. I still might not have known exactly what job I wanted when I graduated but I would have been recording the skills I had, allowing me to fully understand how to utilise these skills and how these would be applicable to graduate jobs and job applications.

The Employability Tutorial helps you make the most of your time at university. It encourages you to think about what skills you have and how to develop these through societies, clubs and activities such as volunteering. You will discover your strengths and passions and be encouraged to think about your career priorities. It also offers information on work experience opportunities and what options are available to you, both now and after graduation. The Employability Tutorial allows you to create an Employability Plan, with termly, monthly and even weekly targets and actions, which can be shared online with your supervisor, giving you guidance and assistance when you need it.

The path to making yourself ‘employable’ begins from day one of university; your entire experience shapes who you are, what skills you have and how you want to use them. Many employers value students with a certain set of employability skills, more than their degree subject or classification. Being proactive about your future, developing transferrable skills and being able to talk about them will set you apart from the crowd when job hunting. Knowing what your strengths are will also maximise your employability, as you can focus on these in job applications and your passion will come across.

Why not take a look at the Employability Tutorial this term and start thinking about what you have done already and what you will do to enhance your employability and make the most of your time at York.