Otago Employability Program wants you to get a job

"We wish to empower students to market themselves successfully"

Otago University Careers Centre has developed an employability program to give students more career options to compliment their studies and become ready for the working world.

After attending a conference in 2013, the Otago Career Centre realised the benefits of having a more extensive employment program, adding to their previous CV and interview skills workshops. The new program will cover career planning, getting the skills employers want, job searching, making applications and attending interviews, as well as step by step guides on what workshops they should attend.

Careers Centre Manager Jackie Dean believes students will benefit greatly from the introduction of the programme. “Ultimately we wish to empower students to market themselves successfully in the workplace at any stage of their career,” Dean says.

“It aims at early engagement of students in terms of employability-related topics. We wish to raise students’ commercial awareness of the labour market whilst offering a staged support system that enhances their employability skills throughout their study and after their completion.”

The programme will not only benefit students but it is also expected to help employers. “Employers already tell us they like Otago graduates. With 80 per cent of our students coming from outside of Dunedin, our graduates are recognised for their academic achievements and qualities of independence and self-motivation,” Dean proudly admits.

“Employers will benefit by having applicants who have a good understanding of the requirements of the industry they are seeking to enter,” she says, “and now will know how to present themselves well.”

Needless to say, the extensive development of the existing workshops meant the programme was not designed overnight. “We spent the last eight months revising existing workshops, writing new ones and improving content based on student feedback,” says Dean.

The Otago Careers Centre staff will deliver the programme with additional guest speakers at some of the workshops.
This article first appeared in Issue 24, 2014.
Posted 3:00pm Sunday 21st September 2014 by Bella Macdonald.