Careers service: A presentation skills event

Employability & Enterprise

Project description

This project will devise and run a presentation skills event specifically for English students in conjunction with the School of Arts called ‘Summarise, Structure and Sell – Using Your Language Skills to Succeed in the Job Market’.

This is one a series of projects. You can read about them all on the main project page.

Project report

Benefit to English Students

English represents one of the biggest academic cohorts at our institution. English students including those from Creative Writing and English Language and Linguistics programmes make up a substantial number of our self referred clients. English graduates are attracted to a wide range of sectors but there is also an underlying commonality in the job aspirations of these students. Many are attracted to the creative industries and a key feature of this sector is a demand for high level communication skills. These are measured from the earliest stages of application and are often not the same language competences that graduates of English have been most encouraged to use. A feature of their three years of degree training is to write expansively, critically and descriptively. This style is not that most appropriate to the crisp, concise approach required by most CVs and application forms and our English students in particular struggle to articulate their applications and interview responses succinctly. This often contradicts employers’ natural assumptions that English graduates should offer a higher standard of written application and therefore places them at some disadvantage. At our institution these students need more help with written applications and would benefit from greater exposure to writing in different styles and for different purposes. Through discussion with tutors there is some consensus that this can be achieved pedagogically through the fabric of the course. This theme can then be captured by the careers service session on CV and application preparation ‘Summarise, Structure and Sell’ blended with contributions from relevant speakers.

Ways in which your Project is New or Innovatory

For the first time, this year we are explicitly organising curriculum based careers work on a School by School basis, looking to target specific areas of student difficulty and take a team approach with academic colleagues to remedy these.

The workshop materials produced would form the basis of a set of English- specific careers resources for use on Web CT and ‘Destinations’ (see below*) which will be the framework for our developing web presence.

This project would seek to expose our English students to both insight and feedback from employer representatives.

We hope to match funds from the English Subject Centre with an internal bid to the Teaching & Learning activity fund.

Other Information

’Destinations’ is an interactive web based information resource developed by Reading University which Roehampton helped to pilot last year and will be using in the current year to enhance our internal web presence.

Contact Details

Gill Harvey
Roehampton University