Careers service: And What Do You Do Now? – Career Opportunities Once You Graduate

Employability & Enterprise

Project Description

This project complements currently available material on careers destinations, gathering and presenting new information in a manner which is fresh, appealing and inspiring to undergraduate students.  Unlike most Careers Service information, it will engage the user community – the English Undergraduate – directly in the research and publication of this new material, thereby also affording them valuable training and skills development, as well as the opportunity to create real contacts with real individuals in careers that interest them.  Undergraduate English students will, with our support, commission, write and edit case studies of Keele English graduate alumni for web and print publication. An introductory leaflet will be produced with full reference copies available in the English Department and Careers Service. For the Keele website, the case studies will include contact details with an email link for alumni who are happy to offer individual advice and support.  An edited web version will also be produced for the English Subject Centre and the wider subject community.

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

Project report

Benefit to English Students

The case studies themselves will:

  • Enable students to access a personal, informal account of a range of careers and of the skills utilised in them, coupled with advice from people currently pursuing those career paths.  This will be useful for all students; students at Keele may find this information especially inspiring, given that they share with the interviewees a personal relationship as members of the Keele educational community.
  • Provide Keele students with a number of alumni contacts enabling them to tap into the Keele network for information and advice. The edited website would provide links, and directions for further information.
  • Enhance students’ confidence in their employability and awareness of the possibilities open to them with an English degree from Keele, enabling them to approach career exploration with a positive outlook and open mind.

Involvement in gathering and producing these case studies will:

  • Develop students’ planning and time management skills through working towards tight deadlines.
  • Develop students’ professional communication skills as they liaise with alumni, whether via email, the telephone or in person. This will include interviewing skills.
  • Develop students’ writing skills for different audiences through a training session and through the practise of composing the case studies.
  • Develop students’ ability to edit selectively and accurately through the editing and proofreading of their work prior to submission.

Ways in which Project is New or Innovatory

  • It engages students in the case study process rather than casting them as passive recipients of work undertaken by the Careers Service or academic department. As Keele is a traditional, academic university this will be a novel opportunity for student development.
  • Students will receive a training input on professional communication and writing for non-academic purposes from workshop facilitators including a former journalist and PR professional.
  • The English Department and Careers Service have had a sound, conventional working relationship for a number of years based upon standard subject workshops and referrals. This will bring them together in closer collaboration on a project new for both of them.
  • The alumni are currently under-utilised at Keele and this will thus bring in formerly untapped expertise.

The case studies will complement information available elsewhere such as the Employability and Enterprise case studies on the English Subject Centre and the Real World websites. They will add to the breadth of case studies available in one place solely for English graduates.  Existing case studies tend to be predominantly, but not exclusively focused on creative or literary roles: the project will expand this range in order to better represent the reality of English Graduate destinations.

Contact Details

Sarah Longwell
Keele University