Careers service: Podcast for mature students of English & Creative Writing

Employability & Enterprise

Project Description

This project produced a podcast aimed at mature students of English and Creative writing.  The podcast signposts the sorts of jobs that might be available to them when they finish their course.  It features a general introduction to the area, followed by spoken case studies of English / Creative writing graduates who either have switched career and/or begun studying at 21+.

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

Project report

Benefits to English students

These were aimed at Birkbeck College students (part of the SICS caseload).  Birkbeck caters mainly for mature students, many of whom may have left school early.  Others are career changers who are either studying part time while holding down a job or who have given up work to pursue a course full time.  Often they have domestic and financial commitments.
These students are very concerned about their career prospects.  While they may have thoroughly investigated the course before commencing their studies, they have frequently done little or no research into what happens beyond this.  There can be barriers (real or perceived) to their progress, especially if they want to “use” their English or Creative Writing qualification.   The Careers Group runs both evening and daytime advice sessions with these students, but they may not be able to take full advantage of this because of obvious constraints on their time. This project enabled them to access advice and information when it is convenient for them.  It introduced them to a broad range of possibilities and gave them positive role models and ideas for how they can move forward.

In what ways was your project new or innovatory

  1. across the whole careers field very little has been done that is specific to mature English students.  There is still limited specialised input for mature students as a discrete group
  2. podcasting for careers purposes is in its infancy, both at the Careers Group, University of London and in may other institutions.
  3. there is very little material on some of the careers that will be covered in the podcast, such as creative writing as a profession

To focus on mature graduates in this way and to combine it with new technology, rather than more traditional communication methods gives a very constructive and encouraging message to this group.

Outline Plan of Activities

a) the podcast
The introduction was provided by a careers adviser, giving a concise overview of careers using English / Creative Writing and also pointing out that these graduates can go into a variety of other areas too.  There was a brief mention of different types of working – conventional, portfolio, freelance, self employed, moonlighting (“day job” to support creative endeavours).  This was followed by up to six short recorded case studies.  The podcast ended with the careers adviser summarising key points and signposting further resources.

b) the resources needed:

Time
The main resource needed was the careers adviser in terms of
– sourcing and contacting case studies
– technical training
– making/ editing/ downloading the recordings

Equipment
Initial scoping of this project suggested that recording the podcast could be done using existing Careers Group University of London equipment and facilities.

Marketing
The finished podcast was promoted to students on the Careers Group site, the SICS site and through paper flyers.

Contact Details

Diana Omololu / Gill Sharp
The Careers Group University of London