The Career Success Program (CSP) is a series of engaging and interactive workshops designed by The University of Queensland’s Business Economics and Law Faculty’s Student Employability team, to increase students’ awareness of the skills and traits employers are looking for in outstanding graduates. The goal of this program is to integrate industry knowledge earlier in the degree process, usually within the first years of study. Students can then commence practicing these skills early to be industry ready once they graduate.
Five highly interactive workshops
Topics include but not limited to: preparing CVs and cover letters; interviewing techniques and role playing; gaining an awareness of the Australian and global business culture; fine tuning their negotiation, networking, interpersonal and presentation skills.
The goal is to help position students to hit the ground running after they graduate so that they are not only equipped with theory but the practical skills that employers are looking for in graduates. Given the nature of the program being focused on practical skills, it brings credibility to the program to partner with various subject matter experts from industry.
Key industry partners such as Robert Walters, Accenture, Allens Linklaters, Generation Exchange were involved in co-delivering key topics within each workshop bringing to the program a strong industry credibility and presence.
Jacqueline Niblett, program designer and coordinator for the Career Success Program stated that it’s better for Robert Walters to teach these practical skills as industry partners deliver a more powerful message by sharing current business and industry knowledge, expectations and trends directly to students to help them position themselves for the fast paced and evolving business world.
The CSP is delivered in a well structured framework from face-to-face workshops through to the final stage of placing students into internships.
The mock interview process
After completing the workshops, eligible students are put through a competitive interviewing process where they are tested on a range of practical skills which were part of the workshop contents. This provides a safe platform for students to practice and apply what they have learnt in a mock recruitment process setting. Constructive and real time feedback are provided to students during this process so as to create awareness of both their strengths and areas for development. Like any recruitment process in the real world, successful students are then presented to companies for informal meetings and potential in-depth interviews.
The CSP is an invaluable resource, inspiring UQ students to immerse themselves in the business world, long before stepping foot off campus. It is critical in our modern world that educators emphasize the development of character, employability and equip students with an entrepreneurial mindset, to conquer some of the world’s most pressing challenges, Charlotte at Generation Exchange says.
About the work placements
According to Jacqui, connecting and networking doesn’t mean students must have an expert knowledge but more so it’s designed to help them build rapport and have a conversation with someone. When it comes to opportunities…well they may come down the track.
Since the inception of this program back in 2015, there has been significant growth in numbers from both student engagement as well as industry involvement. Industry engagement is both in terms of guest industry presenters as well as offering internship opportunities to UQ Business, Economics and Law Faculty Students.
In 2015, when the program launched, 13 roles were pitched and mocked. A year later, interest from companies grew as they saw this as an opportunity to employ graduates upon completion of their course and hence 40 real internship and volunteering roles were made available.
Connecting with somebody in the industry allows students to receive appropriate guidance while gathering insights on what’s happening in the market. It’s a safe environment facilitated by the University to make students comfortable with the art of networking.
For further interview advice and some examples of competency based questions, please download our full interview guide.
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