Careers and Placements Behind the Scenes: Careers

Guest BloggerFinal Year, First Year, On Placement, Postgraduate, Second Year

Above, is David Bowie from one of his last videos. Below, this is us:

“Scary monsters, super creeps” is the title of a David Bowie album from 1980. Hopefully, we’re more a case of “friendly people, super-helpful”!

So, what makes us friendly and nice?

All the things we do! Here is a typical day in the life of an Aston Careers Consultant:

  • Start the day by planning ahead for our Careers Appointments, which you can book via Aston Futures. We all host a number of appointments throughout the week and like to prepare for them in advance, so that we know why someone has booked an appointment and whether we may need to prepare anything in advance to help. Also, whilst we’re working from home, we’ll make sure that we send each person an exclusive Microsoft Teams invitation.

  • Complete any outstanding administration tasks, including responding to emails which have come into our Careers and Placements inbox (careers@aston.ac.uk) – this might include reviewing CVs or following-up previous appointments.

  • Review new careers resources and labour market information, to ensure that we are providing as effective a service to you as possible, armed with accurate data that reflects what employers are doing and what is important to them.

  • Teach in the curriculum – as you can see from the previous picture, we all have a range of different responsibilities and are aligned to particular schools and colleges (which is why you might recognise some of us more than others). We work closely with academic colleagues to deliver a range of sessions within different subject areas including some old favourites such as CVs and cover letters, as well as very specific, tailored assistance such as interview practice for particular roles. If you’re a second year undergraduate, you might see us in your lectures working with members of the Careers and Placements team, as well. To complement this teaching, we also spend time updating and sharing careers resources through Blackboard modules.

  • Have lunch! – we need to keep up our energy levels, after all.

  • Deliver central workshops – we provide a range of central workshops, often in collaboration with colleagues from the wider university, to help your career development. Bookable via Aston Futures, these span all aspects of careers and employability including Career Planning, CVs and Cover Letters and Psychometric Tests, to name a few.

  • Attend meetings – with over 60 people working in so many teams within Careers and Placements, we have a lot of meetings to attend, to ensure that we are aware of new developments and can also lead on our own new projects, all designed to help you.

  • Host careers appointments – normally these last up to 30 minutes each and are an opportunity both for current students and Aston graduates (up to three years beyond their studies) to speak directly with a Careers Consultant, in an informal and supportive environment. Appointments are all taking place virtually at present – either via Microsoft Teams or over the ‘phone. However, that doesn’t mean that we’re any less accessible; in fact, many people have reported that they prefer these to visiting us in-person, as it gives them more flexibility.

  • Complete more admin at the end of the day – time to tie-up all the loose ends from the day and prepare for tomorrow, before closing-down.

So, what do I need to do?

Simple! – Just talk to us – we won’t bite. Visit Aston Futures today to book an appointment, or email us at careers@aston.ac.uk

Written by Jim Reali, Careers Consultant

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash