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How the Postgraduate Careers Service has adapted to blended learning

We spoke to Kirsty Stewart, Senior Careers Consultant in the Alliance MBS Postgraduate Careers Service about how the team have adapted their services for the online world. She also explains how they have managed to continue to deliver excellent support for master’s students in their job searches, wherever they may be in the world.

How have you found the move to working online since the closure of campus?

“The closure of our campus has led to some significant changes to the way we work and deliver services to our students. Thankfully we were well prepared for a shift to online delivery as a number of our services are already delivered this way, but it’s not gone without its challenges!

“Through the introduction of online appointments we are now more connected than ever with our students, this has been a real highlight of the lockdown.”

How is the Postgraduate Careers Service currently supporting master’s students remotely in their job searches?

“At this point in the year, our students are very much focusing on what their next move will be. Having attended our autumn workshops and sessions, students are looking to explore what their individual aspirations may look like and how these may have changed since COVID-19 arrived.

“We are currently supporting students in a number of ways. We’ve conducted one-to-one video conversations ranging from career planning and job search strategy topics, through to mock interviews. We also publish a weekly newsletter where we provide current careers content, activities and signpost to relevant events; both offered through our central careers team or by external organisations.”

Have you run any online events for students to help with the application processes?

“We supplement all our workshops with easy to access online resources. These range from webinars and podcasts, to activities to work through in your own time. We understand that our students like to access information and advice differently so we aim to offer a broad range of options. Application support can also be accessed through our one to one appointment service which we now offer online.”

What advice would you offer to students currently looking for a graduate job?

“My biggest piece of advice would be to keep an open mind. We are living in changing times and with this comes new opportunities. Aim to keep growing your network and keep asking good questions.

“For most of us, face-to-face meetings are not possible at the moment, but people are still coming together to network online. See what’s happening in your area of interest and join in, you never know what you may learn!”

Do you have any top tips for completing an interview online?

“There are many things to remember when you have an online interview coming up, but my top tips would be to set aside time to prepare and practice. Having a thorough understanding of the company, role and what you have to offer is crucial. If you are able to practice this and receive feedback even better!

“Just this morning I conducted a mock interview for a student applying for a graduate role in China, we worked on some key questions and discussed ways to improve, it also allowed the student to test their set-up, body language and highlight any connection issues.”

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