Careers Ireland

Students' embarking on their career journey – Is Féidir linn

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Third Level Students juggling work and pleasure to land top jobs

Posted by Francis O' Toole on December 19, 2011

Activities outside the lecture hall play a crucial role when employers are hiring staff from third level colleges.

Graduates are now discovering that their academic performance may be less important than their role in college clubs and societies. The organiser of the university fashion show or the volunteer who spearheads a charity fundraising drive are front of the queue when it comes to getting a job. David Broderick, who organises graduate placements for IBEC’s Export Orientation Programme (EOP), said graduates could show evidence of organisational skills through their work in clubs.

Up to 1,000 people apply to IBEC to go on placements with a variety of companies, including multinationals. Around 200 are then shortlisted. So how does he decide which graduates to hire? Mr Broderick said “What students have to remember is that everyone in their class is doing the same degree. What employers are looking for is something that makes them stand out from the crowd. We would be choosing people before they have even got their degree.

Students have to be able to show potential employers that they did more in college than just turn up to classes.” “Being active in clubs and societies is a great way to show your interest in particular areas, and can be a great talking point at interviews “. Mr Broderick said this work offered evidence of important skills. “When you are running a society, you have to get involved in all sorts of business activities – marketing, budgeting, public presentations and event management.”

At Dublin Institute of Technology and DCU, students can now get academic credits for extra-curricular activities. Other third-level institutions offer extra-curricular activities also.

Kim Bielenberg Irish Independent

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