A Graduate Winter Bootcamp at the University of Ulster to boost graduates' employment prospects has proved so popular that organisers are planning a series of similar events for the future.
The two-day forum attracted more participants than expected and those who were unable to secure a place will be enrolled in the next session.
The Bootcamp was organised to give graduates an opportunity to get together and discuss the barriers they are facing while searching for employment.
Areas such as self-awareness, networking, developing an online presence, maintaining confidence, career branding and job opportunities were explored, in a drive to boost employability skills and increase prospects of securing work.
Recruitment specialists from Google Ireland and Citi delivered presentations and held open discussions on subjects including compiling the best possible CV and how to impress at interviews.
The event was organised by the University of Ulster’s Career Development Centre and Career Development Consultant Brian Byres gave several talks on a number of issues relating to ways of proactively securing graduate level employment.
“Once graduation comes and goes the reality of trying to enter a competitive graduate labour market can be both challenging and daunting,” he explained.
“As time progresses, many of our graduates’ confidence levels drop and our Graduate Bootcamp has been specifically designed to give participants a fresh approach to job search, networking and the skills to win that graduate level job.
“Delivering this programme, in partnership with high profile graduate recruiters, gave our participants valuable insider tips on CV building, interview techniques and personal branding.
“The event was over-subscribed and has proved so popular that we hope to build on this success by organising similar events in the future.”
Kevin McCoppin from Glengormley, who recently graduated from Ulster with a Masters in International Business, attended the two-day event at the Belfast campus.
He said: “This is an invaluable resource for new graduates entering a very tough job market. It has given me a lot to think about in terms of how I’m going to go about my job search and advertise myself to prospective employers.
“The event has also instilled me with a lot of confidence and I’ve learned so much in regards to developing my CV and expanding my search for work.
“I’d advise graduates to consider applying for any future Bootcamps organised by the University of Ulster as I’m sure they’ll find the experience as rewarding as I have.”
Jane Murphy, University Programmes Specialist with Google Ireland, delivered her presentation on ‘Quality CVs – Employer Expectations’.
She said: “It is fantastic to see the University’s Career Service supporting their alumni through the Graduate Winter Bootcamp. In today’s job market it is very important that job seekers equip themselves with the right tools and skills.
“Initiatives like these offer invaluable assistance and that is why Google was delighted to deliver a skill seminar as part of the programme.”
Sarah Milliken, Graduate Recruitment Specialist with Citi, spoke about ‘Competency Based Interviews – How to Prepare and Perform’.
She said: “It was great to be a part of the Graduate Winter Bootcamp. I found the students engaged, enthusiastic and very appreciative of the insights gained from the day.”
For more information visit the University of Ulster’s Career Development Centre website at http://careers.ulster.ac.uk/
Caption: (Left) Jane Murphy, University Programmes Specialist with Google Ireland, University of Ulster graduate Kevin McCoppin and Sarah Milliken, Graduate Recruitment Specialist with Citi at the Graduate Bootcamp