Careers named 'Best University Careers Service 2018'
Friday, 23 March 2018
The University of Reading and Henley Business School Careers teams took home ‘Best University Careers/Employability Service’ at the National Undergraduate Employment Awards held last month [February].
This award, sponsored by Microsoft, celebrates the outstanding contributions made by career services in helping students apply and maximise their work experience opportunities. The judges highlighted the collaboration and creativity of the careers offering and the further development of industry and employer relationships, which saw a 34% year-on-year increase in employers on campus.
Some of the specific employment initiatives that stood out to the judges include:
- Employer Panel series – this new initiative has seen more than 50 employers giving over 400 students insights into work experience through a Question Time style format.
- Reading Internship Scheme – the Scheme develops undergraduates’ employability skills and contributes to salary costs of internships in sectors that are often unpaid or expenses only.
- Thrive Career Mentoring Scheme - the Scheme is designed for students in their penultimate year of study and gives them a year of mentoring from a professional in their chosen career, which can include: workplace visits, networking opportunities, CV advice and interview technique. The Scheme has rapidly grown, with 250 students being mentored in 2016/17 to more than 400 students being mentored this year.
- ‘Pizza, Prosecco and Placements’ event – targeted at first year students enrolled on a placement year, this new event gives students the opportunity to network with careers advisers, placement co-ordinators and their peers.
- ‘Meet the Professionals’ – these sessions provide a spotlight on specific industries, including a partnership with the Civil Service Fast Stream, which aims to get young people interested in working for the Civil Service.
- Henley Business Leaders Programme – creative events designed to stretch students’ comfort zones and build confidence, including Lego Serious Play, Leading with Humour and Escape Rooms.
In addition to introducing new initiatives, the Careers teams have focused on driving further student engagement and awareness of careers services by developing a new brand identity, introducing weekly careers newsletters, embedding careers modules into the curriculum as part of a three-year project and continuing to promote the services by attending Open Days and through social media platforms.
Dr Andrea Kreideweiss, Director of Careers and Employability, University of Reading, and Naeema Pasha, Director of Henley Careers, Henley Business School, said:
“We are delighted that Reading Careers and Henley Business School Careers have jointly been awarded Best Careers Service 2018. The Award recognises the comprehensive work the University and the School undertake to provide students with best in class career education, exposure to organisations they care about and dedicated one careers coaching when it matters most.”
Since the beginning of this academic year the University of Reading and Henley Business School Careers teams have organised more than 650 career workshops and events, hosted 13 large scale career fairs, and ran 5,059 one-to-one career coaching sessions.
Judges highlighted the outstanding services offered by both services, commenting on their innovation with sessions such as using Lego and comedy classes to stretch creativity, as well as services offering daily workshops to develop confidence and skills. They also commented on the quality and breadth of the comprehensive career support available to help students at every stage in their career.
Hannah Houston, final year student said: “Help from the Careers centre has surpassed all my expectations. It helped me understand what was important when writing a cover letter to make yourself stand out, challenged me when learning about competency based interviews and provided a number of workshops which have been vital to my job search.”
Please join us in congratulating the teams on their excellent achievement.
Students can find the full programme of upcoming career workshops and events on My Jobs Online.