Category Archives: Employability Points

Enhance your employability 

In the graduate job market, it is now becoming increasingly essential to find ways to stand out from the crowd! Academic success remains imperative, but employers are increasingly looking for more and in particular, soft skills and relevant work experience.

To ensure you gain both these skills and experiences, the University of Kent created the Employability Points (EP) Scheme.

 

The first part of the scheme requires you to undertake co-curricular activities and some relevant examples may include:

  • Join the Current Affairs and/or Model United Nations Societies.
  • Get involved with Community Action Groups such as Girl Up and Amnetsy International.
  • Become a Student Ambassador and/or Academic Peer Mentor.
  • Get involved with Kent Union volunteering projects.
  • Attend conferences and open lectures, notably the POLIR Open Forum.
  • Attend the POLIR employability events running throughout the year.

By getting involved with these activities, you can log them on MyFolio and in turn receive ‘points’.

You earn as many points as possible whilst at you are studying at Kent and towards the end of Term Two, if you have earned enough points, you can use them to apply for EP ‘rewards’.

Rewards include internships (cost 200 points), work experience (cost 150 points), work shadowing (cost 100 points) and experience days (cost 75 points) to name a few.

Over 140 companies and organisations support the EP Scheme and for this year, we can already confirm the following rewards:

However, you may also be aware that as a Politics and International Relations student you are developing some amazing transferable skills and in the past, students have also undertaken EP rewards in project management, digital marketing, journalism and more!

You can also see how a number of POLIR students have benefited through the EP Scheme, for example:

It may be the case you are already undertaking co-curricular activities and if so, you just need to claim your points to get rewarded! If not, there is literally hundreds of activities available for you to get involved with, and by doing-so, you will not only enhance your University of Kent experience, but you will be recognised and rewarded by the EP Scheme.

For more information, visit www.kent.ac.uk/employabilitypoints or contact the team via employabilitypoints@kent.ac.uk

EMPFEST 2018 Alumni Careers Panel Event

 As part of EMPFEST 2018, the School of Politics and International Relations is bringing Alumni back to campus.

Hear from a panel of 5 alumni speakers who will share the secrets of their career success in Politics and International Relations…

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Time:  2pm – 4pm
Location: COLT3 – Cornwallis South East (Octagon)
SIGNUP

FEATURING:

Annette Fisher
Freelance Social Accountability Practitioner &
Participatory Action Researcher

Jonathan Millins
Head of Office for the East of England European Partnership

Mitchell Adams
Content Manager, Dods Parliamentary Communications

Scott Macdonald
Deputy Head of the Iraq Team at the
Department for International Development

Sulmaan Hanif
Regional Manager, Middle East and Africa,
The Economist Intelligence Unit

Our alumni’s career experiences include the Civil Service; European Government; International Research and Global Public Affairs.

You will gain first-hand information and practical advice on various careers paths. Our alumni are able to share invaluable information through open, honest dialogue with the students who attend.

At this event, we aim to highlight unique career possibilities that exist for School of Politics degree holders, helping you envision possibilities for yourself you may never have considered. The event wraps up with a networking session where attendees can mix and mingle with all of the panellists.

Why volunteer?

As a current student or a recent graduate, I’m sure you have heard all too many times the key to getting a graduate job is ‘experience, experience, experience’. But with the pressures and demands of life, balancing a part time job, exam preparation, essay deadlines and of course a social life, it may seem as though you have no time to fit this in. However, if you can find the time, even if it were just a couple of hours a week, it would help to raise your graduate profile and develop your transferable skills. One way to do this is through volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and skills, helping you to stand out to recruiters in a competitive job market.

So, why volunteer?

1) You can fit volunteering around your schedule, committing to just a few hours out of your day. This is your time you are investing in volunteering, so make sure it not only works for them but for you too.

2) There are many opportunities out there, all you have to do is look! If there is a specific career path you are interested in taking, volunteering is a perfect way to test it out. For example, if you would like to work as a journalist try contacting your local news offices for work experience. You can also browse voluntary vacancies through Kent Union and the Careers Vacancy Database .

You can also volunteer through a society, opportunities include first aid, homeless outreach, fundraising and volunteering with children.

3) It’s a great way to network and gain valuable contacts.

4) It will enhance your CV, contributing to your personal development, whilst giving you the chance to do something you care about.

5) You can get involved in the local community, supporting projects which benefit individuals, the community and environment.

6) You can explore different career paths and work with people from different backgrounds.

Remember …

Check if the opportunity covers out-of-pocket expenses, it shouldn’t cost you to volunteer.

If you have undertaken an unpaid work placement, you may be eligible for a B:KEW bursary.

If you do take on voluntary work, log your hours on the Kent Union’s Toolkit and you may achieve an award through the Kent Student Certificate in Volunteering.

Deadline for Prizes Approaching….

Are you a SPIR student in need of some advice on which of our amazing rewards to apply for? Then why not have a look at which rewards were popular with your school last year?

Remember to think outside the box! In 2017, SPIR students applied for a whole host of exciting rewards, across a wide variety of sectors.

The Charity Sector:

Two SPIR students undertook work experience with People United, a charity which uses creativity to promote a sense of community. Kate Lyden found this experience particularly relevant as she hopes to have a career in the charity sector. Alex Frampton, on the other hand, is interested in a career in politics, but found the placement valuable in gaining some transferable skills. Duties included running a social media ‘kindness’ campaign, and working on a database of guests for an event held at the Tate Modern.

See the full case study here.

The Civil Service:

Rhys Brown completed a 2-day work shadowing placement at the Ministry of Justice with Civil Service Fast Stream. This focused on current work revolving around prison reform.

Rhys had this to say about the experience:

‘My two days experience with the Civil Service was a great opportunity, and I’ve now gained real motivation and drive to pursue this career path through the Civil Service’s fast stream program.’

See Rhys’s full case study here.

Research Placements:

William Keeling was thrilled with his placement with Convert Energy, a Canterbury-based renewable-energy company. William was tasked with reporting on potential projects and clients for Convert Energy to pursue. He was given the freedom to tackle the project in his own way and learnt about a sector he was unfamiliar with.

See William’s case study here.

Other rewards taken-up by SPIR students included (but were not limited to!) internships with Medway Council, a business planning internship with Smart Maritime Limited, and opportunities with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and FDM.

The good news is: many of these rewards are available this year! We have loads of amazing placements with councils including Sevenoaks Town CouncilKent County CouncilMedway CouncilCanterbury City Council and Shepway District Council. We have placements focusing on event planning (Canterbury Cathedral Lodge), environmental championing (Kent Enterprise Trust) and many more! If you need any further helping choosing the right reward for you, email the EP Team at: employabilitypoints@kent.ac.uk

Have a look at our full list of rewards here.

Don’t forget:

The deadline to log all of your points is March 19th at 5pm!