Category Archives: Returners

Virtual Employability Festival

#EmpFest20 is here! 12-23 October

The Virtual Employability Festival has started. Attend events online, including our showcase Virtual Careers Fair 2020. Free to University of Kent students and recent graduates!

Want to know how to network online? Or how to prepare for a virtual assessment centre? The Virtual Employability Festival is the perfect opportunity to develop your job-seeking skills and gain an insight into a range of career sectors from graduate employers, industry experts and Kent alumni. Receive expert advice on the key things that can make you stand out in the recruitment market! And, you can earn Employability Points (EP Points)!

Take advantage of the range of online activities taking place, which will help you to take the steps towards your career goals. These include:

  • Virtual Assessment Centres
  • Creating a great CV
  • Video Interview Skills
  • Psychometric tests
  • Career insights into: Finance, Law, Social Work, Politics, Project Management and much more!

The EmpFest programme is available on the Careers and Employability Service website. The great news is that the majority of events are open to students from all stages and schools. Some have limited spaces, so check out the website and book your place ASAP.

Virtual Careers Fair

The Virtual Careers Fair is the highlight of EmpFest and takes place Tuesday 20 October, 10.00-16.00. Meet with exhibitors offering a variety of graduate and undergraduate opportunities, ranging from Graduate Schemes, Year in Industry placements and Summer Internships to Insight Days.

  • Download the Careers Fair Plus App – available on the App Store and Google Play
  • Book appointments with recruiters from 1 October

The app will allow you to:

  • View exhibitor profiles in advance, find out more about them and view their websites
  • Filter and search for opportunities by degree subject, sector or business area
  • Book short 1-2-1 appointments to talk to recruiters (usually 10 mins)

Keep updated with Careers Fair and #EmpFest20 news by following us on:

  • Canterbury: Facebook: @UKCES   Twitter:@unikentemploy    Instagram:@unikentces
  • Medway: Facebook: @ukmemployability  Twitter:@ukmemploy Instagram:@medwaycareers

Join the conversation at #EmpFest20

Multicoloured pencils joined to make a circle

Study Plus free workshops (October)

The Study Plus programme has been revamped with a new and exciting range of workshops, all of which are free of charge to attend.

All workshops in term one are taking place virtually. Places are limited to please book online early to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday 21 October 14.00-16.00 – ASPIRE – Business Start Up Journey 

Find out more about the University’s flagship student start-up support programme at our inspirational launch,  where we welcome serial entrepreneur Dr Mick Jackson, founder of WildHearts, a multi-million-pound group using its profits to help humanity.
Hear from student entrepreneurs talking about founding their own businesses and learn more about the Business Start-Up Journey’s mix of interactive workshops and one-to-one advice sessions which will guide you through starting your own business.

Saturday 24 October 10.00-16.00 – ASPIRE – The Ideas Hack 

Dive into our ideas hack where you’ll work with other students to find ideas using the Sustainable Development Goals as inspiration. Develop key skills using Design Thinking techniques that help you to fully understand what users want and how to unlock the innovation in your ideas.

Monday 26 October 11.00-12.30 – Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence refers to the capability to understand and recognise your own emotions and those of people around you, which is crucial to personal effectiveness.  You will come away with:

  • Understanding of the 5 elements of EI,
  • The importance and impacts of EI in the workplace and for career building
  • Actions they can take to increase their own EI

Monday 26 October 15.00-16.30 – Building Resilience 

Building resilience is key! From the field of early years (0-5 years old) through education and into the professional working world, resilience is something we need to help us thrive in whatever stage of life we find ourselves and appropriately manage any challenges we may face. Most importantly resilience helps us in our personal and professional lives. By attending this workshop, you will learn:

  • strategies to become more resilient
  • how to challenge your limiting beliefs
  • how to address challenges you face in life
  • how to adopt a growth mindset.

Wednesday 28 October 15.00-17.00-  ASPIRE – Problem Solving for Start Ups 

The best businesses solve problems for their users or customers. In this interactive workshop we learn together how to pull problems apart and see how our start-up can really make a difference in solving the world’s problems. 

Wednesday 28 October 18.00-20.00 – Meditation 

This course will enable you to apply meditative practices to study, work and life:

  • Applying knowledge of the roots and purposes of meditative practise to personal circumstances
  • Utilising the basic principles of meditation to events and situations
  • Adopting contemplative skills of mindfulness, focus, and personal transformation to activities
  • Choosing meditative approaches that suit their needs

By the end of the session, you will have:

  • Examined presentation fears and strategies to overcome them
  • Understood some tools and models for presenting such as Kiss; The Pyramid Principle and INTRO
  • Practiced presenting – speed style
  • Explored ways to beat the nerves

Saturday 31 October 10.00-14.00 – Emergency First Aid 

An introduction to Emergency first aid. This will be a 4 hour event. Please note we have limited spaces available so book soon to avoid missing out!  

Book a virtual workshop now.

Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme Students

Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme

(The header image was taken on 4 March 2020, before lockdown.)

We are delighted to invite Kent students to apply for this year’s Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme.  The programme is a co-curricular venture, designed to fit around your academic studies.  It provides a framework of activities for globally-minded undergraduate students at Kent to develop their leadership skills, global citizenship and cultural awareness.

There are 5 components which can be completed throughout the academic year.

Benefits include:

•  Employability Points awarded per activity
•  Certificate of recognition and personal reference from the Dean for Internationalisation
•  Recognition on your Higher Education Achievement Report
•  Practical event & project management experience
•  A chance for you to record your international skill development in the Kent Global Passport.

This programme is also offered as a credit-bearing ‘wild’ module, GOLD500.

For further details please see our website.

Deadline to apply is midnight on 11 October, 2020.

(If considering taking this as a wild module, usual module registration deadline applies).

What past students have said:

‘I would highly recommend this programme to any student who is globally minded and wants to be more active on campus, as well as wanting to learn new skills that you don’t get when you join a society’. 
Preena Dodhia, BSc Biomedical Science

‘I thoroughly enjoyed my participation in the GOLD programme, not only do I think that it has allowed me to develop skills that have strengthened my employability, I also found the programme to be an important avenue for expression during an intense final year of study. I would recommend the GOLD programme to any student that is interested in further developing themselves personally and professionally’.
Leo Harris, BA History and Spanish

Overhead shot of person on laptop with diary

How to prepare for the Virtual Careers Fair, 20 October

The Virtual Careers Fair takes place Tuesday 20 October 2020, 10.00-16.00. The Careers Fair is an opportunity for students of all degree subjects to meet with exhibitors offering a variety of graduate and undergraduate opportunities, ranging from Graduate Schemes, Year in Industry placements and Summer Internships to Insight Days.

How do you prepare for a virtual careers fair? Keep reading!

1. Do your research and book early. View the exhibitor list via the Career Fair Plus App. Learn about what they do and their opportunities. Book appointments with recruiters from 1st October!

2. Think about your introduction. With limited time, make the most of your conversation with an employer. Try practicing an elevator pitch – a short overview about your background, studies and career goals. You’ll then have a clearer idea about what you want to say when meeting.

3. Prepare questions. This will show that you are enthusiastic and interested to know more! But avoid asking questions where the answers could easily be found on their website.

4. Dress smartly. Even though you won’t be meeting employers in person, it’s important to look professional. Dressing smartly will make a good first impression and help you to feel more confident.

5. Try to limit potential distractions. Plan where you’ll be sitting ahead of time, ideally in a quiet space, where you won’t be interrupted.

6. Be punctual! Being on time shows the employer that you’re dependable and respectful of their time.

7. Have positive body language. Be engaged in the conversation and actively listen. Smile and try to maintain good eye contact, looking into the camera when speaking.

8. Turn your video on. It looks more professional and helps to build rapport when you can see who you are speaking with. If you do not have video capability or a poor connection, let the recruiter know.

9. Follow up. If you had a good conversation, connect with the employer afterwards e.g. on LinkedIn.

10. Apply! Make a note of deadlines and start your applications. Mention any valuable conversations in your application, highlighting what you learnt and why that’s encouraged you to apply!

See the Careers website for more information.

Three students sat on corner sofa together catching up

Looking out for each other

At Kent we’re a community who look out for each other. Here are a few ways to help you look out for your friends and classmates.

Check in with your friends

We are all experiencing a particularly strange year and feelings of loneliness and overwhelm may be popping up more than usual. Remember to check in with your friends and course mates to see how they are doing.

If you or a friend needs some extra support, there are lots of people at Kent ready to help. Contact your School for academic help, and the College Life Team for concerns about accommodation sharing and any other practical worries. They will be able to help or refer you to someone who can.

For support with mental health, disability or specific learning difficulties, there is a  Student Support and Wellbeing team of professionals providing online, telephone and face to face wellbeing services. Do also check out specific wellbeing events such as the weekly International Wellbeing group and Wellbeing café. Do you use social media? Follow @UniKentSSW on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for ideas and resources to stay well and connected.

Download the SafeZone app

SafeZone is a free campus safety app for all students and staff, giving you quick access to first aid, security or safety assistance.

SafeZone is an easy way to connect to Campus Security, who are on campus 24/7 365 days a year! Learn more about safety on and off campus.

Stick with your household and plan your journey home

If you’re heading out for the evening, make sure you plan your journey home and stick with your household bubble. Please follow social distancing guidance including the ‘rule of 6’. Remind yourself of the Government guidance about meeting with others.

Walking? Follow the recommended fully lit walking routes around Medway campus. In Canterbury make sure to check out the #LitRoutes maps and guidance.

If you’re using public transport, remember to bring your face covering and some hand sanitiser. Getting a taxi? Make sure it is registered.

If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation in Canterbury where you need to take a taxi back to campus or to the police or hospital, you can use the student safe taxi scheme to get a registered taxi back to campus and pay the funds later.

Find support through the Virtual Buddy Scheme

Sign up to Kent Union’s Virtual Buddy Scheme either to find a buddy or to volunteer as a buddy. Buddy volunteers are there to give you a helping hand and offer you support and friendship. The buddy scheme is available for Canterbury and Medway students.

Meet new people through societies

Don’t forget that societies and sports teams can be a great support network. There are many different kinds of societies from academic, faith and belief, special interest and more so you can find people with similar interests to you. Check out the Kent Union and GKSU webpages to learn more.

Sexual violence online support sessions

New for October 2020, if you or a friend have been affected by any form of sexual violence you can speak to staff from East Kent Rape Crisis Centre via a virtual sign up session. Here you will find advice about accessing counselling, support groups and how to access support from an independent sexual violence advisers (ISVAs). If you are interested in attending a session, or for further support, email wellbeing@kent.ac.uk. You can also find more support on our webpages.

Download the NHS Covid-19 app

Please download the NHS Covid-19 app and encourage your household and friends to do the same. Through the app you can report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues (including some on campus) by scanning a QR code and help the NHS trace those who may have coronavirus.

If you or anyone you’ve had close contact with test positive for coronavirus, you’ll be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate. You will be asked to provide them with information they’ll need to help stop the spread of the virus. Learn more about the NHS Covid-19 app.

Inform Kent (InK) online reporting tool

Everyone should feel secure at Kent—we’re here to support you. InK is an online reporting tool that helps record details of incidents such as sexual assault, harassment, relationship abuse or hate crime. Find out more about the services available with Student Support and Wellbeing.

Student photo competition – deadline extended!

The deadline for the College Life photo competition has been extended to 30 October. The competition is open to all students.

Take a photo for each of the themes listed below to be in the chance for wining up to £80!

Themes

  1. Your College
  2. Green campus
  3. So much reading!
  4. Take in the view
  5. Let’s be Social
  6. Your first…
  7. The changing seasons
  8. View from your bedroom
  9. Monochrome
  10. Favourite building
  11. Makes you smile
  12. Mindful moment
  13. Be inspired
  14. Away from home

Take a photo for each of the themes listed below to be in the chance of wining up to £80!  We encourage you to participate in the full 14 days, (you can start anytime but make sure last submissions are in by 30 October) however, we will also accept entries from 1 photo to a selection…. 1 photo per theme please.

Do state clearly in your submission email which day/theme the photo corresponds to.  Just keep in mind social distancing rules and government guidance. Good luck!

All submissions should be emailed at the latest 30 October to [yourcollege]@kent.ac.uk, for example keynescollege@kent.ac.uk.

If you have any issues please email the College and Community Life team cclteam@kent.ac.uk.

Learn more about our College communities.

(Click to expand competition poster).

Student standing on beach

Student success: opportunities through the Employability Points Scheme

Business student Keerttana Sankaran shares how getting involved in the Employability Points scheme lead her to secure a summer intern position and then a part-time position during her final year.

How did you learn about the Employability Points scheme?

“I was first introduced to the Employability Points (EP) Scheme during my first year of studying at the University of Kent. Though my interest in earning points peaked during my second year, I was quite interested in entering the EP Scheme from year one. By attending numerous workshops and talks organised by the EP scheme, as well as my role as the Student Course Representative for stage 2 BBA Business Analytics and my role as the Vice-President of the Kent Marketing Society, I was able to acquire 500+ points.”

Did opportunities arise from the Employability Points scheme?

“I was offered a summer internship position at Sustainability Monitor after a successful application and interview process. As I was very interested in the role description and passionate about both marketing and research, I accepted the role of Digital Marketing and Research Analyst.

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, many student placements and summer internships were negatively affected. However, I was very lucky to have been offered a role at a company that decided to move forward with a virtual internship. Due to which, I had been able to get right into providing valuable insight into the job from day one, as I worked so closely with the marketing and research team virtually. Thus, opening up opportunities to gain technical skills like Slack and Trello, that were key to my internship.

From a marketing point of view, I had the opportunity to observe and assist with a launch project from start to finish. I was involved in tasks that involved qualitative and quantitative research and analysing data to produce reports using my excel and business analytics knowledge. I have also accumulated insights on other topics, such as research database, machine learning and taxonomy.

At the end of the summer internship, I was offered a part-time position to continue as a Digital Marketing and Research Analyst. I was very pleased to accept this role and continue my work at Sustainability Monitor.”

Would you recommend getting involved with the Employability Points scheme and why?

“I would highly recommend joining the Employability Points (EP) scheme. Especially now with an unstable Covid-19 situation the EP scheme allows students to access vital information regarding employability in the current market. From networking skills, CV writing to seminars that aid international students find employment. The EP scheme helps all students form all courses across the University to improve their chances of employment while encouraging students to try and learn from new and challenging experiences to gain points and redeem rewards in the form of work experience.”

-Keerttana Sankaran, Final year, Business Administration with Business Analytics

Learn more about how you can get involved with the EP Scheme. For each co-curricular activity completed, students can claim ‘Employability Points’, which can be cashed-in for the chance to apply for exclusive internships, work placements, vouchers and more.

Online launch and panel discussion for DecoloniseUoK collective’s book

A book by DecoloniseUoK, a collective of Kent students and academics campaigning for cultural democracy, will be launched online on Thursday.

Decolonising the University: A Kaleidoscope for Empowered Action (Counterpress, 2020) is a book featuring diverse voices and perspectives with a common theme of decolonisation of the university.

In it, students of colour (many of whom are law school students) tell the story of how race – and the varying intersections of gender, LBTQIA+, faith and identity, culture, age, and disability – shape their experiences of higher education in the UK.

The online launch event for the book, from 14.00, includes a panel discussion on ‘Being a Black Student: Reasonings and Teachings’.

Among the panel will be some of the books co-authors, many of whom are Kent Law School students and alumni, together with members of Kent’s Afro-Diasporic Legal Network (see ADLN’s Statement of Solidarity & Demands). The discussion will be chaired by Professor Emeritus Heidi Safia Mirza (who has also written the book’s Afterword) and will be followed by an Instagram Live with @adln_kent.

Register now and the online link will be emailed to you in advance.

The Decolonise UoK collective at Kent undertook their research for the book by speaking with students of colour about their experiences during 2018/19. They launched their Manifesto of recommendations in March 2019 and  shared ‘Stories of (Un)Belonging‘ with four other university student groups at an event featuring rapper, activist and educator Lowkey in March 2020.

The book is edited by Kent Law School Reader Dr Suhraiya Jivraj and Dave Thomas, Student Success Project Manager for Kent’s School of Sports and Exercise Sciences. In their introduction to the book, they express the hope that the book will inspire students to enact change “no matter how small or large as part of their empowerment including hold their institutions to account to eliminate inequality and injustice in all formats.”

In the book’s Preface, Professor Toni Williams (Director of the Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice at Kent) acknowledges that much remains to be done to fix racialised inequalities in HE. She says the book “offers an exciting and timely intervention that can help to close the gap between universities’ aspirations to inclusivity and their attainment of full equalities for all BME students and staff.”

Other contributors to the book include leading academics in the field of race and education in the UK such as Dr Barbara Adewumi, Dr Jason Arday, Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Professor Lez Henry. Creative contributions are included from inspirational poet Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, and Lowkey.

Decolonising the University: A Kaleidoscope for Empowered Action will be available to download on a pay-what-you-can basis from Thursday 1 October from Counterpress.

(click on poster to enlarge)

Two green Unibuses lined up together

Commuting to campus

The new academic year has started and here are some tips on what to expect from the Transport Team around changes to travelling to, from and around our campuses to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Plan your journey 

We recommend you plan for all your journeys (including your return one) before you leave home. Be prepared to carry a face covering and hand sanitiser for use in line with the Government, University of Kent guidance, and travel providers restrictions. Where possible pay contactless or purchase tickets online and maintain social distancing. Here are some useful links to help you plan ahead.

Walking and cycling

Alongside the Government safer travel guidance, we are encouraging all staff and students to walk and cycle to and from our campuses where reasonably possible.

Please be aware and consider others when using our cycle parking bays to maintain social distancing. When more people return to campus, restrictions may be put in place.

Campus roads and car parks 

When using our car parks, be aware and check your surroundings for others before entering and exiting your vehicle, maintain social distancing, and sanitise your hands frequently. Parking permits are still required to use our car parks on weekdays 8am – 5pm, with parking enforcement still in operation. Restrictions remain in place for students.

There may also be some disruption as car parks are currently being used to assist in COVID-19 Testing.  To keep updated with car park updates visit www.kent.ac.uk/transport/news

Campus shuttle 

Shuttle services will resume on the 19th of September and will be operating at 50% capacity. Face coverings will be required and booking your seat is essential.  The driver will not be able to accept any passengers unless they have booked a seat.  Bookings can be made up to 30 minutes before departure.  Please ensure you cancel your seat if you have made a booking and no longer require your seat to allow someone else to travel.

Buses and coaches

These are currently operating at approximately 50% capacity. Keep in mind you may not always be able to board the service you intend to catch because of this reduced capacity. You might need to wait for the next bus or coach. Remember to maintain social distancing whilst queuing, unless you are travelling with someone in your social bubble. Allow room for passengers to disembark and walk away from the bus. If you intend to pay by cash, check with the travel company to ensure that they are accepting cash. You are required to wear a face covering when travelling on buses.

You can read more about travelling by bus on the Stagecoach COVID-19 page.

Trains 

Southeastern trains are currently operating at 80% capacity. You are required to wear a face covering when travelling on the train and within the stations.

You can read more about travelling by train on the Southeastern COVID-19 page.

Eurostar, ferries, and flights 

For other modes of transport, makes sure you are aware of what is expected. This may include requirements of the Ferry company you are using, the associated Ports, the plane company you are with, and, or airport you are travelling to and from. Travel restrictions may also be in place so make sure you plan your journey before you travel.

You can read more on the Eurostar service information page.

Please remember to follow the Government requirements at all times. Stay alert, travel safely, and social distance. Keep updated and be aware of any changes using the COVID-19 Transport page.

Kent Logo

Kent signs up for Race Equality Charter

Vice-Chancellor Karen Cox has formally submitted Kent’s application for membership of the Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter.

The Race Equality Charter provides us with a framework to enable a significant step-change at the University, and through signing-up we reaffirm our commitment to race equality.

Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance will lead on this, working with colleagues and students across the University to ensure that the work required is understood, resourced and advanced appropriately.

Vice-Chancellor Karen Cox comments ‘On behalf of all of the Executive Group, I would like to thank colleagues and students who are working tirelessly to tackle racism through education, research, evaluation and engagement. I am confident that we have amongst us all the skills, knowledge and drive to make this step-change.’

We acknowledge that there is still much to do. We will update you on the next steps the University will be taking shortly and how you can get involved.