Employability Exercise -Essay

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Employability Exercise

Students throughout their time at University should have been planning for their future careers following graduation. You have been encouraged to prepare a portfolio of evidence which demonstrates that you have developed a variety of skills, which is a useful exercise in preparing for job applications and interviews. You have been encouraged and provided with materials to complete this since the first year with sessions on CV preparation, completing application forms and preparing for job interviews. You have also completed and had feedback on a job application. You should have attended a careers workshop and lecture in the final year which you were asked to reflect on. This should all go into your portfolio which should be regularly updated during the course of your final year.
For this particular coursework students are to produce an account of 500 words summarising the development of their skills and competencies during their course at Coventry. You should use the portfolio of evidence as a reference to give examples where you can demonstrate that these skills have been addressed, reflected on and developed.
The account will be marked by your project supervisor who you will have got to know well, perhaps better than other members of staff and who you will be able to talk to about your account. It is likely that your project supervisor will be providing you with references for future applications or during your final year of study. It will be marked on a pass/fail basis dependant on whether you have covered the requirements below, whether your supervisor is convinced that you have been developing your portfolio and whether you have adequately reflected, giving evidence to back up your summary. We will not assess the portfolio itself but you can show it to your supervisor as evidence that it has been developed. You should continue to add to it in the future.
Your account will only be 500 words which is very short. It will therefore need to be a very concise summary based on notes you have made throughout the year as you put your portfolio together.
For your coursework you do not need to address all the aspects below but should consider several of them when you are providing specific examples in your account. You should certainly consider all of these for your portfolio as in interviews you could be asked about any of these aspects AND be asked to give specific examples which demonstrate these skills.

• Willingness to learn
• Team work
• Enthusiasm
• Motivation
• Initiative
• Leadership
• Commitment
• Interpersonal skills
• IT Skills
• Problem solving ability
• Organisational skills
It is likely that your project will be used as an example for this assignment but it does not have to be. For your project you will have been required to be independent, resourceful and organised in order to successfully complete it. However, you should also include other aspects of your study and in particular how these have developed over three years. You should also think about (reflect on) extra-curricular activities such as membership of clubs and societies, voluntary work, employment experience and relationships with staff and peers to inform your overall development. Employers are interested not only in your academic success and abilities but who you are as a person and whether you will fit into the working environment, and whether you will be an asset to the company or institution.
Your 500 words reflective account should be structured as follows.
For your account you need to choose two examples of skills that you recognise as 1) having developed significantly and 2) that still require improvement. You will need specific examples of evidence demonstrating how they have either been successfully developed, or require attention, e.g. pieces of coursework, seminars, your project, class discussion, etc.
1) You need to choose one example of a skill which you have successfully developed during your time at Coventry. You then need to reflect on this skill, how good it was when you arrived at Coventry and why, when and how it has improved. Include the examples of evidence your have collected to illustrate this.
2) You then need to choose a second skill which may not have been developed as much as you like. Again illustrate this with evidence and end with a strategy of how you are going to improve it.
3) You then need to finish with a summary and an action plan for the future, your career goals and how you are going to achieve these goals. This should include a couple of sentences on your thoughts following the final year careers lecture and workshop.
4) You need to attend a brief one to one (pre-arranged) meeting with your project supervisor before the end of the second semester to discuss your future plans. At this meeting you need to take along your portfolio and include this in the discussion.

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