Professional Skills: STEM Careers Fair

Tuesday 31 October 2017

On the 13th of October, the PSC team attended the STEM Careers Fair held by the University. Many companies attended in order to show their presence and demonstrate their desire for graduates to apply to work for them, with many offering specific graduate schemes. However, it is especially important for graduates to be able to demonstrate transferable skills which can be applied to and mentioned in their applications to these schemes, as well as when they are lucky enough to have secured their place.

Therefore, it was our intention to find out the most important graduate skill employers were looking for.

We spoke to THG in order to gain an insight into their thoughts on professional skills. A global leader in health, beauty and lifestyle, THG specialise in e-commerce and connect brands including Honda, Unilever and Nectar to their customers. As THG describe themselves as ‘the home of intensity, expectation, and achievement’, it should perhaps come as no surprise that they described their most important graduate skill to be ambition. If you are able to confidently deliver your aims and experience at interview, your ambition will be recognised. Through the Professional Skills Curriculum, workshops like ‘Confidence and Belief’ on 17th November or ‘Long-term Confidence Building’ on 23rd November will help you develop your confidence and help communicate your ambition to employers.

THG are also looking for graduates with ‘proven communication and influencing skills’ so workshops or events based on either Communication or Negotiation and Persuasion are likely to help you gain employment.

If you are looking to kickstart an exciting career in tech, a graduate job at FDM could be the one for you. As their aim is to bring people and technology together, they described their most important professional skills to be professionalism, collaboration and inclusivity. In order to develop these skills, PSC workshops focusing on Teamwork and Communcation are the most relevant, including ‘Team-working and Followership’, hosted next semester on 7 March.

In addition, a programme focused on developing professional skills is offered during the first week of the graduate scheme at FDM. It was emphasised by the professional e spoke to at the careers fair, however, that it would be beneficial for applicants to already have experience in developing and using work-transferable skills. She also said she wishes she had had the opportunity to have training on a programme like that offered by the PSC before going into the world of work!

We also spoke to CGG, a leader in cutting-edge geoscience who offer a unique range of technologies and services designed to acquire data and images of the Earth’s subsurface in order to gain a deeper understanding for optimisation of oil and gas reservoirs.

When asked about important professional skills in their field, they emphasised innovation and creativity, and told us that they are especially looking for graduates who can come up with new ideas. As an original thinker, once you have come up with your new ideas, it is important to be able to communicate these to your colleagues. Through workshops such as ‘How to Engage Others’, which will be hosted on 7 November, you can help to understand how to effectively interest others in your ideas and communicate them appropriately and enthusiastically to your co-workers.

Every employer we spoke to showed great enthusiasm towards the PSC, and emphasised the importance of developing professional skills while at university in order to prepare for the world of work. The PSC is here to support you while you develop your skills through our range of workshops, which can be explored and booked here.


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