The first installment to our Bio-enterprise and employability module was the Careers Café assessment centre. This café involved listening and questioning 4 people about their careers and the path they took to achieve them.
The 4 people and their jobs;
- Bethan Wynne Roberts – Ecosystem and Climate Change Officer at Awdurdod Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri
- Dawn Thomas – Awareness Officer at Living Seas, North Wales Wildlife Trust
- Graham French – Director of PGCE secondary at Bangor University
- Jon Cannon – Process science manager at Dwr Cymru
Each person talking in this workshop appeared to have entered their current career along a different path.
Bethan used her dissertation tutor to secure a job at the tutor’s company (CELW Ltd) which gave her a stepping stone to branch off after collecting experience and seek employment elsewhere. Bethan taught us to use available contacts to our advantage when seeking employment opportunities.
Dawn used the volunteering route and volunteered in projects relating to her subject field (Zoology), this made her the optimal candidate for her current position. Dawn showed how valuable volunteering is to us in the working world and how gaining experience in you chosen subject field is detrimental to our employability.
Graham incorporated his love for outdoor activities and his enthusiasm for teaching. Graham is an example of being proactive, he was not happy with his previous jobs so decided to set up a career for himself and incorporated his hobby and passion into a viable job and business. He taught us to avail of any opportunities that reveal themselves.
This assessment centre did not interest me nor did I find it entirely useful. They did
outline some valid points as mentioned above, although, I think it is very hard to listen to other people’s career accomplishments and hear them speak about their successes.
To explain that point, If I was to win the lottery and then preach to everyone about how the lottery works and how I think you should all but a ticket as clearly, it worked for me! What do you think? Does it make you want to buy a ticket? A lot of careers result from people being in the right place at the right time or even having friends in high places. Now maybe thats just down to personal opinion but to quote my mother (never thought I’d do this!) on something she has always said ‘it’s not what you know, it’s about who you know’, I have seen this happen and have even used this saying to my advantage in securing my first couple of jobs. I do not believe listening to how they acquired their current job is in any way useful to me, although, the contacts that they possess is a different story.
I would much rather of heard about the struggles they had so I think it would be more beneficial to hear from someone who has only recently left university and is looking for employment. Hearing how hard/easy it is would be a major eye-opener for a lot of students and I think would motivate students to achieve the best sort of degree they can and to seek experience in the working world through volunteering opportunities or internships.
Thanks for reading,