On Tuesday 12th March the department hosted its first Careers and Volunteering Fair. Studying psychology provides many chances to learn and develop new skills, and we are keen to help provide opportunities for students to develop employability skills and attributes, ready for whatever lies ahead of graduation. The fair allowed us to introduce students to work possibilities, through talks and the chance to chat to employers.
Alison Walker, lecturer in Work Based Learning, organised the day with help from the Careers Development Service. First year students received information about their level 5 option modules, including placement opportunities. Guest speakers from prospective placement providers The Salvation Army and First Campus, gave presentations on the nature of their work and the opportunities for volunteering with them. Students who elect to complete a placement in their second year will be supported and trained for the roles in the placements, and will need to complete reflective practice portfolios linking psychology to their experience of the placement.
Employers and volunteering organisations met many students. On the day over 100 students attended, and the feedback from guests was excellent. We were pleased that New Link, Army Reserves, NSPCC Cymru/Wales, SNAP Cymru/Wales, The Pyramid Project, Solace and Llamau could all attend.
We were very pleased with the success of the event, and learned a great deal about the work opportunities available for students, and also how psychology students are perceived as having valuable skills for employers. Students were also pleased with the event with one of our first year students saying “It was an interesting and useful experience”. Dr Katie Thirlaway added: “To see the Careers Fair last week was brilliant. It was so good to see the students talking to otuside organisations, finding out about work placements. The buzz of the event was really nice and I look forward to seeing the event again next year”. We were delighted with the outcomes and feedback, and so will be repeating and developing the event again in the new academic year.