Profession

Careers Co-ordinator, Education Professional 11-19

Location

Warwickshire , West Midlands


Experience

Careers Co-Ordinator
U-Explore/Grace Academy Trust (April 2014 - Present)
Currently working on a contract for U-Explore providing Career guidance/education for The Grace Academy Trust across 3 schools in Solihull, Darlaston and Coventry. I was glad to have significant input into the curriculum design for the Careers program for the Grace Academy. This involved working collaboratively with senior members of staff from the three academies to construct a Careers program that reflected their vision. I enjoyed the creative license afforded to me in terms of suggesting ways in which Careers could be incorporated in a cross curricular way and various new initiatives to get the students to engage with Careers. I provide one to one interviews with students using the U-Explore technology to help them explore their options. I also conduct group work sessions on CV writing, helping students secure work placements, equipping students to make the most out of their work experience, UCAS talks and Employability skills workshops. My style of Careers Education is interactive in the extreme, encouraging the students to get involved and learn by doing. My style is also to try and equip the students with good decision making skills that they are empowered to take ownership of their own career planning at each turn. I aim to create good decision makers as opposed to helping them make individually good decisions. I also help organise University fair events at the academies and trips to employers/universities for the students. I am delighted to be tasked with implementing this vision over the coming year.
Postgraduate Student
Nottingham Trent University
I am currently studying towards a postgraduate diploma/professional qualification in Careers Guidance at Nottingham Trent University. This one year course is very skills based and practical which suits my style of learning. The diploma is accredited by the professional body, the Career Development Institute (CDI) Modules/course content: 1:1 guidance interactions, ethical practice, presentation skills, labour market information, partnership working, evidence based practice and career related learning. Work placements: Ample time/attention is given towards work placement throughout the course. Opportunities are provided through the university themselves and scope is also given to seek out our own placements. I have opted to seek out some of my own placement opportunities and managed to secure a consistent placement at Bournville College where I work once a week and also secured a part time mentoring position at East Leake Academy in Loughborough. Placement opportunities I have availed of through the University so far: CV clinic work with Nottingham Trent University. Careers department at Birmingham University. As part of our work related learning we are required to produce reflective reports and case studies based on interviews conducted for both formative and summative assessment. These placements are extremely beneficial in such a skills based Career such as Career Guidance and in terms of gaining insight into varied sectors of the profession. I am passionate about my professional development and upon completion of the Postgraduate diploma/QCG I aim to one day progress on to the MA in Professional Practice (a 60 credit course required to 'top up' the Diploma to a Master's Degree). Upon completion of the course (June 2015) I aim to move into Career Guidance work in an Educational or Employability context. I would one day like to use my experiences in Career Guidance and Mentoring in collaboration with my partner who works in life coaching. We would like to develop a company that provides 3 services (Career Guidance/Employability, Mentoring and Life Coaching) under the one umbrella.
Careers Adviser
Bournville College (December - April)
Alongside my studies I worked one day each week in the Careers department of Bournville College in Birmingham. This position was self-secured and was a great opportunity to conduct my research assignments, one to one interview assignments and gain an insight/experience into Career Guidance in FE. I worked in a team of 5, providing one to one Career exploration with students as well as practical help with UCAS applications, personal statements and apprenticeship applications. We also provided support in employability by way of CV writing help, mock interviews and help finding valuable work placement opportunities.
Mentor
East Leake Academy (December - April)
Alongside my studies I worked one day each week as a Mentor in East Leake Academy in Loughborough. This position was self secured and I felt it benefited my study of Career Guidance as many of the skills used are transferable. I worked one to one with a range of students in areas such as Careers advice, behavioural problems, academic attainment, dealing with bullying and any other personal problems. I utilised the effective questioning/listening skills I learn throughout my course to empower the students to generate realistic goals that will help them tackle their respective issue. This encouraged self efficacy in the students, a concept we study at length throughout our course. I aimed to ensure the students felt listened to and valued while helping them to practice articulating their thoughts, reflecting on themselves and expressing their emotions effectively. I also strived to be a positive role model for the students.
Careers Department Placement
Birmingham University
I am currently engaging in a work placement with Birmingham University Careers Network. My work here includes one to one guidance, conducting interview workshops, CV clinic work and working with the PSA to help students gain academic credit for their extra curricular activities.
Undergraduate student (BA Hons English and Education)
Newman University (2011 - 2014)
I feel that my qualification in Career Guidance will be fortified by my BA Hons degree in English and Education. Aside from the general transferable skills I gained from my degree in terms of working in a team for presentations, research skills and working to deadlines I feel that my course was very linked to Career Guidance. In my final year I completed a module, 'Learning Journeys', which required me to analyse my own life history/script, concepts which are a major part of Career Guidance. Throughout the assignment we examined how students make the decisions they make and the factors that influence them such as networks of influence, access to habitus/social capital, labelling theory and their own personal values. I found the module so interesting that I rejected my offer of a PGCE in favour of the qualification in Career Guidance. This module also prepared me for the introspective and reflective learning I would encounter on the Career Guidance Postgraduate course. Another interesting module that applies to Career Guidance was one in which I was tasked with proposing changes to the curriculum. Throughout my presentation I contended that more emphasis should be placed on teaching 'research skills' given the abundance of information/misinformation that exists it is important that students are taught how to access the right information and use the vast array of resources available to come to their own conclusions on issues as opposed to just regurgitating prescribed information. I also argued that we should move to a more vocational system akin to that used in Germany, whereby students would gain practical insight into various careers from an early age. This would help with their concept of 'self' while also helping them to gain increasingly important employability skills. Other advantages of my degree in a Career Guidance context is that it gave me a significant insight into educational institutions are run and working with students at a time where they are making important decisions in their life. The word Education stems from the Latin Educatas, meaning to 'lead out'. This implies a responsibility for educators to prepare students for the world ahead. I feel this sentiment echoes the goal of employability work.

Skills

Communication
Foundation in Coaching Skills
The Coaching Academy
CV Writing
Teamwork

Additional Information

CDI Membership as a student until June 2015