Careers Champion: Working Adviser meets finalist Alison Grieves
In a series of mini-blogs to mark the 8th Careers Champion award, Working Adviser gets to know finalist Alison Grieves – Careers Coach at University of Sunderland
WA: Tell us a bit about your background and current Careers role.
AG:I’ve been lucky to have what you might call a portfolio career. I started my career as a graduate trainee for an insurance company, moved into teaching in my late twenties and moved into university careers in 1998. Since then I’ve worked as a Careers Adviser for Newcastle and Sunderland universities and spent seven years as a Regional Careers Adviser for the Department for Education. I currently work as Careers Coach for the Careers and Employability Service at the University of Sunderland delivering CV and interview coaching sessions and employability programmes.to students and graduates.
WA: What is the most rewarding part of working in Careers?
AG: The clients. I’ve enjoyed working with a wide variety including undergraduates, graduates, contract researchers and graduate career changers. They are all so different in terms of the needs and that’s what makes the work so rewarding. No one day is ever the same.
WA: How is Careers work changing and what does the future hold?
AG: I think the major change for me as an adviser and coach is the developments in technology which mean that on any given day I could be speaking to a student on the telephone, via email or Skype anywhere in the world. I think the future’s really exciting and as a profession we will contribute to adapt to the needs of our clients.
WA: Finally, what was your reaction when you were confirmed as a Careers Champion finalist?
AG:I was on a train coming back from an AGAS Civil Service Fast Stream event in Hull when I saw the email. I was equally surprised and delighted – it definitely made the long, hot journey on a Friday afternoon a lot more bearable!