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291ISS ‘A Graduate Career’ 2016

Module overview In an increasingly globalising world, graduate employment opportunities are becoming more competitive. Thousands of graduates enter the labour market each year hoping to secure a place on graduate recruitment schemes, for example the Civil Service Fast Track, or PGCE courses. We, as a University, and you, as a soon-to-be graduate, need to think about and action strategies to advance your profile and chances of success. In view of this, 291ISS A Graduate Career encourages you to start thinking about, and preparing for, what lies beyond your studies here at CU – do you want to work for an NGO, teach, or carry on studying? To help you answer these questions and to help turn your hopes in to reality, we have developed a broad and comprehensive programme that will equip you with the knowledge and skills to develop a fantastic CV, be able to understand any recruitment cycle and know how to effectively conduct yourself in interviews. It will also offer you the chance to hear from alumni students and routes in to various career paths. The module aims to develop the link between yourself and the employability services available at Coventry University. The lectures, workshops and talks are over a single week and a number of guest speakers will come to talk about graduate careers in their related professions and give us an insight into their own personal career paths. You are expected to engage with the module and access resources made available via the Employment Personal Tutor, and the Employability and Placement Unit as well as the various others speakers you will hear from. The Centre for Global Engagement will also deliver a talk on how to access study abroad options, and CUSU Volunteering and Employability Department will deliver talk on how to engage with volunteering opportunities while an undergraduate that will ultimately enhance your employability. Make the most of opportunities, be bold, and make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Module Staff Module Leader: Brett Sanders Office: GE 132 Email: Employment Personal Tutor: Kavita Sohanta Office: GE G03 Email: Facebook:

Linked In:


Key Sessions in blue are mandatory Sessions in green are mandatory but you attend only one – this will be indicated on your personal online timetable Sessions in red are optional – attend these if you are interested, examples include talks on year abroad, careers in teaching Sessions in yellow are centrally organised careers events that are available in this week

Intended learning outcomes The intended learning outcomes are that on completion of this module the student should be able to: 1.

Be able to develop and tailor a CV.


Be able to reflect on sessions attended, and apply them to your own career plans.


Understand the various recruitment methods and types


Engage with the services available at the University to progress your employability

Assessment The assessment for 291 ISS is 100% coursework. The assessment details are as follows: ď‚— Create an up to date CV that is in line with the recommendations made during the lecture and workshops (follow the template on Moodle). ď‚— Two 500 word reflections on any two events you have attended.

Submission Date The hand in date is: 10 January 2017 You must attempt the coursework. If you do not submit work you WILL NOT be entitled to re-sit. You will be marked as absent and FAIL the module All submissions must be made via Turnitin by 23:55 on 10 January 2017.

Please ensure you read the instructions for completing the assessment carefully - if you are unclear of your expectations check with the module tutors as soon as possible.

You must check that all your coursework marks have been recorded accurately on the module web and notify your module tutor if you believe a mistake has been made. NB. It must be stressed that all marks notified to you during the year are provisional until confirmed by the end of year Subject Assessment Board. It is possible that notified marks may be raised or lowered by this board. Students MUST keep copies (electronic or photocopies) of all coursework submitted on this module.

USE OF TURNITIN 1. You should upload a WORD copy of your work onto the relevant icon on your module web for plagiarism checking. If you do not do this then your work will not be marked. 2. Drafts of assessed work for any particular module should only be uploaded onto the draft icon on that module web, as this draft icon will be configured so that the final submission will not flag up overlaps with the draft submission. If you submit a draft onto any other module web then TurnitIn will identify any overlaps with your final submission as plagiarised. 3. You should never submit anyone else's work onto TurnitIn under your own name and you should never ask anyone else to submit your work onto TurnitIn under their name. 4. Normally students are only allowed to submit one draft of an assessment via Turnitin. If the guidance on plagiarism has been followed, and the student has written the work themselves, this should be sufficient. For further guidance on the use of TurnitIn please see your module web, ask your tutor or contact the CU Online helpdesk.

Plagiarism Students are advised to consult the University Regulations* and their course handbooks regarding the penalties for and definition of plagiarism, which essentially is the deliberate and substantial insertion in your own work of material from someone else e.g. a published source such as a book or article, or simply another student’s piece of work, without acknowledging the extent or source of the quotation. *To view regulations use the University website.

Referral Your right to referral in this module will depend on your results in other modules. If you are referred in coursework you will be required to submit a complete new set of assignments. Students should look on the FAH website to obtain referred work for January assessments, which normally should be submitted by the end of August. Details of the referred coursework should appear on the FAH website. Students entered for June reassessment should contact the module tutor for details of the referred coursework soon after the start of the academic year.

Extensions If you require an extension for the submission of your work you must present your case to the Student Support Office in GE (office behind reception). You should note that extensions can only be given for genuine "force majeure" and medical reasons, not for bad planning of your time. Please note that theft, loss, or failure to keep a back-up file, are not valid reasons. Should unforeseen circumstances arise, before the due date of the work, then you may apply for an extension to the deadline of normally up to three calendar weeks by submitting a Coursework Extension Application Form along with the supporting evidence to the relevant Student Support Office. Coursework Extension Application Forms are available from the Student Support Offices in GE – offices behind reception.

Assessment criteria Class

Mark range

Class I

90 – 100%

In addition to that for 70 – 79% below, an outstanding answer that could hardly be bettered. High degree of understanding, critical/analytic skills and original research, where specified. Outstanding in all respects.

80 – 89%

In addition to that for 70 – 79% below, the answer will demonstrate an excellent level of understanding, presence of clear description, critical/analytical skills or research, as appropriate.

70 – 79%

Answer entirely relevant to the assignment set. Answer will demonstrate clear understanding of theories, concepts, issues and methodology, as appropriate. There will be evidence of wide-ranging reading and/or research, as appropriate, beyond the minimum recommended. Answers will be written/presented in a clear, wellstructured way with clarity of expression. At level 3, evidence of independent, critical thought would normally be expected.

65 – 69%

Answer demonstrating a very good understanding of the requirements of the assignment. Answer will demonstrate very good understanding of theories, concepts, issues and methodology, as appropriate. Answer will be mostly accurate/appropriate, with few errors. Little, if any, irrelevant material may be present. Reading beyond the recommended minimum will be present where appropriate. Well organised and clearly written/presented.

Class II : I

60 – 64%

Class II : II

55 – 59%

50 – 54%


A good understanding, with few errors. Some irrelevant material may be present. Well organised and clearly written/presented. Some reading/research beyond recommended in evidence.

Answer demonstrating a good understanding of relevant theories, concepts, issues and methodology. Some reading/research beyond that recommended may be present. Some errors may be present and inclusion of irrelevant material. May not be particularly wellstructured, and/or clearly presented. Answer demonstrating a reasonable understanding of

theories, concepts, issues and methodology. Answer likely to show some errors of understanding. May be significant amount of irrelevant material. May not be well-structured and expression/presentation may be unclear at times. Class III

45 - 49%

An understanding demonstrated, but may be incomplete and with some errors. Limited use of material with limited reading/research on the topic. Likely to be poorly structured and not well-expressed/presented. Irrelevant material likely to be present.

40 – 44%

Basic understanding demonstrated, with some correct description. Answer likely to be incomplete with substantial errors or misunderstandings. Little use of material and limited reading/research on the topic in evidence. May be poorly structured and poorly expressed/presented. Some material may be irrelevant to the assignment requirements.

Marginal fail

35 – 39%

Some relevant material will be present. Understanding will be poor with little evidence of reading/research on the topic. Fundamental errors and misunderstanding likely to be present. Poor structure and poor expression/presentation. Much material may not be relevant to the assignment.


30 – 34%

Inadequate answer with little relevant material and poor understanding of theories, concepts, issues and methodology, as appropriate. Fundamental errors and misunderstandings will be present. Material may be largely irrelevant. Poorly structured and poorly expressed/presented.

20 – 29%

0 – 19%

Clear failure to provide answer to the assignment. Little understanding and only a vague knowledge of the area. Serious and fundamental errors and lack of understanding. Virtually no evidence of relevant reading/research. Poorly structured and inadequately expressed/presented. Complete failure, virtually no understanding of requirements of the assignment. Material may be entirely irrelevant. Answer may be extremely short, and in note form only. Answer may be fundamentally wrong, or trivial. Not a serious attempt.

Banded marking Under the banded marking scheme, your work will conform to the grading system below.

Classification Numerical Scale First Class

100 95 90 85 80 75 72

Upper Second Class


Lower Second Class

58 55

65 62

52 Third Class

48 45 42


38 35 30 20 10 0

Speaker Events The Future Works is a commercial recruitment agency that support candidates in finding jobs. They will talk to you about the types of capabilities and skills companies are looking for. They will also discuss the importance of a wellcrafted and tailored CV for securing the job you want! nd

Tuesday 22 November at 10.00am in CWB40

The Houses of Parliament will talk to you about the roles available at Parliament and what they do! They will focus on raising awareness and how you are developing skill sets to secure roles with them. nd

Tuesday 22 November at 12.00pm in GE133 – registration required

Unlimited Choice - Amit Sodha is an inspirational speaker, life coach, writer, public speaker, comedian, magician and radio presenter in London. He has a huge following and supports businesses and individuals in manging their life and career development! His focus is on building internal personal resilience so you can manage any challenge in your life and career! rd

Wednesday 23 November at 12.00pm in GSG22

Barclays Bank is a British multinational banking and financial service company supporting personal, retail, wholesale, investment, wealth management, mortgage lending and credit cards. They will talk about the importance of developing transferable skills for any role you are getting into. They will focus on ‘highlighting’ what transferable skills are, so that you can start to understand your unique selling points. th

Thursday 24 November at 3.00pm in AB107

Alumni testimonials

Name: Carl Konadu Degree: International Relations and Politics Placement Position: Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group Coordinator 1) How has your degree assisted your professional development? My degree has assisted me in gaining the ability to research and analyse to a very high standard. I am able to identify sources of information and I am used to reading through books, journals and other academic sources to write reports, articles and other papers. Having to keep up with current affairs has helped me when networking with individuals in a professional environment and has improved my interpersonal skills. 2) Did you have a clear idea of what career path you wanted to pursue in your second year of University? My second year of university is when I found out what I wanted to do, I played football to a semi-professional level and I then decided to stop playing during the middle of the academic year. As a result, I decided to combine the thing that I am most passionate about with the thing that I have knowledge of; sport and politics. I then decided to pursue a career working for an international organisations on the politics of sport, policy, law, governance etc. Ultimately I would like to work for FIFA one day or one of the top European football clubs. 3) What were the key challenges in building your career? To date, I have not had many key challenges, however I believe being proactive has been my biggest asset and has helped me land this current position. As a student you technically start from the bottom, you don’t have many qualifications or experience and so it is difficult to get your foot in the door. As a result, it is extremely important to be proactive and try and source opportunities for yourself. This includes networking at career events, sending emails, fishing the internet for job opportunities/internships and sending out cold cover letters to employers. You might even have to work for free for sometimes like how I did, however it pays off in the end, I am evidence of this! Carl is now running his own business which supports youth development and mentoring within schools. He has become very successful in this business venture ‘motivating a generation’ and he attributes his success from his time, support and guidance from Coventry University.

Name: Andrew Griffiths Degree: BA (Hons) International and Political Studies Position: Presently Deputy Head teacher. In the process of moving into self-employed consultancy and business ownership. Prior to entering teaching I worked in sales, training and development and management roles in financial services.

1. How has degree assisted professional development: •

Without my degree I would not have been able to achieve a PGCE and MA at a later date.

Teaching is a graduate profession so a degree is an essential requirement.

As a Deputy Head I passed the National Professional Qualification for Head Teachers (NPQH). This is a legal requirement for new Head Teachers. Without my degree and further degrees I would have found this process much harder as it involves research and the production of lengthy assignments.

Seminar work gives you the experience in forming opinions and influencing others as well as listening. These are essential skills in all careers

2. What were the key challenges in building my career? •

In most jobs you will be competing with other graduates. So a degree does not set you apart. You must develop the soft skills which will help you set yourself apart from those around you. Personality and ability to deal with people at all levels are key skills. I would also suggest that influencing and negotiation are vital. These are important in any job if you want to get something done. They will also help at interviews which are, in reality, a sales pitch. But the product is you.

After developing my career in financial services I decided a change was required. I had to give up a well-paid position to re train as a teacher. This was a risk both financially and emotionally. However it proved to be a successful move.

As a teacher it is important to make the most of your professional development. I studied for an MA part time in the evenings and the work for the NPQH was extensive as well as taxing. This requires a lot of dedication when done alongside an incredibly busy job and bringing up a young family.

Name: Christos Tsiachris Degree: Certificate in Peace and Reconciliation Studies (distance-learning) Position: Judge (Judicial Corps of the Hellenic Armed Forces) & Instructor of Law (Hellenic Multinational Peace Support Operations Training Center) 1) How has your degree assisted your professional development? I studied for the Certificate in Peace and Reconciliation Studies in 2006-2007 while working as an attorney in Greece. In 2009 I was appointed as a Judge at the Judicial Corps of the Hellenic Armed Forces and in 2011 I was selected as an Instructor of Law at the Multinational Peace Support Operations Training Center ( I believe that the Certificate in Peace and Reconciliation Studies was a key factor for my selection as an Instructor of Law at the Hellenic MPSOTC, both because it was relevant to the main educational aims of the Centre and because it was a proof of my excellent command of English language, which is the official language of the Center. 2) Did you have a clear idea of what career path you wanted to pursue in your second year of University? In the second year of my first degree - which was the LLB (Democritus University of Thrace-Law School) - I had already decided to become an attorney. 3) What were the key challenges in building your career? The key challenges in building my career were to pass the bar examination, run my own law office in Greece and continue my studies at the same time, since I 'm pro life-long-learning. Peace and Reconciliation Studies matched well with my LLM in International Law. Studying at the CPRS gave me the opportunity to approach the law of armed conflicts in a different way than the mainstream legal method. Another challenge was to pass the examination in order to become a military judge, something that initially was not a main career aim, since I liked being an attorney.

Name: Daniel Dalton Degree: BA International Relations and Politics Position: Senior Policy Advisor for the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists) group in the European Parliament. I am also an MEP Candidate for the European Elections West Midlands region. 1) How has your degree assisted your professional development? It has been absolutely vital. The degree gave me to knowledge necessary to work in an international political environment and an understanding of both politics and international relations in general. It is the minimum entry level for virtually all such jobs. (I also did a Masters at Warwick University but can honestly say that I learnt a lot more and got a lot more out of my degree from Coventry than the Masters from Warwick) 2) Did you have a clear idea of what career path you wanted to pursue in your second year of University? No - I originally wanted to go into the private sector into political risk analysis or something like that. I had no real understanding of what was available for graduates in this field. 3) What were the key challenges in building your career? Getting the first job and knowing what I wanted to do. I spent six months looking for a job in London without any success, partly because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do or what was available. It was only gradually that I moved into my current job. I had to do an internship first and then start off in a relatively low, permanent position before moving up.

Name: Pooja Mistry Degree: Politics Position: Graduate Recruitment Consultant

The employment support from the ISS department has been exceptional; the employment tutor takes time out of office hours to help. I was faced with a difficult challenge when I did not know what career I wanted after graduating as I did not chose politics as a degree for a career just for extended learning. Kavita got to know me extremely well to put me into a career that is best suited for me. Within two months of help from her I had landed a job as a recruitment consultant in Canary Wharf before I had even finished my exams. She went into extreme detail on helping with my CV, assessment centre, interviews and even to the smallest detail of phone calls and networking. She took all the pressure of finding a career off me so I could focus on my degree. I am one of the lucky ones starting on 21k in my first graduate job thanks to Kavita there is no way I could have done it without her.

The support I’ve received at Coventry University has been instrumental to not only my academic success, but also my employment. The lecturers at Coventry University have provided astounding support academically and personally. If you want support at Coventry University, you need only ask. Furthermore, the presence of your personal employability tutor is unavoidable, and the support they have provided me with after university has been profound. The university also have one of the biggest budgets for global student experience and an exceptional center for academic writing. I got involved with Student Representation, founded Coventry University Gender Equality society, became advanced captain for Coventry Equestrian. I also took up various jobs within the University as Subject Ambassador and Receptionist. During my summer, I gained global experience working in America as a Horse Riding Instructor and worked the following Summer at Sainsbury’s head offices. Make the most of university, be successful in your studies, network, get work experience and a job (not just at a bar, but in an office!) and learn about organizational relationships by getting elected for Name: Jessica Beaumont a society or sport!” Degree: Sociology Position: Graduate Manager in Research and Policy for the NHS

Name: Mitchell Wheeler Degree: History and Politics Position: Graduate Recruitment and Admissions for Higher Education

I believe that my EPT’s role was pivotal in my student experience and in my ability to realise my ambitions to start my own mentoring initiative and become a project manager at the Herbert Art Gallery. through this experience on my CV, I successfully secured a number of job offers before confirming my role. Kavita was always available to talk to and I found her approachable and non-judgmental in her approach.

Employability FAQs

What can I do with my degree? As cliché as it may sound…anything you want! Your degree is not vocational; there isn’t a linear process from your degree to a career, as there would be in a nursing degree, for example. There is therefore a certain amount of freedom in your choices, but also confusion as it provides a variety of options to consider. The objective is to develop transferable skills and to do so by following what interests you! For example, please read Carl Konadu’s case study above.

I have no idea what I want to do with my life? We don’t expect you to have a full career plan at this stage! At this point it’s our job to highlight key areas of interest and to develop your awareness of employability skills and potential career avenues. At this point we focus on helping you develop your transferable skills, get relevant and generic work experience, choose strategic placements and advantage modules. The focus at this point in your student experience is to ‘explore your options’!

Why are we on this module? The module is designed to offer you a toolkit of the fundamental components of employability skills. This includes marketing yourself correctly on your CV, interview skills, understanding assessment centres and building an awareness of the graduate labour market. Your degree is not vocational it is therefore our responsibility to supply you with a bridge of understanding between your degree and future career prospects, to ensure you get the return on your investment.

What is employability and why is it important to me? The term ‘employability’ basically refers to YOUR ability to get into a career and to keep or build upon it. Although employability is commonly associated to employment, it encompasses ANY career avenue, including getting an MA degree, getting into teaching, working/traveling abroad and volunteering. Employability skills are skills which will help you successfully achieve entry into any career, these include your ability to market yourself correctly, understanding your unique selling points, understanding your self-efficacy and personal resilience. As a result we cover personal development and professional training sessions, which include tailored CV writing, interview techniques, presentation techniques, body language awareness, building confidence, etc.

I know what I want to do, and don’t believe I need your help? It’s fantastic if you already know what you want to do! However, your Employment Tutor has industry knowledge about possible career avenues and might be able to highlight key work experience or placements which could support your training and ability to get into that career. They might also have contacts within the industry or have inside information about the recruitment process, and can pass this vital information onto you! So if you already have a career plan, share it with your Employment Tutor to see if they have any additional information to support your application.

I’m not planning on having a career, I am planning to travel the world after I graduate! So why do I need this module? If you currently do not have a career plan, or not intending to have one, that’s fine! But please be aware that you have invested your time, energy and money into this degree, and will probably hope that the degree will give you a return in some way. We want to make sure you achieve ALL you set out to do. Its not just about getting the degree, it’s about developing you as an individual! You also need to keep in mind that your perceptions and needs change throughout life, so if you currently don’t need a career plan, this might change in 5-7 years time. Wouldn’t it be better to understand career planning strategies and options now…. just to be on the safe side?

Whatever your plans for the future, your Employment Tutor is ready to support you!

Lanchester Library Resources Essential reading Cottrell, S. (2010) Skills for Success: Personal Development and Employability. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke

Additional Reading CV Writing Brown, M (1997) How to compile your perfect CV. Newcastle-under-Lyme: Ellerton Press. Corfield, R. (2003) Preparing your own CV: how to improve your chances of getting the job you want. London: Kogan Page Eggert, Max Perfect CV all you need to get it right first time. London: Random House Gonyea J. C. (1996) Electronic resumes: a complete guide to putting your resume on-line London:McGraw-Hill. Jackson, A. L. (1998) Prepare your curriculum vitae USA: VGM Horizons. Jones, A. (1996) How to write a winning CV: a simple step-by-step guide to creating the perfect CV London: Arrow. McGee, P. (1997) Writing a CV that works: how to develop and use your marketing tool. Oxford: How to Books Yate, M.J. (2002) The ultimate CV book: write the perfect CV and get that job. London: Kogan Page Careers

Becker, L. (2003) How to Manage Your Arts, Humanities and Social Science Degree Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Brown, C. (2002) Working in the Voluntary Sector Trotman. Burgess, R. G. (1997) Beyond the First Degree: graduate education, lifelong learning and careers Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press. Capon, C. (2004) Understanding Organisational Context: inside and outside organisations Harlow: Prentice Hall Collins, M. & Scott, B. (2003) Turn Your Degree into a Career Trotman. Collins, V. R. (2000) Getting into the Voluntary Sector. Trotman. Department for Education and Skills (1999) Working in the Voluntary Sector Trotman. Parkinson, M. (2001) The Graduate Jobhunting Guide London: Koogan Page Thompson, P. & McHugh, D. (2002) Work Organisations: a critical introduction Basingstoke: Palgrave Widdows, J. (1998) Postgraduate study and research

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