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Students’ Union partners with WoW


Don’t leave your future to chance!


Find out how to earn yourself a WoW Certificate on page 2

New President explains LSU link on page 3

WORLD OF WORK NEWS REVIEW What is WoW? WoW stands for the “World of Work” and is an approach unique to LJMU. WoW includes work related learning, recording key graduate skills and providing evidence of WoW skills by obtaining the WoW Certificate. It aims to ensure you are equipped with the employability skills you need to stand out from the crowd and fully engage in the world of work

produced by the GDC and LJMU Journalism Graduates

WoW’s star man is now helping future graduates

Get support all the way!

BY Hugh O’Connell

LJMU is taking your employability seriously. Your degree, work related learning, graduate skills and the WoW Certificate will make you a much stronger applicant for graduate jobs – but you must be proactive. No university has stronger links with employers than LJMU and competition in the graduate jobs market is fierce. The Graduate Development Centre Team understand what employers want and how you can stand out from the crowd. Start planning early! Come to the GDC to ask about our programmes and the WoW Certificate. We’ll support you all the way

The help and expertise of the Graduate Development Centre and their flagship WoW Certificate has helped an LJMU graduate secure his ideal job with a multinational company. Chad Cearns graduated with a BSc in Business Information Systems, and now works for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. As an IT analyst, he is managing and supporting the systems that keep the company’s manufacturing facilities running smoothly. Chad, from Hastings, says the help of the GDC was crucial to securing the job: “I had started applying for jobs before I got help with my CV and covering letter but I hadn’t heard anything back from a number of companies. “However, as soon as I had sought help from the GDC I had responses coming back, and one of those applications was for Lilly.”

Top companies on WoW Unsure whether to start the WoW Certificate? Listen to what big companies such as Marks & Spencer, Airbus and the Co-op have to say on the impact a WoW Certificate can have in kick-starting your career

hear their views on page 6

WoW in healthy shape says NHS The WoW Star caught up with an NHS employer who has been impressed with WoW’s impact on their LJMU recruits

full story on page 8

Top 10 tips You must be proactive in your search for that first job after university. The WoW Star has listed ten tips to help you on your way

see them on page 5

Winning formula A team of LJMU students have been building and competing with their own race car, making an impressive debut

see back page


continued on page 3

STAR MAN: Chad Cearns

WoW ‘ensures better calibre students’ THE WoW Certificate is creating higher calibre graduates, according to Jacqui Humphries, Group People Director at Shop Direct. Speaking exclusively with the WoW Star, Jacqui believes WoW is one of the most innovative schemes available to students as it improves their chances of impressing in the workplace: “As an employer WoW is ensuring that we are getting better calibre students more aware of what’s needed in the workplace,” she said. “It’s an experience that many students across the country would benefit from, as it helps students to go from university in to industry, so it’s very, very valuable.” As students begin their journey into the workplace, they could use all the help and advice they could get. Jacqui believes the best thing students should do is do their research and have a clear direction: “First of all I think you have to be really clear

about where you want your career to be. Employers really sort through why that person wants to work for them. If the candidate doesn’t know about your company it doesn’t give you a feel that it’s where they want to be. “The more candidates prepare themselves the better they will come off, which is another reason why the WoW process is so good because of the interview and feedback that you receive, that’s just simulating the real thing, giving you an idea of where you are.” Despite the recession, Shop Direct has never lost sight of how beneficial graduates can be to their business and continue to look for the best people they can. Jacqui added: “The recession has affected most industries who have had to look at the costs of recruiting, but when going through that turbulence it’s important to get valuable people because they’re the ones that are going to grow the business at the other side.”

SHOP DIRECT: Jacqui Humphries



The WoW Star is published and edited by the Graduate Development Centre, Kingsway House, Hatton Garden, Liverpool, L3 2AJ. Tel: 0151 231 8099 To view WoW videos see: For latest WoW updates see: Or join our Facebook group - LJMU GDC Download the WoW Star as a pdf document at: Please send any comments and your ideas for the next WoW Star to Alternative formats of the The WoW Star are available from the GDC, please contact us. WoW® is a registered trademark

The WoW Star is written and designed by Journalism graduates from Liverpool John Moores University Design and Subeditor Michael McGuinness Michael, from Cheshire, is a 2008 Journalism graduate, and was the inaugural winner of the Margaret Fairclough Prize for subediting skills. He now works as a subeditor at the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo and as a writer at Sport Media, working on various Liverpool FC publications. News Editor Hugh O’Connell Hugh, from Ireland, completed a degree in Journalism at LJMU in 2010, winning the Neil Warburton Prize for highest overall grade. Since finishing his degree he has worked as a researcher with BBC Radio 4 in Manchester and with during the 2010 World Cup. Writers Ruth Cobban Ruth graduated in Journalism in 2010 with First Class Honours. She is now working as a reporter with a local newspaper in the West Midlands.

Michael Davies Mike, also a 2010 graduate, began his course with an ambition to become a political writer, but now has his sights on a career in politics. He is a big fan of WoW, as he believes it gives graduates a foot in the door of an already competitive jobs market.

Editorial Directors - LJMU Journalism Lecturers Steve Harrison, Kate Heathman Content copyright Liverpool John Moores University 2010. All rights reserved.


See off the competition with a WoW Certificate BY Ruth Cobban IT’S a scary time to be graduating; everyday new statistics charting the economic downturn and the lack of available jobs appear. Competition for graduate positions has never been fiercer. There are 900,000 unemployed under 25’s in the UK, 100,000 of which are graduates. Employers are now using a battery of processes including psychometric tests and initial telephone interviews to filter out weaker applicants. Terry Dray, Director of the Graduate Development Centre, calls these processes “Weapons of Mass Rejection”, and believes that the World of Work programme can help graduates to avoid the pit falls that leave so many graduates unemployed. Terry said: “The WoW initiative is a unique strategic approach to help our students be the most employable. We know that the economic situation has created an incredibly competitive market and the evidence is compelling. “Students who are serious about their future and want to compete and stand out from the competition should see the obvious benefit of completing the WoW Certificate.“ The WoW Certificate focuses on developing self-awareness, organisational awareness and the ability to make things happen through project management skills. Once students have demonstrated these skills, they are given the opportunity to attend a one to one interview with an employer. The GDC has trained well over 100 employer verifiers, so students who take part can now be interviewed by an employer from

DIRECTOR: Terry Dray an industry that they intend to enter. The GDC is working closely with organisations keen to recruit LJMU’s talented graduates including M&S, The Co-operative Group, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Sony, Siemens and the BBC. The GDC also works closely with smaller employers including the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. Terry added: “One of the most valuable aspects of the WoW process is that it brings students into contact with many employers, most of whom are looking out for talented future employees. A number of students have managed to land work experience opportunities and even job offers as a result”.

WoW Facts In 2010, 3,500 graduates voluntarily registered to complete the WoW certificate. The GDC offers an extensive Ready For Work programme, which includes essential sessions on CV writing, application form filling, interview techniques, and psychometric tests. Expert info and guidance about the WoW process is available from the GDC’s employability and careers advisers at the GDC and student Hubs in the libraries.

How do I get a WoW Certificate? THE first step is to sign up, via the WoW website ( This will register you on the “WoW Process” Blackboard module within three to four days, giving you access to all the information and resources you need. You can then do a “Virtual Interview” if you wish, which will help you assess your WoW skills. There are three interviews, one on each of the WoW skills areas (Self Awareness, Organisational Awareness and Making Things Happen). If you find answering the virtual interview questions a challenge, then you need to develop your WoW skills further – either through work-related learning, your course, leisure activities or through the fantastic range of dynamic and interactive workshops which run regularly at the Graduate Development Centre. Go to our Events system for details and to book yourself a place at Once you are confident in your world of work skills, the final stages of the WoW Certificate process mirror a conventional recruitment process – a written application followed by an interview. You have to produce a WoW Statement, which provides evidence for all your WoW skills and, once successful (like getting short-listed), you then go forward to the final interview with an employer from your preferred sector.

Sports students praise huge return from short time investment in WoW faculty of

Education, Community and Leisure

AS the class of 2010 make their first steps into the world of work, the WoW Certificate has been busy equipping them with the extra skills they will need to get that first job. The WoW scheme has had some great success at LJMU, including two students in particular from the Department for Education, Community and Leisure. Robyn Mackintosh - who graduated this year in Sport Development - and Gavin Taylor, who

completed a Physical Education, Sport and Dance degree, both feel they are now all the better for completing the WoW Certificate. Robyn said that she had some initial concerns about the time the programme would take away from her university work but found the flexibility of the work allowed her to complete the certificate at her own pace. “I feel like I’ve benefited as I now have a large personal statement that I can use to take examples from and transfer to other applications,” she said. Gavin added: “We were given useful

workshops on the purpose and advantages of the WoW Certificate. The actual WoW statement took around three hours to write and gave me a chance to communicate the skills I have developed. The feedback I received was also very clear and precise. “I found the interview process to be the most helpful aspect. It gave me a chance to experience an interview setting and to receive feedback from a specialist PE Teacher. “I would recommend the WoW Certificate to all students; for the relatively short time you spend on it, you get a lot in return.”



Liverpool Students’ Union can get best out of WoW BY Hugh O’Connell THE Liverpool Students’ Union will train its course representatives in the Graduate Development Centre’s WoW Certificate as a way of making the whole advocate experience worthwhile for students. The LSU, which represents all students at LJMU, welcomes its new president Lily Rumsey in September 2010 as well as 200 new course reps. Lily has outlined how the WoW process can make the idea of becoming a course rep more appealing to those who want to volunteer for it. She said: “Over the past few years, an ongoing discussion among students’ unions has been how we make their volunteering ‘worth it’. At LJMU, we had a custom-made solution to this problem: the WoW Certificate. “We have matched each of the key activities that Course Reps undertake against key graduate skills and provided examples of how, by doing easy volunteering work on behalf of their fellow students, Course Reps can show how they have met the criteria they need to apply for WoW Bronze, Silver and Gold.” She hopes to see 100 course reps complete the bronze stage of the WoW Certificate before working towards the gold standard. It’s all part of the LSU’s continued work and growing relationship with the GDC which Lily believes can give all graduates from LJMU that extra edge when it comes to going into the world of work: “We want to improve communication and provision so that every student can take advantage of the opportunities that exist. We want every LJMU graduate to leave with an ‘edge’ – a mark of quality that sets our students apart,” she added.

continued from front page

Chad completed the WoW Certificate, finding it beneficial in helping him to give better answers on application forms, and develop his project management skills. He continued: “Another bonus of doing this certification is that it was something to discuss at interview, as it’s a good talking point discussing how you’ve made additional effort to be prepared for interviews and working life. “In terms of using it since I started work, it’s been useful in writing my performance management plan where I have to look at improving on weaknesses and maximising on strengths in the best way possible.” Chad feels his skills have progressed in a number of areas over the past year: “In this role my time management, multi-tasking, teamwork and leadership have improved a great deal. Working for a global company with experienced project managers and IT staff means I have learnt a lot from them.” Chad has also helped with Eli Lilly’s student placements and recruitment scheme, helping fellow LJMU graduates secure roles at the company. Following his success, he recommends WoW and the help of the GDC to upcoming graduates. He adds: “The process helps prepare you for all the many questions that you could be faced with and helps formulate different examples that you can use for different in interview questions and other tests”.


PRESIDENT: Lily Rumsey takes the helm at the LSU

Evans on the write track penning Eastenders E20 Hollyoaks producer Bryan Kirkwood, who then recommended him for the writing team of the second series of E20. Luke said: “I like to think that my talent was A LIVERPOOL Screen School student has noticed and then developed through luck of had to balance finishing his degree and timing and having the right contacts.” scriptwriting for an Eastenders spin off. Joining in the second series means that But Luke Evans, a Media Professional Studies student, hasn’t been complaining after Luke, from Warwickshire, has had to watch he got the exciting opportunity to write scripts and learn from those with E20 from the start. for E20, the online spin off of the popular BBC However, he was commissioned to write one online extra episode and believes that the One soap which follows the exploits of four experience will enhance his career prospects. teenagers in Albert Square. He said: “The main benefit of this experience Luke, 21, got involved in the online soap is learning how to properly write for TV, after coming into contact with former work with like-minded writers, and to have a

Media, Arts and Social Sciences

WoW’s star man

faculty of


massive foot in the door with the BBC. “Anyone would be delighted with this opportunity, but it can’t stop here, I have to make the most of it. “My course gave me a great amount of knowledge of other areas surrounding the pre production writing stage I was involved in.” He is now looking to further his scriptwriting career with the BBC and E20 whilst developing his talent for songwriting, and working with three fellow MPS graduates on their independent production company which they established in their final year. “Hopefully you’ll see or hear something I’ve written in the future,” he added.

THE Graduate Development Centre in Kingsway House is a state-of-the-art career development and training facility open to all LJMU students, and is THE place to develop your career. Located on Hatton Garden near to Avril Robarts and Byrom Street, it’s the envy of other universities. WoW® sessions such as self-awareness, project management and business ethics, and Ready for Work sessions focussing on CV writing, application form filling, interview and selection centre techniques etc. are run regularly here. The GDC is the place to meet employers during presentations or networking meetings. The WoW® Certificate interview with an employer will take place here, and if you want to speak to our staff about a career-related matter simply drop-in. If you want a recorded practice interview the GDC is for you. Come and have a look at this great facility – you’ll receive a warm welcome!

Career Plus - Cutting edge support LJMU will continue to support your career development after you have graduated. You can access online career modules dealing with CV building, making successful applications and even negotiating your salary. There are also webinars, details of networking sessions around the country and thousands of vacancies. Oliver Crook, Chair of the LJMU Alumni Board and Partner at Todd & Ledson, comments: “As a graduate you often need access to career support services you can trust that are good value. The GDC is doing a great job in providing Career Plus”.

WRITE ON: Luke Evans

Delivered in partnership with Hays, Career Plus is FREE for the first 2 months after graduation and is FREE for the first year if you have gained the WoW Certificate. LJMU graduates can also attend ALL Ready for Work sessions at the GDC and talk to Employability and Careers Advisers. For more information go to: or



Want a career guidance interview?

VC explains WoW’s inception THE WoW programme has grown into a globally recognised brand endorsed by some of the world’s biggest companies including the BBC and Sony. The Vice Chancellor of LJMU Professor Michael Brown has outlined how the process began and what’s in store for the future: “Five years ago LJMU went through a process to decide how it could differentiate itself from other universities. We wanted to do something that was exciting and challenging,” he began. “It was a long research process, we found out what skills industries were looking for in graduates, and that the ways of developing these skills was not fit for purpose.” It can be argued that a degree no longer guarantees a job, and that you now need other skills and experience to stand out from the crowd. The VC believes this was a big consideration when coming up with the WoW process: “Business leaders have told us they were concerned with the lack of certain skills that graduates had, things like self awareness, project management and even an understanding of the company you were applying for.”

THE GDC’s professional Careers Advisers are here to provide expert, confidential one-to-one discussions to help you decide your next steps. Careers Advisers are attached to each Faculty so have course specific expertise. Individual sessions can be booked by calling 0151 231 8099. For more information go to

Graduate Skills Support EACH faculty has dedicated skills support and development staff to help you reflect on and record key graduate skills such as verbal communication and team working etc. Employers want graduate employees who can clearly demonstrate these skills. Your faculty skills support staff are here to help you make the best transition you can into the world of work so make contact with them today. For information go to: students/99436.htm


BACKING WoW: Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Brown

This led to the foundation of the WoW programme. Initially some lecturers were apprehensive about it, but after seeing how it would work and how much of the process already existed in their courses they were then on board, a similar situation to students who had worried about the extra workload. However, the VC was most surprised by the reaction of the businesses they tried to get on board: “It was always the idea that this process would involve industry from start to finish, that’s what makes WoW so unique. “We were expecting getting them involved to be the hardest part of the process, however it was the easiest and they were actually contacting us asking how they could help.” Now with the WoW process firmly established with recruitment rising from 200 to 3,000 in one year, LJMU continues to lead the way in developing graduates with the skills they need to make getting that job or starting that business easier. Vice Chancellor Brown concluded: “Any student who doesn’t take advantage of this free service while they can will be kicking themselves after graduating”.

Onwards and upwards for Tomfoolery Productions faculty of

Media, Arts and Social Sciences

LJMU graduate and entrepreneur, Adam Wright, has gone from strength to strength since starting his own business. In 2006, he and his business partner, Owen Williams, founded Tomfoolery Productions, a production company based in Liverpool. The pair have since been shortlisted for numerous awards, including having a short film premiere in Cannes in 2009. They have also twice been shortlisted for the prestigious Orange British Short Films Awards. Adam graduated in 2006 after completing a Screen Studies and Creative Writing degree at LJMU, and the company still work closely with the Liverpool Screen School. As successful young entrepreneurs, they have firsthand experience of the skills needed to succeed in business: “Programmes like WoW are great for young entrepreneurs who are thinking of going into business. “Practical capability is often not enough, you need to be organised and have a great deal

of initiative, but you also need to have a clear idea of your strengths and weaknesses.” In addition to their creative work, Tomfoolery also takes on corporate contracts for businesses. They recently won a contract from the NHS to produce a short informational video for their incoming graduates. They believe that this experience has given them even more insight into the qualities that graduates need: “It’s really important that you know how to present yourself to a potential employer, WoW helps you to recognise your strengths and weaknesses, and teaches you how to present yourself,” said Adam. “These skills can be invaluable in an industry like ours where we constantly pitch for contracts and need to have the ability to promote our company to potential clients.” The company employs freelancers, and often has the opportunity to work with students and graduates from LJMU. “From a business perspective, a candidate who had shown the initiative and drive that completing a WoW Certificate requires would definitely catch our attention,” added Adam.

TOMFOOLERY DUO: Adam Wright and Owen Williams at Cannes, and at work (INSET)



LJMU Journalists’ website Liverpool Life is a huge hit


Job hunt top 10 tips

1. Stay calm: Even though times are tough, there are still lots of jobs out there – so don’t panic, but don’t be complacent either. 2. Stand out from the crowd! The jobs market is incredibly competitive, so you need to go that extra mile to help yourself get noticed – get a WoW Certificate! The process of producing your WoW statement gives you a great opportunity to practise selling yourself on paper, demonstrating your skills effectively and developing evidence to use in future job applications. 3. Do something: If it takes a while to secure your first graduate job, keep active - get work experience, do voluntary work or further study. 4. Know yourself: Understanding yourself is crucial if you are going to make good career decisions – workshops at the GDC can help!

THE TEAM: (from left to right) Back row: Sean Fell, Andrew O’Brien, Daniel Masters, Chloe Garfoot, Gary Maiden, Luke Johnson, Alice Purkiss, Ciara McCrory, Kelly Cornwell, Paul Meehan. Front row: Amy Swift, Louisa Collington, Sam Rogers, John Mathews, Hugh O’Connell, Victoria Fode, Chris Shaw.

faculty of

Media, Arts and Social Sciences

NICK CLEGG, Jedward, Coleen Rooney and Kasabian are among the famous names to have spoken to JMU Journalism in its first year online. The Liverpool Life website, launched in May 2009 by journalism students at the Liverpool Screen School, has gone from strength to strength in its first year, providing mostly third level students with an outlet for their university coursework and more. As well as star interviews and many local news stories, the website has commissioned city wide polls on issues such as Independence for Liverpool, sun bed usage amongst Liverpudlians and the fate of former Liverpool FC boss Rafael Benitez, with over a thousand respondents.

The website has also established a content sharing agreement with the Liverpool Echo, which has published stories and video produced by the students on its own website. Whilst working on the JMU Journalism website is entirely voluntary, the students involved have felt the benefit as Website Editor Sam Rogers explained: “The website has been amazing for all involved. “Its given us a platform to present our work and really given us a real ‘World of Work’ experience as we have had to constantly produce quality stories along with all the necessary images and layout. “It has made us better students as we were more motivated to engage with our work, and has definitely made us better journalists too.” As well as delivering a great online news outlet, some of the students working on JMU Journalism have completed the WoW process

using case studies from their work on the website to gain their WoW Star certification. That, along with their portfolio of work, will give these students a big advantage as they head out in to the world of work, according to John Mathews, online journalism lecturer, who leads the website team: “We’ve had some tremendous stories on the website this year. An excellent group of third years have led the project and produced the bulk of it’s content. “They now have a great portfolio of work to show off to potential employers. “We’ve also had some fantastic contributions from level one and two students. That bodes well for the next few years when they will be hopefully making the website bigger and better than it already is.” Why not visit their website at

Wales workshops go down a re-treat BY Mike Davies

faculty of

Technology and Environment

AS many students depart into the ‘real’ world of work, the LJMU Department for Technology and Environment are eager for their new intakes to get involved in the World of Work scheme as early as possible. At a three-day December residential, held by the School of Engineering, new students can find themselves at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, taking part in workshops to enhance their WoW Graduate Skills. Michelle MacDonnell, Skills Support Officer with the Department for Technology and Environment, said: “We have attended the CAT Centre for the past two years, and will be doing so again in December this year. “This is a great opportunity for us to meet all the Level 1 students with the School of Engineering, and promote our role and WoW from very early on in their course”.

5. Get networking: Make the most of the contacts you have through university, family, social networks and work you’ve done – careers fairs and employer presentations are a great place to start. 6. Research your ideas: Make sure you understand the different types of job and organisations you are interested in to help you make good decisions. 7. Be flexible – have a plan B: You may not get your ideal job straight away, so be flexible about what you consider and its location, to give you as wide a pool of jobs as possible. 8. Get experience: Paid or unpaid work experience is invaluable – and if it’s in a relevant area, it will give you insights into the sector, develop relevant skills and be highly valued by potential employers. 9. Be prepared for interviews: Successful interviewees demonstrate planning, focus and enthusiasm – so research the job and the company and think in advance about questions you may be asked. And remember, completing the WoW Certificate involves an interview with an employer – a great opportunity to have a practice run! 10. Seek help: Make the most of the services of the GDC – we’re here to help, whether it is by gaining the unique WoW certificate, attending workshops or speaking to one of our employability or careers advisers.

Need help getting your career started? THE GDC’s expert Employability Advisers are available in the Student Zones in the LRCs and at the GDC to support you with a wide range of career planning issues including understanding the job market, where to find key information, how to apply for jobs and courses, how to present your application positively in including CV writing and how to arrange an interview with a Careers Adviser. SPELL IT OUT: Students show their support for WoW while on a workshop retreat in Wales

Individual sessions can be booked by calling 0151 231 8099. For more information go to:



The Co-op back LJMU’s WoW results

Liverpool John Moores University is the only university with the real WoW factor according to business empire, The Co-op. You could be forgiven for thinking that the classes of 2010 are about to enter an impossible task in trying to succeed in today’s world of work. However, the developing relationship between LJMU and the Co-op business group is creating new opportunities for students, a relationship that finds its origins in the creation of the WoW process. Rachel Rotherham, Graduate Programme Manager at Co-op, believes LJMU is the only university getting the full potential out of graduates through WoW, and that this is showing in their recent recruits: “I think LJMU is the only university with the WoW process completely under way and the one really making it work.


Marks & Spencer recognise power of a WoW Certificate HIGH STREET giant Marks & Spencer is backing the GDC in their bid to prepare students for the world of work. M&S is one of the largest recruiters in the UK, and are well versed when it comes to graduate recruitment. They are one of the many nationwide companies who take part in the WoW Certificate by offering their expertise to students who take part in the scheme. David O’Driscoll, HR Business Partner at M&S, explains why the company are so keen to help: “We recognise that through programmes like WoW we can help people make small changes to help them maximise their potential,” he said. He believes that academic training often doesn’t give students the preparation for professional recruitment that they need, so WoW offers invaluable experience for graduates wanting to prepare for the employment process: “There are a lot of talented graduates who may have the necessary technical or practical skills who just

don’t know how to present themselves and showcase their abilities. “We want to do our best to make sure that these candidates don’t slip through the net just because they haven’t had the necessary preparation.” Recruiters state that the simplest things from appearance to preparation can be very important and through partnership with companies like M&S, WoW gives participants the opportunity to get quality feedback from people who are involved in fields that students may want to venture into. The WoW Certificate involves a wide range of employers who are encouraged to be very honest with people on the programme about where they may be falling short or weaknesses they could improve upon. David added: “The diverse nature of companies involved with the WoW process is very helpful as they are able to give participants hints and tips on what they would be looking for in employees.

M&S: David O’Driscoll “The range of sectors covered means that graduates will be able to get feedback from professionals who operate in a range of different divisions, from media to retail”.

Airbus see benefits of academia to job transition

CO-OP: Rachel Rotherham “LJMU has really made the shift into getting the most out of the WoW process and it’s really important that more students take part to continue the success of the programme.” The Co-op had never previously recruited from LJMU, but that all changed when they took on two LJMU alumni from 19 possible places - both from the WoW process - and Rachel says they are making their mark: “They are working on their third project within the recruitment scheme and we’re pleased with how they’re developing their skills. “The WoW process is in place to help graduates get jobs in an increasingly competitive job market. You can see the benefits graduates are getting by taking part. “WoW makes you aware of the skills you need before entering the world of work, such as interview skills. It tackles the core behaviours and disciplines that employers look for, and the WoW process at LJMU really helps students become aware of that.” The Co-op has always prided itself on its business ethics and social responsibility, and now LJMU has developed a programme to give graduates the skills towards achieving these principles. The Liverpool Business School developed the MA Social Enterprise Management to promote the expansion of successful and sustainable social enterprise businesses, pairing the motivation of wealth creation with the feeling of community responsibility and charitable activity. Dr Bob Doherty, Joint Programme Leader, Social Enterprise Management said: “It is more important than ever that businesses evaluate their social impact. We want graduates to help bridge the gap between business and social enterprise to create and expand businesses that benefit the community.”

BIG businesses are starting to take note of the WoW Certificate. What they are seeing is a project that helps graduates stand out from the rest of the crowd, and the WoW Certificate at LJMU is standing taller than the rest according to Darren Smith, Head of Performance and Improvement at Airbus. Mr Smith has very recently seen what WoW has to offer, and has been impressed with its results: “I think it’s great at bridging the gap between work and academics,” he said.

“This kind of process is a great opportunity for students to gain a better insight into organisational needs. Having a conversation with people who’ve experienced the transition from academia to industry will prove to be invaluable in the future.” LJMU has always been a forward thinking university with emphasis on creativity and creating opportunities for its graduates to succeed, and the WoW Certificate is more proof of this. Mr Smith continued: “Going from university

into industry can be tough but the facilities at LJMU and the staff members who run the WoW course are excellent and every student who gets the chance should take part.” With business leaders now noticing the WoW process and seeing the results it can produce, those of you now looking at the scheme can be assured that it is not just a passing fancy of the university, it is an established process that will be sure to put you ahead of the crowd in an ever more competitive job market.




WoW round the table WoW SKILLS are important to you as a graduate, they will help make you stand out from the crowd and get into work in your chosen industry, at least according to a number of employers who have become big fans of the process. That was the theme when the WoW Star sat down with a number of these employers to find out exactly what they think about the WoW process and the work that LJMU is doing to help their graduates.

BY Mike Davies IT would be wrong to suggest that graduate recruitment has not been affected by recent economic events, but a number of companies have done their best to continue to give graduates a chance to get a career. Dr Ian Belger CEng FIET, Chief Electrical Engineer at Sellafield Ltd said: “We are still recruiting around 30 graduates in September, this has dropped from an original starting point of about 50. This is partly based on financial reasons but mostly because the business is reviewing its resource profile. In a sense, the drop off in recruitment elsewhere helped our campaign as the application numbers increased significantly.” Wyatt Walsworth, MDEC, Stockport & Stoke, Area Operations Manager, Royal Mail, said: “We want to build relationships with a small number of universities in order to make our graduate recruitment easier, although it’s looking like they are a needle in a haystack. It’s good for some of our managers to be ‘giving something back to society’ and gaining new skills and experiences.” Chris Humphreys, Assistant Regional Training Advisor, Lovell Partnerships Ltd. North West added that Lovell Partnerships has continued to maintain their desired recruitment and focus on bringing in the most talented people they can, and that his company was continuing to support LJMU graduates who hold the WoW Certificate. Our panel also discussed the issues facing recent graduates and the troubles they will face finding jobs in today’s job market. The recession, falling recruitment numbers and a dramatic increase in graduate numbers all came up and each of our panel had their own opinions and advice on what today’s graduates will be forced to do if they want to succeed in an ever competitive environment.

Chris Humphreys believes the recession had affected recruitment and highlighted that graduates now face a tougher time and must adapt their approach to ensure they stand out as much as possible: “Clearly the recession has had a profound effect on organisations’ ability to expand and recruit, especially into junior positions. Graduates need to set themselves apart from the competition and show potential employers that they understand the world of work, as well as impressing employers with their personality, knowledge, abilities and skills.” Dr Belger said that the only major difference in finding a job now is a simple reduction in the amount of vacancies as employers look to become more cost effective and get the most out of reduced number of staff. Although this may sound like a major issue, Dr Belger said the only thing graduates need to change is their approach to getting a job: “Applicants have to make the best of themselves – offer a professional image, provide the best CV that they can, offer the most professional letter and application and the best broad set of technical/behavioural skills that they can provide. “You have to do everything you can to put your best impression in front of the recruiting company. Being aware of the company and the work they do is an easy thing to get right but many people fail to prepare for that. “Flexibility could be important, in the bigger companies you can take on a role that develops into something else so be prepared to look at the big picture.” Wyatt Walsworth said that by doing some research and putting together the best possible applications, graduates can still find the jobs that are still out there: “It’s obvious that not enough companies are recruiting due to the recession. Do your research - the application needs to be well thought through for the employer so do as

Find out about Careers STUDENTS and graduates at LJMU have access to a wide range of careerrelated resources not only via the WoW website ( but also at the Graduate Development Centre on Hatton Garden, within the LRCs and in WoW rooms around the university. Careers books providing advice on certain career paths and valuable resources from organisations such as Graduate Prospects ( are available to support you in planning your career and applying for jobs. Where can I find these resources? From your local LRC: • The GDC has provided access to a variety of useful careers books, which are searchable through the library catalogue and can be loaned through the three LRCs at LJMU • The WoW Employability Resource at Aldham Robarts LRC and Avril Robarts LRC - To support your careers and employability appointments within the LRCs, an additional resource of careers reference books is available. Books in this collection are searchable through the library catalogue but cannot be loaned by students. They are kept in the meeting rooms with the Careers Advisers and Employability Adviser to be used with students during the day but can be accessed by students within the short loan area at other times • Free take-out information resources are available from the Employability Advisers and Careers Advisers during appointments within the LRCs The Graduate Development Centre: • A selection of careers reference books and FREE take away resources are available at the GDC for students attending workshops or just dropping in; Around the university • A selection of free employability resources can also be found in WoW rooms and in “Essential Career Resources” dump bins located around the university. much research as you can if you’re asked for an interview, be very clear what your skills are and practice the interview, don’t assume that because you’re a graduate you’ll get the job. “Do placements during your degree and get experience working with and leading people either in your part time work or your hobbies.” If there was one issue that our panel reached a consensus on it was that the WoW Certificate was one of the most innovative and beneficial available to graduates, giving them

the skills and industry knowledge that many businesses felt most graduates lacked after a three-year degree. Chris Humphreys added that graduates from LJMU with the WoW certificate under their belts are putting themselves ahead of others and those students should take the opportunity while they can: “WoW is a fantastic way of providing committed graduates with what employers are looking for. We need graduates who understand how their productivity and personality can benefit the organisation, and WoW provides this and more. Possession of the WoW certificate shows us that a graduate cares about their future after university and wants to put their learning to practical use and contribute to our business. We want to help them get that point by supporting this muchneeded programme.” Dr Belger added that Sellafield is also a big supporter of WoW, believing as many employers do that the skills learnt on the course are fundamental to the success of a graduate in any environment. He added: “While many technical skills can be taught on the job or during a degree, the WoW skills are something that any graduate needs to put themselves ahead of the opposition.” So despite the uncertain times as the new government makes its moves, our panel revealed is that there is hope for graduates who are willing to adapt and work hard and for those graduates from LJMU who have taken advantage of the WoW Certificate, they are only putting themselves ahead of the field.



LJMU uses the Force

GRADUATION DAY: (from left to right) Deborah Pownall, Brokerage Team Leader, GDC, student Rachel Kennedy, Inspector Mark Lawes, Clare Horrocks, Senior Lecturer, Media, Culture, Communications

faculty of

Media, Arts and Social Sciences

MERSEYSIDE Police has given students at LJMU a unique insight into how they go about tackling knife crime in Liverpool. The police force has formed close ties with the Graduate Development Centre over the past 12 months allowing some students the benefit of their knowledge and expertise in order to complete their dissertations. The force collaborated with LJMU on a unique project called ‘Knife Crime Uncovered’ where Inspector Mark Lawes, Coordinator for the Home Office Tackling Knives and Serious Youth Violence Action Plan (TKAP), mentored students on courses such as Criminal Justice. The students conducted research on behalf of Merseyside Police and in return received valuable support, advice and information for their dissertations from Inspector Lawes. Overall, it’s been a success according to Inspector Lawes: “When it was completed we were able to validate some of our organisational assumptions in relation to knife

crime and the students got a good mark!” With the support of Merseyside Police, facilitated by the GDC, students found access to information a lot easier: “I had a few problems with access and funding for the projects that I proposed to evaluate,” said Criminal Justice Post Graduate student Emma Murray. “But I was able to find new doors open by approaching Mark. He has been great in offering support.” Inspector Lawes added: “I could get the information for them in real time rather than for them to wait many months to receive it through a Freedom of Information request. I was also able to explain the data and advise on how it could be interpreted.” He now sees further areas where LJMU and the police can co-operate including a possible police induction course for graduates to give them a chance in the recruitment process. To those looking for a career in the police, Inspector Lawes added: “You should think hard about whether this is for you. It is not like The Bill! But it is a wonderful job with so much variety that you will never be bored!”

Students shine in NHS recruitment LJMU graduates have got what it takes, according to the NHS. Last year three were among only 30 students who made it onto the NHS National Graduate Management Training Scheme in the North West. The NHS is one of the UK’s biggest graduate recruiters, attracting upwards of 13,000 applications, and its Graduate Scheme is currently ranked as number six in The Times Top 100 list of best graduate recruiters. John Boileau, Business Lead for the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement who deliver the Scheme in partnership with NHS organisations, believes the WoW process is a big plus for students: “The great thing about it is that it fits in so perfectly with our ethos. When we see a candidate who has been through that process, we know they’ll have a good idea of what we’re looking for. “The NHS is now closely working with contacts within the GDC. When a LJMU graduate comes to us, we know that they are coming from an academic institution that puts an emphasis on careers and work-based skills, which means their graduates may be perfectly suited to our Graduate Scheme”. Sarah Bradley, Leadership Development Manager overseeing the NHS Graduate Scheme in the NW region, is another firm believer in the WoW process. “Schemes like WoW are really about giving you the key to unlock the skills that you already have, and

NHS: John Boileau show you how to present them effectively. “There are so many graduates who have all the relevant skills and experience, but just don’t know how to present it to employers, and so they miss valuable opportunities.” Recruiters also suggest that academic qualifications only make up about half of what recruiters are looking for from successful candidates, with the rest made up of the softer skills that WoW helps graduates to identify and develop. John agrees with this: “The NHS needs well rounded individuals with outstanding initiative and drive. It’s also vitally important that recruits have outstanding social skills, so they can work successfully with everyone from hospital porters to Chief Execs. These are all skills which the WoW process enhances and helps candidates to recognise and develop.”


Work based learning motors success faculty of

Business and Law

AN AMBITIOUS Business Management and Information student has spent his work placement gaining valuable experience at one of the world’s biggest car manufacturers. Andrew Prescott spent the past academic year at General Motors manufacturing plant in Luton, working in the supply chain management sector of the factory where the Vauxhall Vivaro and Renault Traffic Van is built. “I am responsible for around 50 suppliers throughout Europe,” he said. “I ensure that materials arrive in time so that the production line will not stop.” Andrew also led a project teaching primary school children how a manufacturing plant works. He believes the experiences would not have been possible without the help of the GDC and the Work Based Learning Unit.

DRIVE: Andrew Prescott On the WoW Certificate, Andrew said: “With a competitive graduate job market it is essential that you get the most you possibly can as a degree alone may not be enough. “Use the GDC to improve your skills and enhance your CV, and use the Work Based Learning Unit to gain a placement and get experience.”

No objections to mock interviews faculty of

Business and Law

A LAW graduate is now working with an internationally renowned trademark firm thanks to the help of the Graduate Development Centre. Graeme Murray, from Halewood, is taking his first steps on the legal ladder after completing a Legal Practice Course (LPC). Graeme is now training to become a trademark attorney with WP Thompson in Liverpool. He said: “I draft witness statements and legal agreements, as well as conducting basic correspondence on files, and reading A LOT!

“I have also been asked to conduct a seminar on prevalent legal issues. It’s quite daunting but at the same time it’s a level of responsibility that is enjoyable!” Graeme believes the help of the GDC’s legal careers adviser Steve Burbage was invaluable, with many mock interview questions coming up in the interview itself. He highly recommends the help that the university offer: “Employers are looking for people who don’t just have the qualification but also the requisite job skills. “My qualification speaks for itself. It was what skills I could bring to the position that needed to be highlighted and the mock interview helped make this clear.”

Parliamentary post for HR student faculty of

Business and Law

A HUMAN Resource Management student landed the placement of her dreams through the Work Based Learning Unit at LJMU. Jodi Anderson spent 14 months working in the Houses of Parliament in London, working in the Parliamentary ICT, which is responsible for looking after the needs of members of the House of Commons and Lords and their staff. Jodi, from the Midlands, said the placement experience has been invaluable: “I chose LJMU over other universities as they offer the placement option as part of my degree, which I was keen to do as I realised the importance of work experience alongside a degree. “I work in their HR & Development department and it has given me an insight of how a real office works and how theory learnt in university fits into the workplace.

DREAM JOB: Jodi Anderson I wasn’t selected for the original post but was called shortly after for another position things really do happen for a reason!” Jodi, 21, believes students looking for placements should take advantage of the help the GDC and WBLU offer. She explained: “After seeing applications from the other side as part of a HR team, I can tell you that another eye over your application and interview preparation - which the university offer readily - will help your prospects of securing a job or placement.”

GDC secure successful link with IBM Business and Law

edge when applying for jobs. Marketing student Amy Pryce was one of those to benefit from the IBM placement opportunities in her penultimate year, STUDENTS who make use of the Graduate dealing with customers on a daily basis in an Development Centre could have the enjoyable Service Management role. opportunity to work with one of the world’s She said: “I have developed many biggest computer companies - IBM. transferable skills, including communication, The GDC and the LJMU business adaptability and client focus. I am very keen department have been working closely with to come back to IBM as a graduate next year.” IBM and their University Attraction Manager “The people who are most successful at IBM Sonia Bannon, whose aim is to entice the very share strong teamwork and communication best graduates to work for the company as skills, drive and leadership, adaptability, a trained interviewer for the WoW Certificate problem solving skills, taking ownership and process. She also runs skill sessions and passion for our business,” added Sonia. career events that can give graduates the faculty of



Canadian collaboration BY Ruth Cobban faculty of

Health and Applied Social Sciences

WHEN he set off on holiday two years ago, Dan Cooke never imagined that he would be beginning an adventure that would see Canadian and LJMU paramedics crossing the globe in an exchange program, to learn more about each other’s methods of practice. Their vision to create standardised care for patients is now receiving interest from ambulance services in Australia, Vancouver and San Francisco, as well as other universities in the UK. Dan, 25, had the idea after observing how different paramedics operated. He explains: “The idea originated two years ago when my friend and I were on holiday in Canada. We got the opportunity to go out on call with some paramedics and we noticed how differently they did things. “We thought there was really something there that we could explore, in order to make paramedic practice more standardised globally. We needed a way to explore who offered the best care and why.” Dan and fellow student paramedics hit upon the solution of creating an exchange programme, where Canadian students from Centennial College could come on an exchange to see how differently things were done, and students from Liverpool could experience how Canadian services operate.

SAFE HANDS: Dan Cooke (far right) with fellow student paramedics Dan believes that organising the event has improved his World of Work skills: “My organisational and project management skills have definitely been improved by organising this huge international program. “ The program now sees eight students from Toronto visiting Liverpool for two weeks a year, where they take part in activities with student paramedics at LJMU, including ambulance ride-outs, hospital placements,

and cutting edge collaborative research. Dan says: “It’s been an absolute success, the Canadians love being here and watching it develop. The team give you the confidence to be enterprising; you’re fully supported from the beginning. We couldn’t have done it without the GDC, heads of department and the faculty heads, it’s been brilliant”.

Improve your WoW skills and help the community as a ‘student plus’ faculty of

Health and Applied Social Sciences

HEALTH and Applied Social Sciences faculty students are putting their skills to good use and engaging with the local community and wider student body through a range of volunteering and mentoring activities. Faculty Head of Learning & Teaching, Phil Carey, explains: “It’s about encouraging students to not just come in, do their work and go home. It expands the notion of what it is to be a student. It’s a ‘student plus’ sort of idea.” Some students worked with the Roundtable to raise stroke awareness by offering to take shopper’s blood pressure in a supermarket, others taught taxi drivers first aid and CPR. Over 200 students attended a conference organised by nursing students, where leading figures from the NHS and key international academics were invited to talk around the topic ‘Making the Change from Student to Staff Nurse’.

BEEN BUSY?: Students taught taxi drivers first aid and CPR Phil Carey added: “This is the kind of activity which draws on the skills that WoW promotes and requires real organisational

and management capabilities. We want our students to enhance these skills developing them through connecting with the community”.

Academics fully behind WoW process

WOW BACKERS: Ester Ragonese and Sarah Nixon (INSET)

Academics at LJMU believe the WoW Certificate is a ‘must have’ for graduates who want a head start in their search for a job. The WoW certificate has a number of benefits for both staff and students at LJMU, according to Ester Ragonese, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice, who has been actively involved in embedding the WoW process into the School of Law’s programmes. She said: “WoW gives staff and students the opportunity to locate the skills required to become a valued part of the workforce within an academic context. Students gain academic

and practical knowledge which they can demonstrate to prospective employers.” Sarah Nixon, a Principal Lecturer in Sport Development at LJMU, added: “WoW is a must have for all LJMU graduates wanting to get a head start in their career.” Academics like Sarah also believe that students are seeing the value of supplementing their coursework with taking part in the World of Work process, adding: “Those who have achieved the WoW Certificate are totally committed to the value of the experience and what they have learnt”.


faculty of

Health and Applied Social Sciences

New careers calendar launch A NEW quarterly bulletin for Health and Applied Social Sciences students has launched in partnership with WoW. The joint creation between the GDC and Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences is packed full of upcoming careers events, news on WoW activities, advice on personal development and faculty information. Alex Stewart, faculty Skills Support Officer, started the project with Hayley Fallon, the faculty’s Careers Advisor at the GDC, to make students more aware of events happening at the GDC and the faculty. Alex said: “We wanted to create a collaborative project which showcased WoW and related activities in the context of the vocational programmes offered by our faculty. It was a way of getting information out to students in an easily accessible manner. “It allows students to see what’s going on and access news about professional events, careers fairs or job vacancies that may be coming up. “By tailoring the bulletin to them, they can get a clearer idea of how WoW skills are valued by employers.”

Healthy help THE Graduate Development Centre is working closely with staff, student nurses and the NHS, as employers highlight the benefits of WoW in the health sector. The Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences is engaging with its stakeholders through organised events in association with WoW and the GDC. The events bring together a selection of nursing employers from across the region to work in partnership and explore current issues in pre-registration nurse education. This year’s event will also include representation and input from students and service users and the outcomes will be used to shape the nursing curricula. Alex Stewart, Skills Support Officer for the faculty, said: “Members of the WoW team will be at the event to help highlight areas where WoW skills can be included in the curriculum to support and validate the students’ awareness and development. We hope to continue these stakeholder events which are invaluable to our students”.

GDC wins funds for 100 internships THE Graduate Development Centre has won £320,000 of European funding to provide 100 paid three-month internships for unemployed graduates in 100 Liverpool businesses. This funding forms part of the £873,000 the GDC has generated from external sources to support the career development and employability of LJMU’s students and graduates.




Car giant Ford meet LJMU students at ‘Innovation Week’

will help make Ford an employer of choice amongst the graduates.” faculty of Students highlighted the teamwork during the event as one of its key benefits. Nick said: STUDENTS and employers felt the benefit of “Ford Motor Company only survives through a unique Innovation Week with Ford. teamwork. This is not a job for individuals, it is Facilitated by the GDC, the Innovation a team sport becoming increasingly global.” Week allowed students from the School of The week was important for building a Engineering, Technology and Maritime studies relationship with students. “If not, where will to learn about how Ford Motor Company the next generation of automotive designers works, and for the company to give potential future employees an insight into the business. and engineers come from?” added Nick. “Students who come on work placements Nick Pattie, a supervisor at the Ford base here will not be doing mundane tasks like in Dunton, Essex was quick to highlight the making tea. Each student has a clear project benefits of the November event: “Students to deliver, within their set time frame, that will could hear how the engineering theory that help deliver world class vehicles.” they learn is applied to industry,” he said. Although Ford cannot pay for any work “I can remember as a student myself, placements, the experience will put the wondering how much of the data I had to cram in for exams I would ever use again. My student and potential future employee in a good position when they graduate. Nick current job actually uses a fair bit of it. added: “If you do it, it shows commitment “We also benefitted as those students will and gives a valuable insight into an exciting now have a better understanding of Ford Motor Company research work. Hopefully, this workplace in the automotive industry”.

Technology and Environment

INNOVATION: Nick Pattie speaks at the Ford event

Did you know?

YOU’RE HIRED: (from left to right) Deborah Pownall (GDC), Jaimie McIntyre, Corinne Murphy, Stuart Desmond, Jennifer Ryan, Phillip Au, Kayley Neill, David Coleman, Denise Turnbull, Jack Bates, Steven Latchford, Michael White, Caroline Lodge (Liverpool City Council), Terry Dray (GDC)

Paid placements launch at Liverpool City Council LJMU students have been given a unique insight into how local government works with paid placements at the Liverpool City Council. In collaboration with the Graduate Development Centre, 12 lucky LJMU students from a range of disciplines and schools were put through a rigorous two-month recruitment period before they were hired to work on one year projects specifically created across council departments, in areas such as marketing, transport, regeneration, schools support, and heritage initiatives. Caroline Lodge, workforce strategy manager at Liverpool City Council said: “Feedback from students and managers has been very positive, finding the programme of benefit in terms of the support, skills, experience and training they have received. This will prove beneficial to them when they are applying for vacancies in the future.”

Enterprise Fellowship Programme Case Studies Hugh O’Connell explores just two of the success stories from the EFP

OVER 3600 students from all years have signed up for the WoW certificate module on Black Board and are completing the stages leading to a 1:1 interview with an employer. Don’t delay sign up today at

ACT ONE: Shakespeare performers in action

What do LJMU Graduates do? WE like to know how our graduates are getting on. Each year the GDC must send out a survey for the Government to find out what our graduates are doing. This takes place six months after graduation. LJMU must achieve an 80% response rate and we really appreciate all the responses we get. LJMU achieves one of the highest rates of any UK university so we hope that when you graduate you will help us to continuously improve our career development services by returning the destinations questionnaire.

Jack Bates, a Business Studies student, has been working in the Chief Executive’s office at the council and in a number of other departments. He said: “I’ve helped numerous departments, ranging from marketing to transport. I’ve primarily been working in a small business transformation team, helping to develop a new customer strategy, seeing how we can make things easier for the customer and more cost effective for the council.” Denise Turnbull, a Business and Public Relations student, said that working for the council has given her a wealth of experience. She said: “I have been given the chance to prove myself through various projects and as a result, taken on a lot more than what is expected, giving me a better understanding of how marketing, PR and event management are applied in the world of work”.

Shakespeare is ‘Rubbish’ A RECENT graduate is helping to bring Shakespeare to the masses with the aid the LJMU Enterprise Fellowship Programme. Alex McDonald has helped to set up the Rubbish Shakespeare Company (RSC), a Theatre In Education Company that aims to make the work of Britain’s most famous playwright more accessible to young people. “We put on workshops and plays in Primary Schools, the idea being to engage children with Shakespeare at a young age,” said Alex. “We feel Shakespeare can alienate young readers because it is taught as an English

subject when it should be taught as Drama. Shakespeare wrote plays and plays are meant to be either seen or performed.” RSC perform any Shakespeare play in around five minutes, mixing original language with modern day speak: “We do this to make them more understandable and engaging, keeping as much of the Shakespeare essence as we can,” Alex added. “The RSC believe that Shakespeare has got a stigma surrounding it. It is perceived to be dull, inaccessible and middle class. Shakespeare is for all”.

EFP’s photo finish A MEDIA graduate is hoping her own photography business can take off after the help of the Enterprise Fellowship Programme. Gemma Butler, from Nottingham, received a degree in Media Professional Studies (MPS) in 2009, but as a keen photographer she wanted to turn her hobby into a living. She said: “After working in a production company since graduating, I decided that it was time for a change of direction; photography was the obvious choice.” The EFP provides successful applicants with a £3,000 training bursary, a six-month programme of business support and advice, and assistance with the development of a realistic business plan, all giving you the skills to potentially launch your own business. She has now established Gemma Butler Photography, based in Liverpool, offering quality photography for private events such as weddings at an affordable price. Gemma believes that the EFP is perfect for graduates wanting to set up their own business: “I simply wouldn’t have had the knowledge, confidence or finance to even think of starting my own business. Everyone is very approachable and all of the sessions are geared towards practical business advice that is so valuable”.



Get experience with the Royal Air Force WoW and the RAF are working in synergy to produce the best possible graduates. The University Air Squadron are synching their training objectives to the WoW Certificate requirements to ensure that both organisations work towards the same personal development goals. Squadron Leader, Howard Carby, said: “We aim to produce confident, capable and selfaware individuals who are able to succeed in any activity they choose to participate in.” The University Air Squadron, or UAS, is designed to give students a feel for the RAF. While mainly aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in the armed forces, there are also members who see it as an opportunity to improve their personal skills. Journalism student Ayden Feeney believes he has acquired invaluable transferable skills through his experience with the UAS: “We are given many unique and amazing opportunities such as free flying training, while getting second to none training from serving RAF personnel. It really gives you an edge on your CV. The skills I have learnt from the UAS will stick with me for life,” he said.


Construction employer day in October faculty of

TAKING OFF WITH WOW: University Air Squadron

Technology and Environment

LJMU’S School of Built Environment will be holding their annual Employer Day on October 22 at the Liverpool Marriott. Students will get the chance to network with leading organisations at the event attended by the likes of Balfour Beatty, Lovell Partnerships, Michael Dyson Associates, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technology, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Organisations will have stands set up and the GDC have invited selected companies to deliver “WoW In Conversation” sessions which will provide insights into the industry as well as opportunities for questions and answers on hot topics.

EASTERN PROMISE: Just some of the 50 Malaysian and Singaporean students undergoing WoW workshops while on Summer Semester programmes

Summer Semester students embracing WoW workshops THE Graduate Development Centre (GDC) has been delivering WoW workshops to Malaysian and Singaporean students during their stay in Liverpool to study at LJMU’s Summer Semester programme. Fifty students have been undertaking the Bronze stage of the WoW Certificate with the support of staff from the GDC. The students are part of the 600+ strong cohort that join LJMU from May to September to complete their degree programmes across the university. Following great interest and discussions

last year it was agreed to offer a WoW pilot programme for students this year. Over 100 students ‘jumped’ at the chance to join the programme which aims to introduce the WoW skills and give students the opportunity to complete and submit the Bronze statement before they return home. When asked why they had chosen to get involved, one student commented: “I believe a degree is just about buying a ticket to enter a career you wish to get in to, to survive in the real working environment, you still have a long way and lot of thing to learn. I am expecting

to take the opportunity to learn about this with the help of the GDC.” Those Summer Semester students who remain at LJMU to undertake postgraduate studies will be able to complete the whole process if they so wish. The feedback from the group was very positive, with the enthusiastic students calling the workshops a resounding success in meeting their expectations. The GDC will now review the pilot and see what support can be offered to the Summer Semester students for next year.

Malaysian partnership THE GDC has been invited by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education to work in partnership with the Malaysia’s largest technology university Universiti Teknolgi Mara to deliver the WoW certificate to 100 final year UiTM students in 2010/11. The GDC is also working with the Malaysian Polytechnics Directorate to introduce the WoW Certificate. GDC Director Terry Dray comments: “It is an honour to be asked to share our career development model with colleagues and students in Malaysia. “To have our LJMU’s expertise recognised by an overseas Government and a prestigious university is a tribute to the hard work that has gone into our approach. Organisations like Shell, HSBC, GlaxoSmithKline and Deloitte are working with us to make WoW a success”.


BY Ruth Cobban faculty of

Technology and Environment

A group of LJMU Engineering students had the chance to experience the thrill of F1 for themselves as they designed, built and raced their own race car in the International Formula Student 2010 competition at Silverstone. The LJMU Formula Student Racing Team took 21st place in the global competition, which is run by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and attracts Engineering students from universities across the world. Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Brown, said: “This is a fabulous result at their first attempt against major international competition, beating all other regional university competition. It was impressive to see the impact of this project on the student team – developing engineering and project management skills in a real situation.” The race was the culmination of three years work by the team, who won the Class Two design category at Silverstone last year. They were given the green light to proceed to the Class One category this year, after successfully making it through the rigorous application process. Team Leader, Jack Clisby said: “This has been an amazing experience. It was fantastic to see how excited the team were and how worthwhile all our hard work has been. We’ve learnt a lot – from technical aspects, to building corporate relationships and networking to raise sponsorship.” The Formula Student Racing Team is made up of 21 Engineering students from all levels of study. Each part of the car, bar the engine,


A winning Formula

THE TEAM: with Ian Jenkinson, Director of School of Engineering, Technology and Maritime Operations in the driving seat is built and put together in the engineering workshops on Byrom Street campus. Jack added: “The team consists of members from all levels of engineering students, which

allows even the younger students to be involved in all aspects of the car, from building to design. Towards the end of the project, we were doing 23 hour days. We worked really

hard on this project, and it was great to see it all come together”.

looking for a job or placement? check out LJMU’s vacancy website:

300,000 students graduate each year. How will you stand out from the crowd? GDC’s “Ready for Work” career essential workshops can help. Visit, email: or phone the Graduate Development Centre on 0151 231 8099.

WoW in the curriculum Academic teams across LJMU are reviewing their programmes to take account of the move towards 24 credit modules from 2011/12. This review provides a unique chance for many programmes to integrate and actively support, within their modules, the opportunity for students to identify their individual set of WoW Skills and have them verified by employers via the Graduate Development Centre. The WoW Certificate aims to give students a distinct advantage in the job market, by supporting the construction of an individual statement based on areas that national employers have identified as key to graduate recruitment over and above a degree. WoW also gives students the chance to have a comprehensive interview with a graduate employer from a sector of their choice. During 2010, LJMU had over 130 employer verifiers from all sectors who were willing to give over 500 hours of their time to interview students via the WoW process. With all this on offer, many academics are working to develop new modules embedded within their curriculum to bring WoW to all their students as an integral part of their studies. WoW allows students to effectively undertake a practice run at the recruitment process and have detailed objective feedback from employers and the expert team at the GDC.