Employability and Careers at AUT
By Angela McCarthy (she/her)
Angela from the Employability and Careers team wants you to know that job hunting help is just around the corner. If you’ve
been struggling with anything careers-related, read on to see how three students made the most of their services, and what
these services actually are.
Worried about what to do when you leave university? Nervous about the idea of getting a job? How do you actually start your career? Guess what? You don’t have to manage those huge life questions on your own. Here’s how three AUT students got started to eventually happily work in their career of choice.
How Cheryl, Matias, and Sharan took the first step in their careers
Variety fundraising coordinator Cheryl Masters decided to go to the Employability Lab to prepare herself to look for a job
“It felt a bit daunting at first to sign up, but once there, I found it a valuable experience. The staff were really friendly, sociable, and happy to help me. They answered my questions and gave me relevant feedback and support.”
She was surprised at how comprehensive that support was. She first got help with updating, then refining, her CV and cover letter.
“It was not a one off. They took the time to go over it with me and provide feedback on how to make it work for the role I was applying for.”
Cheryl also was encouraged to develop her LinkedIn profile – an important professional networking resource for students – and attended other workshops as well.
“Feeling confident about things like your CV and cover letter also gives you more confidence in applying for a job,” says Cheryl.
Joining the AUT Edge Award was another powerful experience for Cheryl. Run through the Employability and Careers service, this award helps students build up work-ready skills through volunteering, leadership, and employability workshops. Edge students often talk of new friendships developed, as well as the heightened level of skills and confidence they develop.
Cheryl signed up for the Edge Award to gain relevant experience to put on her CV, but it quickly became much more. “It was so much fun and I got to meet some awesome like-minded people.”
Volunteering also gave her the opportunity to introduce herself to the manager of Harbour Sport where she wanted to do her co-op placement. By the time she did the placement, the manager had moved onto Variety where she asked Cheryl to help out at a fundraising event.
“I did and she then sought me out for an events coordinator role when it became available at Variety. Proof that volunteering (motivated by the Edge Award) can lead to something more and it helps you build relationships with people in the industry you want to get into,” declares Cheryl, who is now in her second year at Variety where she has now been promoted to fundraising coordinator.
AUT student Matias Roque is delighted to have been offered an internship with Babcock this summer through using the services of AUT talenthub and Employability and Careers. AUT talenthub is a recruitment service offered through AUT Employability that helps employers looking for graduates and interns connect with AUT students and graduates. Talenthub helps students during the recruitment process, monitoring and supporting them as they go through what can be lengthy application processes.
An international student, Matias had already got help with his CV and LinkedIn profile from the Employability Lab staff. He was looking for a summer internship when he bumped into Jade Bradley from AUT talenthub at the volunteering fair. They got talking and she told Matias about the Babcock internship and encouraged him to apply.
“So I did. Then Jade contacted me about an interview and sent me helpful materials to prepare me for it. After my interview with Babcock, Jade was in touch to follow up on how the process went for me. She was very supportive,” explains Matias.
He encourages all students to leverage the services of the Employability and Careers team.
“It's very useful to improve your CV and LinkedIn and learn how to network in New Zealand. AUT talenthub is also a great service to use because they are a good link to employers – absolutely useful.”
Sharan Anand is another AUT graduate who made the most of the Employability and Careers services. Next month, Sharan takes up a graduate consulting tech analyst role with Accenture, after completing a six month internship as a business intelligence analyst at HelloFresh. He got the internship through AUT talenthub.
For Sharan, the opportunity to attend events and hear from people in the workplace was really insightful. “I learned about different industries in the job market but also started to see the different industries I could apply my skills too.”
He found the support of the Employability Lab staff incredibly helpful at building his confidence to get out and meet employers.“To sum it up, the experience was amazing and I always recommend it to my friends still going through university.”
How to get started with Employability and Careers right now
The Employability and Careers team run workshops on not only CVs and cover letters, but job search approaches including LinkedIn, networking, elevator pitches, and personal branding.
We also offer one-to-one help, like reminding you that mentioning how well you played recorder at 12 isn’t going to be the deal breaker on your CV. In fact, it just takes up valuable space.
If all of this is overwhelming to you or you’re not quite there yet, we also help students who are feeling a bit lost and don’t know where to start.
You may be thinking that this is all fine and good, but how does any of this happen when we’re at level 4 or level 3 lockdown?
The good news is that Employability and Careers run all their workshops, one-on-one appointments, presentations, and events online too. Employers are continuing to recruit and AUT talenthub has helped a number of students successfully land roles after online interviews.During level 2, our team can be found on the City campus at the Employability Lab in WA202, near the Student Hub.
Employability specialists also visit North and South Campus, working from the Student Hubs.
The wider team also has two staff members dedicated to liaising with industry, bringing them onto campus for presentations, panels, career fairs, and speaker events that give students lots of opportunities to learn about the workplace and network with employers.
There are also plenty of fantastic resources on Elab Online, our online platform where you go to book workshops, events, and appointments. These include My CareerLab resources where you can take your Career Pulse to help you figure out your skills and preferences.
Our job boards can also be found on Elab Online and on My CareerLab too. To access these, you simply need to sign into Elab Online. Don’t forget to check out the AUT Employability Blog too!
Student Employability and CareersManager Serena Tiaiti is keen for students to use the expertise of her team and the resources that are available.
“We are still available over lockdown and can have a chat to you through LiveChat or have Zoom appointments. We are still running our workshops over Zoom and lockdown is a good time to tidy up CVs and LinkedIn profiles.”
When we’re back on campus at level 2, Serena’s team continues to deliver services online but she is also keen for you to see us in the Employability Lab and join our workshops in person.
To find out more
Facebook: AUT Employability and Careers