700 attendees, including students and alumni, benefited from 42 sessions, organised by the University of Westminster’s Career Development Centre, which took place as part of the annual Summer Skills Academy.  

The sessions were designed to help students and recent graduates enhance their skills, develop new ones and gain invaluable tips, knowledge and advice from experts in various industries to help them along their career path and development.

Working closely with leading employers like Goldman Sachs, IBM, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Greggs plc, The Civil Service and Teach First, the Skills Academy included carefully thought-out seminars and workshops, covering a wide variety of topics, ranging from leadership skills and innovation to self-awareness and mindfulness.

Industry professionals from other organisations, including Production Base, National Association for Enterprise in Universities and Colleges (NACUE), The Stephen Lawrence Trust, Shaylor Group plc, Evolve Integral, Brightsparks, Apptitude Digital Solutions and Careercake, were also part of the Academy to offer students a professional and informative perspective throughout the two weeks.

A highlight of the academy was ‘A day with Goldman Sachs’, led by Careers Consultants from the Career Development Centre and supported by 12 Goldman Sachs representatives. The event consisted of three workshops, where students had the chance to network with Goldman Sachs employees and receive first-hand advice and tips, concerning CVs, commercial awareness and interview techniques.

Other popular sessions included Public Speaking with Steve Creffield from Evolve Integral Ltd, Effective CVs and Applications, run by Greggs plc, and the Social/Charity sector Careers Panel, featuring four different speakers at various stages in their careers within the social sector.

Sarjo Sarr, a student on the International Development Management MSc course, who attended the sessions said: “The Skills Academy Workshops provided me with valuable tips to improve my CV and also offered me the opportunity to engage with professionals working in my desired career field. I especially enjoyed the ‘Social Sector’ panel discussion where we were exposed to different perspectives and experiences from experts working in the sector.”

Dene Stuart, a Chief Thinking Officer at The Thinking Revolution, who ran the Unstoppable Confidence: The Path to Long Term Career Success workshop, said: “I have been privileged to be invited to talk at the Skills Academy for the last four years. I think it is a wonderful initiative by the university, to provide these opportunities for their students, and certainly something I wish I had when I graduated many years ago.

“It is a great opportunity to give something back and very rewarding as well. The students who attend are always very engaged and keen to get new perspectives and understanding. All I can say is that I hope I am invited back again next year.”

Iram Sial, Careers Consultant at the Career Development Centre and Project Manager of the Skills Academy, said: “I am thrilled at the turn out this year and the level of engagement from both students and our industry contacts including employers and alumni who offer their time for the benefit of our students. 

“I am also extremely proud of the students who made a huge effort to attend these workshops outside of term time and the fact they understand the significance of attending such activities and networking with employers for their career development. Feedback from both employers and students has been extremely positive and encouraging and we look forward to making 2018 Skills Academy an even bigger success.”

Learn more about the Career Development Centre at the University of Westminster and the assistance they offer.

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