The Careers Service in DCU along with the Faculty of Engineering and Computing have developed a new initiative where potential employers speak to students during a timetabled daytime slot.
Students get an idea of what particular employers expect and what positions are out there for them.
Ger Lardner, Senior Careers Advisor, introduced these sessions in late September in conjunction with the Schools of Electronic & Mechanical Engineering. Having previously worked in the faculty, Lardner is now the Careers Advisor for all students in the Faculty of Engineering & Computing.
Gillian Carty, a 4th year Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering student, feels these sessions have been a huge benefit to graduates. “A lot of us wouldn’t have known what to do or where to start looking” she explains, “but now, we know the different options that are available to us”.
Engineering graduates are in high demand by employers such as AOL, Google, Microsoft and Accenture and such companies have already been in to speak to DCU’s engineering students.
Different companies have different expectations of graduates and Carty feels that it is important for students to be aware of these expectations. “Accenture were specifically focused on good grades. They’re really looking for the top of the class. Google, on the other hand, had a particular emphasis on good teamwork and leadership skills.”
“These talks are about showing people what companies are out there, what it’s like to work for a certain company and what exactly they look for. You can get a better idea whether or not a company would suit you.”
Carty says that the interactions with employers have opened the minds of a lot of engineering students. “Personally, I don’t think I’m going to stick with engineering. I can see myself working in the business side of things. These meetings have broadened many students’ horizons.”
This new objective has proved very popular amongst final year engineering students, with each talk generating numbers of 30 or more. “They’re not compulsory but many students pick and choose what talk they have a particular interest in. There’s always good numbers,” Carty adds.
So does this prepare students better for the working world? “Yes, I think so,” Carty says, “the whole process is kind of scary at first but employers have been very positive. I myself have started looking around and have even applied for one or two positions.”
“I might have attempted this without the aid of such talks, but it probably would have been a lot more difficult,” Carty admits.