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Our Career Development Centre shows why it's the best in the country

Thursday 14 May 2020 2:42pm

Whether you’re a current student, staff member looking to support your students, or you recently graduated, the University of Otago Career Development Centre is always there to help and offer independent, knowledgeable career advice.

Our multi-awarding winning centre has a skilled team that can help you achieve your career goals.

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Centre Manager Jackie Dean says her group of professionally-qualified careers advisors are experts at dealing with uncertainty. “We’ve had a lot of experience at helping people find work in really tough job markets,” she says.

Jackie says all of the Centre’s workshops are now available online. “So, you can sign up to workshops on how to write your CV, develop your LinkedIn profile, or improve your interview technique. Every day on our Facebook page we answer a wide range of questions on people’s career queries. We are also offering our individual career guidance appointments by Zoom.”

She says many students are asking if it’s worth looking for work and questioning, “are their jobs out there?”.

The Centre has contacted potential employers and asked them to do campus presentations by Zoom. “Even if they think recruitment has slowed down, we’re asking them for messages to the students about what they see happening right now in the job market.

“We’ve launched a new series called Three minutes with…This series allows employers a chance to give realistic and positive messages for job seekers to prepare right here and now.”

The Centre is continuing with its Science and Technology expo as much as possible by Zoom conferencing workshops in lieu of the physical event in the University Link.

“We’re a member of Universities Careers and Employability New Zealand (UCENZ), which includes all the NZ heads of university career services and we’re pulling together our resources as a group to post a round-up of labour market information fortnightly for people across the whole University community.”

Another development soon to be introduced by the Centre will be live chat on Facebook, which they will use as another means of reaching out to students and alumni.

“However uncertain it seems, when we come out of this there are still key things job hunters have to do, such as finding out about the sector they want to work in or writing a good cover letter. Anything that helps you to progress your employment once you’re ready.

“On a positive note there was some recruitment going on before lockdown, and other employers are reviewing the current situation. We’ve currently got 20 employers interested in joining our science and technology expo, which will be held online next week on 19 and 20 May.

Jackie’s team is excited about the move to Level 2 and has been busy preparing for the change.

“We’ll morph into whatever is needed from us for the University to operate in level 2. We were quick to move online, and we’ve found some advantages to doing that.

“Previously some employers said it was “too far” to come to Otago to engage with our students, but with the use of Zoom and other technology it’s easy for employers from anywhere in the country to meet with us in a virtual space.

“There are some really positive things that we’ve had to step up to in the current environment and we’re constantly thinking of new ways of supporting and providing information to students, some of which we’ll continue to use once all of this is over,” Jackie says.

The Career Development Centre has a suite of valuable resources that students and alumni can access to continue their career progress, all of which are available online at any time:

One other thing which is new for us is the generous offer from a software supplier the Centre has been talking to, called Abintegro. They have excellent careers information and tools for use, including something called CV360 where students can put their CV through a CV checker and receive automated feedback. They have offered free access to their resources for our students and staff until July and for this they will have access to thousands of videos, e-learning, interactive tools, job vacancies and the CV checker. All students will need to do is register with this access link