Aphrodite Murray-Liddington (Vice President Science & Engineering) and Cameron Storey (Vice President Humanities & Social Sciences) are working on a two-strand employability project.
The employability project is centred on holding a series of events, both workshops and networking sessions, in an effort to raise awareness for the social aspect of employability that isn’t a discussion point at university career events, which are generally more presentational style. It will focus less on employability skills and more on understanding the different social aspects to these skills and how they have an influence on a student’s employability, to understand how social surroundings can impact employability.
Cameron has been working with the Alumni Engagement Team who will be sourcing different speakers based on the nature of the event. He has also contacted student groups to gather their input and support.
The project will also be a platform to highlight certain psychological patterns that people experience in the workplace such as impostor syndrome. In addition, it will look to help students improve their time management and project planning and develop leadership skills. Additionally, there will be several events on education.
Presently, Cameron is working with the Students’ Union Communications & Marketing team on the branding and design for the event, to be circulated to both the Alumni team and Careers for promotion in mid-October. The first event ‘Race and Sexuality in the Workplace’ will be held in late October and will coincide with Black History Month.
Aphrodite is collaborating with degree-apprenticeship staff and Philippa Lloyd (University Vice Principal of Strategic Policy & Planning) to plan this project. They aim to provide degree-specific work experience for students in order to improve student satisfaction, employability rates in a specific field and networking opportunities. This project will be utilising the Queen Mary alumni network, business partners and current academics.
This also ties in to the dissertation threshold project as Aphrodite has discussed with academics their ability to provide work experience in their own labs on campus. This would also give students an opportunity to try out research prior to choosing their dissertation topic in 3rd year. As this is quite an ambitious and long term project it was advised that Aphrodite email schools in Science & Engineering to find one that would want to take part in a trial run. Data will then be collected from the chosen school to identify underrepresented students within, with the hope to have self-identifying underrepresented students account for at least 40% of the places available to begin with.