Before Queen’s I studied Maths, ICT and History at Strathearn School in Belfast. I wanted to work with technology, at the cutting edge and I have always had a strongly entrepreneurial spirit, entering many events at school and planning several business ideas. I also trained as a lifeguard and chaired the Senior Debating Society for two years while working at Decathlon, part time to gain real world experience.
What have you done in addition to your degree to enhance your employability and what do you feel you’ve gained from this?
I have participated in events such as Insight into Management 2014, and attended many careers fairs to build my network.
When doing a module, which was sponsored by a globally recognisable company- a company whom I aspired to work for, I talked to the organisers and arranged with them to undertake a mini summer placement to improve my relationship with the company and my employability simultaneously.
I have also volunteered at various events which Queen’s hold to reach out to future students. I enjoy attending external and independent events for professionals such as Technology Meets and Women in Technology events to really network with the technology community, to learn new skills and meet people.
Making use of Careers, Employability and Skills at Queen’s
I attended Insight into Management which really helped my soft skills and essential business skills such as negotiation, teamwork and communication. It gave me an opportunity to expand my network and I gained valuable friendships from the incredibly intense but very rewarding experience. I now have a section on my CV dedicated to the course, and it has been a great talking point both at interview and at events. I would recommend it to everyone.
Any advice for other Queen's students?
Talk, network and get your name out there! The more people you know and maintain relationships with the more exciting, fulfilling and easy your career will be. Be enthusiastic, friendly and work towards a career you will enjoy – people in industry want to work with inspiring and fun people who have a passion for what they do. Attend events and show your interest in events that others are attending, no matter how little experience you have in industry, you still have a common interest with everyone in that room– and that’s a good start!