Study abroad and employability Part 2

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Gain
Skills
Build
Confidence
Explore
Opportunities
Self
Awareness
Personal
improvement
Meet
People
Volunteer
Learn/practice a
language
Internship/
Work
experience
Meet alumni
from home
university
Give a talk
How might you achieve your goals?
What can you do, other than study?
Develop
Professional
networks
Write a blog
Be an
ambassador
Transferable Skills
Specific (hard) or transferable (soft) skills
Transferable skills can be learnt in one context and
applied to another
Can be acquired through work, hobbies, sports etc
Examples:
Activity
Skill
Organised a conference
Project management
Gave a presentation
Oral communication
What transferable skills have
you got?
What transferable skills do study
abroad students have?
What employers want:
 Experiences outside
academia
 Exceptional people skills
 Willingness to travel
 Self-starter
 Naturally inquisitive
 Global outlook
 Cultural sensitivity
 Ability to build relationships
 Self-awareness
 Strong planning skills
 Look for opportunities
 Initiative
 Empathy
 Adaptability
 Team spirit
 Self-management skills
“Confidence and tenacity, resilience and
flexibility” (The Cooperative)
“Multi-tasking and flexible with problem solving
skills” (JWT)
“At least four months experience working or
studying outside your own country” (BMW)”
Translating the study abroad experience…on a CV
Iwenna Broad
14 Oxford Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 AB3
01865 234567
[email protected]
Education
2007 – 2011 University of Oxford, BA History
2009 – 2010 Princeton University Exchange Programme
- GPA 3.84
- Gave talk on Oxford University to potential
exchange partners
- Volunteered in Hispanic community centre and
learnt conversational Spanish
2004 – 2006 Millstown Sixth Form College, London
A Levels in History (A) Physics (A) Chemistry
(A ) and Economics (A)
1999 – 2004 Prince Edward School, 7 GCSES at A*, 3 As
Interests:
Travel:
Planned a month’s trip to follow my year abroad, managing a
limited budget to travel south as far as Atlanta, Georgia and
sample some of the USA’s diverse regions.
Visited Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania, 2006
Conservation:
Conference team member for ‘Greening of the Ivies
Conference’, Princeton, 2009
Volunteered for Lemur tracking conservation project, 2005
Sports:
Founder of Oxford Women’s Softball team, 2010-2011
Softball team member, Princeton, 2009-2010.
Translating the study abroad experience…
in a cover letter
Cover letter should include
• Why the student wants to work for this organisation
• Why they want this position
• What they have to offer (that the employer wants)
This last part should address key skills and back up with
evidence from a diverse range of experiences.
Study abroad might provide one or two examples for this
section, depending on the job and criteria.
Translating the study abroad experience…
in a cover letter
Job 1: The applicant must demonstrate cultural sensitivity
when meeting clients and be able to build strong
relationships
How might Student A draw on their year abroad
experience to meet this criteria?
Write an example cover letter sentence.
Job 2: The applicant must be flexible and resilient; able to
adapt and cope with challenges
Repeat above task with Student B
Translating the study abroad
experience…in interview
When have
you managed
a budget or a
project?
What’s your
greatest
achievement?
Tell us about a
time when you’ve
demonstrated
interpersonal
skills?
Preparing answers to interview questions
 Read the job specification again
 List the skills required and the ones you especially
want to convey
 Prepare diverse examples from across your experience
to use in the interview
 One or two on study abroad is probably enough
 Structure answers using S.T.A.R: Situation, Task,
Actions and Result, focusing on your Actions
When have you managed a budget or project?
The travelling I did at the end of my study abroad year required
significant project management.
I had to manage my budget and time and book accommodation,
transport and activities in advance.
Scheduled goals in diary so that everything would be done in time;
Prioritised tasks depending on urgency; Monitored the exchange rate
prior to my travels so that I knew how much money I’d have;
researched prices of accommodation and transport to find best deals
and take advantage of advance booking discounts; read guidebooks
to find out what was happening where; watched the news to make
sure bad weather or big events didn’t disrupt my plans.
I had an amazing time and had $100 left at the end to spend on
souvenirs!
Useful resources
Third year abroad website
http://www.thirdyearabroad.com/home.html
Taking Advantage of Time Away, Edinburgh
http://www.employability.ed.ac.uk/CaseStudies/LLCTATA.htm#Resources
“Packaging your international experience”
http://www.abroadview.org/avmag/2008fall_larsson.htm
“The benefits of Study Abroad”
http://www.transitionsabroad.com/publications/magazine/0403/benefit
s_study_abroad.shtml
University of Oxford Careers Website
http://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/
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