Last week, Newcastle University Careers Service spent two days in London with students on the Careers Insights Programme. The scheme, which holds 32 places, came to an end on Friday after 5 months of insightful experience with major employers such as Nissan, Mastercard and the Civil Service.
The annual Careers Insights Programme is nationally unique and grants students exclusive opportunities to engage and network with local, national and global businesses. Alongside visits and events, participants receive a £250 bursary, with their efforts also equating to the 50 hours required for the NCL+ Award.
Although the programme is available to all students from any degree, those with specific eligibilities are prioritised. Conditions include entering Newcastle University through the PARTNERS route, originating from a low-income area, being the first member of your immediate family to go to university, have studied a vocational course, be a disabled student, have spent at least three months in local authority care in the past ten years and being in receipt of a full maintenance grant, among a number of other circumstances which are taken into consideration.
Brenda Stephenson, 2016-17 Insights Organiser and Careers Adviser at Newcastle University’s Careers Service in King’s Gate, said:
‘I joined the Careers Service in September 2016 and undoubtedly one of the main attractions was to run the Career Insights Programme.’
‘As someone who was first in her family to go to university, I would love to have been involved in this innovative programme which supports students from diverse backgrounds to make choices, meet with a range of employers and develop a portfolio of skills which stand them in good stead for the graduate job market.’
‘I have most enjoyed getting to know the 32 exceptional students we recruited and supporting them on their journey to success.’
Being accepted onto the programme also entitles students to a bursary of up to £1000 to cover the costs of accommodation and travel in regards to work experience, internships and work shadowing. The all-expenses paid programme included a visit to the BIC Sunderland, Nissan’s Sunderland plant and a two-day stay in London.
The North-Eastern business community which offers work space to growing businesses, BIC Sunderland, opened it’s doors to the students to provide an insight into how small to medium sized businesses function; including ‘Cedrec’, a legislation company, and ‘Narrative’, a communications agency.
Laura-Jayne Beattie, Stage One Law, said:
‘I had never thought about working for a small business in the future but the visit really gave me a different perspective. I emailed the director of ‘Cedrec’ after the event and asked about some work experience. I sent him over an essay and visited their branch for a meeting and now I have secured myself a work placement for September.’
Rebecca Armstrong, Stage Two Marketing and Management, said:
‘I really liked the BIC visit because I didn’t realise how many businesses there are in the North East and it gave me an inside look into multiple companies.’
The excursion to London granted students an opportunity to participate in a mock-assessment centre provided by the Civil Service in Westminster and technology company, Accenture.
Participants were also invited to London’s Canary Wharf to network and engage with one of the top law firms in the country, Clifford Chance, and renowned technology company, Mastercard.
Benjamin Lawson, Stage Two Geography, said: ‘I would definitely encourage students to do it as it’s a great way to meet businesses locally and nationally and I can use the programme to achieve the NCL+ Award.’
The Careers Insights Programme begins recruitment in October of each academic year, all information regarding the programme can be found in King’s Gate and on the Careers Service website.