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New VU initiatives enhance graduate prospects

Supporting students to succeed beyond their degrees is at the heart of two new Victoria University (VU) programs to enhance graduate outcomes and employability.

Launching next month, Talent Connect aims to support students as they transition from university study to the workforce, while VU Extra is a formal endorsement of students’ co-curricula activities.

Available on an opt-in basis to final-year students in their last six months of study, Talent Connect provides recruitment advice and support; interview techniques and skills; resume development and; mentoring advice from alumni mentors.

Dr Jo van Son, Director of Employability at VU’s Centre for Student Success, says Talent Connect is designed to help individuals transition from VU student to employee.

"Universities focus on supporting students to graduate but they generally do little to support students once their course is complete," Dr van Son says.

"Talent Connect is unique because it’s about VU taking responsibility of graduates as they transition to the workforce by providing them with the support they need during this critical time," she says.

"It’s part of the University’s commitment to improving graduate outcomes, in line with our employability strategy."

As part of the program, students will receive personalised support in their final semester of studies to prepare them for the workforce and enhance their employability.

Post-graduation, they will connect with alumni mentors who will offer career guidance on recruitment-related challenges and opportunities, from finding work to settling into a new job.

In addition to Talent Connect, VU will next month roll out VU Extra – a system to formally recognise and promote students’ co-curricula activities.

An official document provided to graduates along with their academic transcript, VU Extra highlights additional student activities beyond their degree. These activities are automatically added to the document at the end of the course, negating the need for students to apply for or sign up to the program.

VU Extra-endorsed activities include participating in the University’s Lead2Change leadership program, careers workshops, industry mentoring programs, college-based activities and roles in VU societies, clubs and the wider community, such as volunteering.

Dr van Son says VU Extra is another VU commitment to enhancing the student experience and graduate outcomes by encouraging and supporting students to develop their graduate capabilities, and have these articulated in a single VU statement.

"Research shows students who have done more than just their course at university are more likely to have the networks, skills and knowledge that positions them for their desired job outcome.

"Employers are looking for much more than a university qualification so gradates need to identify ways to differentiate themselves from other job candidates by showcasing the adjunct skills they’ve learnt and activities they’ve undertaken, supplementary to their degree."

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Ann Marie Angebrandt
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