AUT students are missing out on valuable career assistance

May 1, 2019

AUT students are missing out on valuable career assistance

Lusi Atiga (left) and Mandy Bunce, careers specialists, say there is a lack of awareness about their services on campus. Photo: Ellen Sinclair.

Employability specialists at AUT are pushing for students to engage with their services to increase their employability.

Elab, AUT’s employability and careers service on campus, is running an event week focusing on improving students’ CVs and wants students to increase engagement with the service throughout their time at university.

Employability and careers specialist Mandy Bunce says Elab’s services are currently underutilised.

Although the week is concentrated on CVs, she hopes it will increase student engagement with their other services.

Ms Bunce says all students should be meeting with the specialists, especially when they start applying for internships, work experience and summer roles.

“We find that the best-prepared students for graduate roles are the ones that have engaged in our services throughout their time at university, and not leaving it until the last minute.”

Kurt Schmidt, Vice President of AUT Student’s Association, says Elab faces the same problem as other services at AUT, where students are aware of their presence but are hesitant to participate.

He says that he hasn’t heard of direct career success from Elab but is unsure whether that is due to their services or because no one is going forward to use them.

“It could just be purely them not being visible enough.”

Masters student Nikita Kapoor says Elab’s services are particularly useful for international students who are unfamiliar with New Zealand careers and employment processes.

“It’s easier than going to an agent or a recruiter, and it’s free.”

She is helping to promote Elab’s services on campus this week and has found that “80 per cent of students that we’ve met don’t know about our services, especially first and second years.”

Career specialist Lusi Atiga says learning how to network early on in their studies is a skill that will put students ahead of their classmates when applying for jobs.

“Students are too focused on applying for advertised jobs instead of finding jobs through networking.

"[Networking] makes you the candidate that employers want because all of the students are going for the same job.”

Elab offers personal appointments, workshops and events to help students across all faculties with their CVs, job interviews, building a LinkedIn profile, as well as their general career direction.

More information about Elab can be found here.

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