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Career advice: how to improve career services for students | THE …

Tailor career advice to disciplines

We have moved away from producing a single, one-size-fits-all, annual career planning guide; we now produce 16 guides, one for each academic school.

This followed discussions with academic personal tutors, which helped us to understand that many were not particularly supported in managing career-related discussions with students. With tutors, we produced a detailed guide focusing on issues, ways to manage discussions and key resources to direct students to. This was very well received – the greater affinity that staff have with these guides has been notable.

This tailored approach also includes employer events and fairs. We do not run a large-scale, all-university careers fair, preferring to organise focused and bespoke events targeted at, for example, pharmacists, nurses and midwives, accountants or sports industry professionals.

Engage employers

Use employers as critical friends as you co-design and co-evaluate your career development approaches.

Meeting with an employer advisory group four times a year has helped us to better understand economies, transition pathways and the complexities of the “graduate market”.

During our two-hour meetings, we consider two different discussion questions. For example, what is the best way to use social media to engage students, how will degree apprenticeships affect hiring practices, and are careers fairs still effective for employers?

It is about trying to bring the world of work closer to students and staff.

Engage with students

Engaging with students on how career development activities might be offered can be challenging, but listening is important. Discussing our support services with our student advisory panel was an important step towards learning how students view different academic subjects, occupations, industrial sectors and work locations, thereby helping us to provide many more bespoke services and resources.

To do this, we created “faculty teams” to develop academic school career plans. Team members include careers advisers, employability advisers, trainers and employer engagement officers, who work with academic programme employability champions and school directors. Plans are reviewed monthly and continuously improved, with the hope that co-development of strategies leads to co-ownership, improved effectiveness and better outcomes.

Take career advice to students

Liverpool John Moores University has a large student community and multiple sites. This led us to reimagine how we offer career support in physical locations. In short, we now provide careers support where students want it and when it suits them.

Our new Student Life Building will soon house a Careers Zone and act as the hub, but smaller branch careers zones will be located in areas with high student footfall. These careers zones currently operate out of campus locations and the library, resulting in many more students accessing career support. It has also helped us to meet more employers because we actively encourage employers to connect with students at the zones.

Not every student will be able to access the careers zones, so we have also created an online “CareersZone24/7” resource as part of an alternative way for students to access resources and also engage in e-guidance discussions with advisers.

Data is a must-have – not a nice-to-have

No review of career development support should overlook data and evidence-based practice.

At LJMU, we collect “career readiness” data from students during the registration process each year. Obtaining early data on individual students about their stage of career decision-making and tracking which career development services they have used complement the exit survey that we conduct with graduates during graduation as well as our destinations data. These data provide essential “in-time” information that allows us to plan interventions via school career plans.

We can track, to individual students, who is engaging and who is not, which allows us to target resources appropriately in discussion with academics.

Graduate destination data has been used to compare universities for some time, but the introduction of the teaching excellence framework metrics around employment means that the need to collect and use data in this area will become even more vital.

As the graduate employment market landscape continues to change, it is imperative to operate strategically, to leverage partnerships and to develop evidence-based practice.

Terry Dray is director of graduate advancement and employer engagement at Liverpool John Moores University.

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Education key to FinTech adoption, HSBC

Millions of people do not trust fingerprint recognition, voice recognition and robo-advice, according to HSBC research. The bank commissioned a study of 12,019 people in Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Singapore, The United Arab Emirates, UK, and the US. It found that 80% believe technology makes their lives easier but only 46% trust fingerprint recognition to replace their password. 84% would, however, share their personal data with their bank if it meant getting a better service.

People rely on traditional passwords to confirm their identity (70%) with only a fifth using fingerprint recognition and just 6% voice recognition. They are twice as likely to trust a humanoid robot for heart surgery (14%) as they are to trust one to open a savings account (7%) and only 11% would back any type of robot, including chatbots, to open a savings account or provide mortgage advice. The least understood new technologies are blockchain, robo-advisers, automated investment advice (69%) and finance applications integrated into social media (60%).

24% have not heard of, or do not know what voice activation technology is, despite it being widely available in smartphones. There is a reliance on long established methods of money management with the most common traditional channels including: online banking via a bank website (67%); ATMs (55%); Branch visits (41%).

“Digital technology is rapidly evolving and customers are now able to bank more simply, quickly and in the most secure way possible,” says John Flint, Global Chief Executive of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC. “While people say they place huge value in the security of their personal data, they do not yet understand that adopting new technologies can help them to protect their information. Our research shows many people do not understand new technologies and so are unable to place trust in them. We have a role to play in building our customers’ knowledge and trust so that they see the value to their lives in adopting a new payments app or the latest biometric security. At HSBC we will continue to adapt as customers’ needs change, to provide banking services on their terms.”

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The Times & The Sunday Times

Sir James Anderton, chief constable, Greater Manchester (1976-91), 85; Stanley Baxter, comedian, 91; Jim Broadbent, actor, The Sense of an Ending (2017), 68; Eric Cantona, footballer, Manchester United (1992-97) and actor, 51; Michael Chabon, novelist, Moonglow (2017), 54; Tansu Ciller, economist, Turkey’s first female prime minister (1993-96), 71; Bob Dylan, singer-songwriter, The Times They Are A Changin’ (1964), Nobel prize in literature (2016), 76; Dominic Grieve, Conservative MP for Beaconsfield, attorney-general (2010-14), 61; Patti LaBelle, singer, Lady Marmalade (1975), 73; Liz McColgan, athlete, Olympic silver medallist (1988) 53; Paul McCreesh, founder (1982) and artistic director, Gabrieli (Consort Players), 57; Alfred Molina, actor, Chocolat (2000), 64; Adrian Moorhouse, swimmer, Olympic gold medallist (1988), 53; Steven Norris, Conservative MP (1983-87, 1988-97), vice-chairman of the Conservative Party (2000-01), 72; Stephen Otter, HM inspector of constabulary (2012-16), 55; Dave Peacock, singer, Chas ’n’ Dave, Gertcha (1979), 72; Nick Pearce, director, Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath, head, prime minister’s policy unit (2008-10), 49; Alice Perkins, chairwoman, Post Office (2011-15), 68; Tom Phillips, artist, A Humument (1970), 80; Priscilla Presley, actress, Dallas (1983-98), 72; Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP for North East Somerset, 48; Luke Rittner, chief executive, Royal Academy of Dance, 70; Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, actress, The English Patient (1996), 57; Prof Jeremy Treglown, editor, TLS (1982-90), 71; Richard Wilson, sculptor, 20:50 (1987), 64.

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How to talk to children about terrorist attacks

ManchesterImage copyright
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The attack in Manchester involved many children and young people

News of a terrorist attack is always frightening, but for parents there is the added dilemma of what to say to their children.

Should I shield them from the news? Is it best just to turn the television off? Will the images they see traumatise them? Or should I tell my children exactly what’s happened?

Talk about the news

The advice from professionals is that talking about these issues is better than avoiding them.

Consultant clinical psychologist Emma Citron, who specialises in children and trauma, says families should not shy away from talking about the tragic events in Manchester.

“Give children basic facts, tell them what it is they want to know, ask them what they would like to know and then give them access to that,” she says.

“Support them and comfort them and be there for them, hug them, cry with them if they’re crying, just respond to how they’re responding emotionally.

“Take the lead from them – we need to know what it is they want answers to.”

Should I turn off the television?

While turning off the television and radio might be a natural protective instinct, Dr Bernadka Dubicka from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says shielding children from traumatic events in the news isn’t practical in today’s society.

“Parents can’t shield children from these events completely,” she says. “The reality is that children and young people are bombarded by 24/7 news.”

Dr Dubicka says the most important thing is for parents to be there and to try to help their children manage their emotions.

“Trying to hide the news isn’t helpful because they’ll hear about it elsewhere and parents won’t then be there to take them through it.”

‘Avoid nasty details’

While it’s important to talk about the news, parents should avoid unnecessary detail, adds Ms Citron.

“Avoid nasty details, there’s no need for them, they’re unnecessary.

“You don’t want to be describing the scene, describing the bloodshed, describing what it looked like, showing them images – I would be avoiding all of that, because that can traumatise the child.”

Image copyright
Getty Images

Ms Citron also advises parents to be firm with older children about how much they read on the internet.

“Tell your young person not to go scouring the internet for all the inside stories, it’s just not necessary – we need to protect our young people as well.”

Helpful phrases

Ms Citron says parents should take the lead from their children in how the conversation develops, but should try to include as many calm and reassuring phrases as possible.

“General comments like, ‘This is a very rare occurrence’, ‘It’s absolutely awful, but thank goodness it’s extremely rare’, and ‘Security is going to be tightened even more’, are really reassuring.

“We don’t want our children feeling afraid to go out, we don’t want them not to grow up to lead normal, happy, healthy, well-adjusted lives.”

If faced with the question, “Could this happen again, mummy?”, Ms Citron recommends telling the truth, but also giving children lots of reassurance about their normal, everyday activities.

“I would be saying, ‘Of course it could’ – and don’t lie about that – ‘But it’s very unlikely, these are very, very rare events and we are sure the police are going to up security even more.

“‘It’ll be absolutely fine to still go to your football or your netball, it’ll be absolutely fine to still go on your scout camp’, or whatever it is they do.

“‘We have to to carry on living our lives in a normal way and not be cowed by these bad people.’”

Will teachers talk about events?

The scale of the Manchester attack and the possibility that affected schools might postpone exams, means the subject will be an inevitable topic of conversation in schools.

“I’d be surprised if schools weren’t giving pupils a chance to talk about the attack,” says Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders.

“If students want to talk, teachers will let them ask questions and they will be talking to them about how they can look at appropriate, reliable sources for information.”

Mr Barton says schools will also be working hard to emphasise a sense of community cohesion.

“Schools will be wanting to emphasise the sense of community and shared values – they’ll be using every opportunity to celebrate what they have in their own community.”

But, in his 15-year experience as a head teacher, he says schools will be keeping a “business as usual” approach in the wake of this attack, unless they are directly affected.

“Routines are important and can carry people through – they keep a sense of calm purpose.”

How would I know if my child was traumatised?

The signs of trauma depend very much on the individual, however, symptoms to watch for include:

  • child becoming fearful, clingy and anxious
  • bedwetting
  • child becoming preoccupied with thoughts and memories
  • being unable to concentrate
  • becoming irritable and disobedient
  • physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach-aches

If you are concerned about your child and think he or she is traumatised by events in the news, you can approach your GP.

If the problems go on, the doctor may suggest accessing some extra help from the local child and adolescent mental health service (Camhs).

But parents should try not to be overly anxious, as Dr Dubicka says: “The vast majority of young people will cope with this and will be OK.”

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Advocate, author gives advice on growing Lee County workforce

Although the meeting was to be an educational session for educators, there were business and industry leaders on hand as well. In fact, when the Lee County Workforce Summit brought Dr. Kevin J. Fleming to the summit Monday morning at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Fort Madison, about 75 people were on hand to hear what he had to say.

“We invited Fleming in because we can gain a lot from his philosophies and teachings,” Dennis Fraise, Chief Operating Officer of Lee County EDG, said. “We wanted to have a regional audience to hear his story and give people a lot to think about in terms of workers.”

Fraise said there were many educators in the audience.

“That was part of the plan, but we also have many manufacturers and businesses as well,” Fraise said. “It’s a broad spectrum or people. It’s a great room.”

Dana Millard, Lee County EDG Marketing Communications Manager, said the meeting Monday was more than just the average workforce summit.

“It is an opportunity for our original partners to come together,” Millard said. “And we brought in Dr. Fleming to talk to the group on how we can move forward.”

Millard said the purpose of the meeting was to develop action steps to see how progress can be made in the workforce in Lee County.

Millard said Fleming has covered the change in the Lee County economy.

“It used to be that people were encouraged to go to a four-year university,” Millard said. “Now that needs to change and has started to change. Now people need to decide if they are looking for a job where skills are needed more than a degree is needed.”

She said traditionally students are asked what college they wanted to go to.

“Now you need to be asking students what type of employment you want to have,” Millard said. “You need to  be asking what you want to do … what impact do you want to make.”

Millard said according to Fleming, it is not good to go to a university just to get a degree.

“It is better for the student if they have an idea of what they want to do and what the end goal is,” Millard said.

Producer of the viral animation video “Success in the New Economy,” and author of the best seller, “(Re)Defining the Goal,” Fleming is an advocate for ensuring all students enter the labor market with a competitive advantage. He supports over 40 Career Technical Education programs as a Dean of Instruction, CTE at Norco College  (part of Riverside Community College District, California).  

He also serves as the Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Supply Chain Automation (Washington DC). Previously, he analyzed industry trends and workforce needs while providing customized geospatial labor market research for the largest higher education system in the world: the California Community Colleges. Dr. Fleming is a faculty member, and national speaker. He has earned two Bachelor’s degrees from Loyola Marymount University (Psychology Philosophy); a Master of Arts from The Ohio State University (Educational Policy Leadership), a MBA from the University of Redlands, and a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University.

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‘The Making Of Our Digital Selves,’ And Advice For Education Reformers

Principal Anthony Madry stands in a noisy hallway at Central Academy of Excellence, greeting students.

“Good morning, good morning, good morning,” Madry says, fist bumping students as they pass. “Hey are we good?”

The student nods. “Yeah.”

Madry points to a young woman. “That’s Emily. Emily’s one of the best kids I have in this school. She’s one of my favorites. Don’t blush, please don’t blush.

“You try to learn most of the kids’ names, the reason being that’s the most honorable thing you can do,” Madry says.

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How to succeed in high school: Advice from Atlanta’s top students

Extracurricular activities: Dual enrollment: Georgia State University, varsity volleyball, self-founded literacy enrichment program (volunteer organization), mock trial, Atlanta Public Schools Honors Chorus, piano, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society 

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17-Year-Old Kenwood Student to Receive PhD This Year


Courtesy of Wanda Kellog

A 17-year-old living in Kenwood is on track to receive her Ph.D. this year. She sat down with The Maroon to discuss her accelerated educational path, her career, and her advice for college students.

Thessalonika Arzu-Embry graduated high school at 11 years old, completed college with a degree in psychology at 14 years old, earned an M.B.A. at 16 years old, and is currently finishing her doctorate. Her dissertation is about how dreams and everyday life influence each other.

Arzu-Embry explained that because of her upbringing in a military family, she was homeschooled and introduced to a special form of discipline at a young age.

“It’s a lot of discipline and a lot of travelling,” Arzu-Embry said of her childhood years on different naval bases. “When I was travelling around, I had really early schedules. It was like five in the morning to 10 at night.”

Arzu-Embry noted that she never doubted her decision to pursue a highly accelerated education, even when she was the youngest student in all of her classes. She explained that the age difference between her and her classmates is more obvious in graduate school than it was during her undergraduate studies but that her older peers have adjusted to it.

“I think it’s an inspiration to a lot of students who are sitting in class with me and learning whatever age they are, whether an older student, or a younger student, or an average freshman trying to fit in, that they’re inspired to keep going and learn new things,” Arzu-Embry said.

Despite her family’s frequent travel, her homeschooling, and her enrollment in university courses, Arzu-Embry explained that she still finds time to socialize with people her own age though her church youth group. Once a week, the youth ministry she attends hosts pizza parties for young members to fraternize and listen to music.

When asked what it means to be a genius, Arzu-Embry explained that anyone could be a genius regardless of academics. “A genius is someone who makes wise choices in their life, and they are not proud. If they are proud, they are not a genius. That’s what I think,” Arzu-Embry said.

Arzu-Embry has written five books in which she provides advice for people seeking to accelerate their education, learn financial investing, and understand global injustices through a biblical lens. Two more books are coming soon, Arzu-Embry said, but those will focus on navigating the real estate market and how aspiring authors can publish books in as little as a week while maximizing profits.

In addition to her roles as author and motivational speaker, Arzu-Embry is an app developer. Her current projects include an educational app for CPS schools about black history, a weather app for pilots to use while they’re flying, and an app for a church’s marriage class program through which couples can build stronger relationships.

Though she has no plans to pursue additional degrees, Arzu-Embry has other aspirations. She plans on buying her mother a house, spearheading a project to construct a high-rise building in Chicago, and pursuing a full-time career in business.

When asked what advice she had for UChicago students, Arzu-Embry stressed the importance of making academic plans, being careful about expenses, and making daily schedules.

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Career advice: how to ace your annual review

Do the paperwork

If you set out with the misapprehension that your reviewer will complete the paperwork for your annual review, it simply isn’t going to end well.

The ability to put one bit of paper on top of another, in the right order, by a specified time is still a much undervalued skill in academia. Sadly, most academics seem incapable of achieving this, especially for their annual review.

Perhaps their performance is so stellar that they see such mundanities as beneath them, or maybe they know that the review is going to involve an awkward conversation. Either way, not filling in the paperwork is a common flaw.

Seek advice from colleagues

Many people in your own department have already been through the process on an annual basis, most probably with the same reviewer that you’ve been allocated and certainly with the same set of guidance notes and criteria.

If this is your first review, get advice from colleagues with experience of the process. Learn the format and the procedure of the meeting as well as how long the discussion will last and what tends to happen afterwards. An annual review won’t be a patch on your PhD viva or your job interviews; nevertheless, a little inside information helps to set expectations and demystify the process.

Curate some evidence

You’d have no compunction in criticising a student for failing to map their answer to the learning objectives or for not answering the right question. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this ethos won’t apply when your fellow academics “mark” your annual review paperwork.

The categories of teaching, research, knowledge exchange and some variation on leadership will all be in there somewhere. As well as presenting simple student feedback and evaluations of your teaching, make explicit which papers you have submitted, which have been published, which are still under review and which have been rejected. Note which grants you have sought and received, and demonstrate evidence of industry engagement.

Think about how your activities have delivered improvements, particularly lasting ones that go beyond your own courses.

Search our database for the latest global university jobs 

Do some self-evaluation

Impersonating an ostrich won’t really help, nor will a delusional claim to world-leading status.

If you submitted an outlandish promissory note in last year’s review, check whether you have delivered against the objectives you set. If you haven’t delivered all of them, it isn’t necessarily bad news. Are you still doing the same job, have you taken on some other substantive administration role, did you undertake any extra teaching to cover for a colleague or experience personal circumstances that affected your work life in unforeseen ways?

Be as honest and as open as you can be with your reviewer.

Use the time wisely

If you are nervous or in any way concerned about how things might go, there is always the temptation to attempt a filibuster. You could talk incessantly for the duration of your review, but this would probably just disgruntle your reviewer.

Look on your annual review as an opportunity for career consultation. Embrace the idea that this isn’t a lecture but rather a conversation – use your reviewer’s expertise and experience to help figure out both next steps and medium-term goals.

Don’t take it personally

Welcome the positives and take pleasure in them, but hear the negatives and make sure that you get some agreement on how to develop. If there are areas that are unsatisfactory that you are hearing about for the first time, don’t worry; your employer is there to support you where improvements are required.

There is a great deal of support available to you in many different forms, from mentoring to training and coaching. It is better if you have thought about what you might need to help you in advance. For example, if you find teaching large classes a particular challenge, find someone who loves them and has the best reputation for teaching them. Use your annual review to negotiate permission to observe them in action to see if you can pick up some of their tricks.

Negotiate your score

Be prepared to answer the question: what would you give yourself? Some objective realism might be required. 

Did you really receive excellent teaching feedback, have you published papers in the very best journals in your field, have you landed a larger research grant than might reasonably have been expected or engaged in some other kind of knowledge exchange or impact? If you did these things or similar, you truly are excellent; hold your ground and expect a bonus.

There is nothing wrong with being good or very good; however, if you are really unhappy, know what to do. There is normally some form of oversight involved in the process, and you can avail yourself of a second opinion. But bear in mind that the person you appeal to might be even more critical than your reviewer, so make sure that your evidence is good.

Robert MacIntosh is head of the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, where Kevin O’Gorman is professor of management and business history and director of internationalisation. Both regularly write about academic life on the Heriot-Watt blogs It’s Not You, It’s Your Data and

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Excellence in Education: Advice from Seniors to Underclassmen …

“And then people started to hear his mother cry and that flipped a switch in a lot of individuals. Hearing that,” ER nurse Luke Johnston paused in his remembering, then continued, “I can still hear it today.”

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