In our “Meet the Team” blog series we will be introducing everyone from the Careers and Enterprise Team and giving a short background to their roles as well as their best advice for you at this time. Today we are introducing the wonderful Chiara!

When did you join the team?

I have been working at CCCU for nearly 19 years and in the Careers and Enterprise team for nearly 6 years. During my time at CCCU I have worked in different departments and in different roles: from doing all the marketing and recruitment for the Faculty of Education to managing student recruitment and partnerships from all European countries and the USA, travelling over 150 days of the year! All these amazing roles have enabled me to develop lots of new skills…. Remember your career is a work in progress!

What is your role in the team?

I am one of the Employability and Skills managers working with academics on embedding employability within the curriculum. I support students through intracurricular and extracurricular activities with the prime aim to understand, develop and showcase their strengths, skills and knowledge. I have been supporting the Faculty of Arts and Humanities for a number of years now but I also work closely on projects which involve other disciplines and students. I have a passion for creative subjects as I am a creative person too!

What have you been up to keep yourself busy?

During this lockdown I have been trying to keep up with my work whilst caring from my 3 year old daughter, it hasn’t been easy but I learnt to create routines that complemented both roles. I have been spending a lot of time on LinkedIn connecting with businesses and helping some of the students I work with, share their projects and get them a bit of attention! Read my blog https://bit.ly/2zjyTeB.

I have been taking advantage of online free training and attending free webinars, whilst reading news and reports to help me have a better idea of how best to support our students and the University during this difficult period. But I have also spent lots of time cooking, baking and doing arts and crafts with my daughter!

What are your tips for students to keep focused on their career while stuck at home?

Be creative and think outside the box if the opportunities are not there …. CREATE THEM! Here are my tips:

  • If you have a skill (photography, graphic design, web design, videography, social media, copywriting, music) offer to help local businesses in need especially if they need to sell their products online or make their business more visible during the covid19 crisis…. Do this alone or get a small group of peers together…. This will generate content for your professional portfolio/s, it will get you known and get you business in return when the economy picks up again) read my blog https://bit.ly/2zjyTeB to see what other students have been up to.

If you don’t feel confident enough to put yourself out there just yet, do this for yourself…, build your portfolio, write a journal of your experience at home, design, draw…. Select a business that you would like to work for and create something for them… even if they will never see it, one day you may be able to talk about this at an interview with them….you never know!

  • Use this time to learn something new. There is so much free content and training out there at the moment, that it would be a pity to miss out…. The Careers and Enterprise team are posting details of excellent webinars, online training and guest speakers on all social media channels so go for it! I am doing lots of this at the moment for my own development but I am also looking and selecting good stuff for you guys!
  • Read newspapers and industry reports to keep your general knowledge and your commercial awareness topped up!

Remember this lockdown period is not a punishment, it’s an opportunity to pause, review, adapt and start again stronger than before!

Getting further support from The Careers and Enterprise Team at CCCU

You can get ongoing careers support via the following ways: