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Employers’ masterclass is just the business for students

Posted: 02 May 2024

Business students at West Nottinghamshire College have taken advice on succeeding both personally and professionally from a range of local businesspeople during an employer masterclass.

The Advanced Foundation Diploma and the Intermediate Certificate in Business groups welcomed five guests to deliver workshops designed to help improve their confidence with university and job applications, managing personal finances and higher study and job prospects.

Nottingham Trent University’s schools and colleges liaison officer Martin Bancroft explained to students the processes of applying to university after completing their studies at the college.

As well as discussing the range of courses available at the university, Martin helped to dispel myths such as needing to be rich or a certain age to study at university or that students need straight A grades to enrol. 

He advised on the range of financial help and guidance available before applying, encouraging students to meet with him for one-to-one advice should they need to.

Mansfield 103.2 radio station’s sales executive Sarah Maude introduced students to the competitive world of applying for jobs and how to succeed in an interview. She spoke about the importance of detailing any work placement and voluntary work undertaken on an application form and CV as well as listing key qualities that employers look for.

Students had a group discussion about why answers on an application form should be concise and then looked at typical points posed on an application form such as why you want this job, how you work as a team and effectively highlighting strengths and weaknesses.

Former managing director of North Notts Newspapers and now volunteer publisher at News Journal Ltd, Stewart Rickersey, brought along his background knowledge in broadcasting, business consultancy, marketing and publishing.

Stewart concentrated on introducing students to how to tailor the perfect CV and avoid common pitfalls, such as making a CV too lengthy and not paying attention to spelling and grammar. He covered the importance of tailoring a CV for each particular job applied for, having several different versions available in order to sell your skills for particular careers.

Intermediate Certificate in Business student Eliza Johnson said: “The financial parts of the workshop were very beneficial. It was great getting to hear lots of different perspectives from people from a range of businesses which you don’t always get in the classroom. The tips on support for CV writing helped so I could see what to add in my CV and what not to add in my CV.”

Mansfield Building Society’s direct sales and customer retention manager Sophie Cook shared her knowledge on money management and encouraged students to look closely at their personal finances in the future. This included considering the different types of bank and building society accounts available and the ways that they can build savings as they venture into the world of employment.

Annette Clay from Mansfield Woodhouse-based Road To Success coaching company brought along practical activities aimed at instilling confidence, conviction and belief in individuals when facing tense situations such as job interviews and new life chapters.

Annette said: “Our next generation needs the opportunities and exposure to what their next chapter holds, and having access to what this looks like in a safe environment is phenomenal. What you are creating at the college is something special and I feel privileged to be a part of this development.”

College work placement advisor Holly Hopkins said: “This is the first time we’ve organised a workshop like this, and it won’t be the last!

“It was engaging, informative and interactive and the employers went above and beyond to support our students, who got involved with all aspects of the sessions. The day was a huge success, and I’m very proud to have been a part of it.”

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