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Moving on!

4 August 2011

We are merging this blog into the current Salford Careers blog, which you can find at

Hope to see you there!


PG Futures: Career Management in the Digital Age

24 June 2011

I took part in our Postgraduate Futures: Career Management in the Digital Age conference on Tuesday, which was fantastic. We opened with a thought-provoking and exciting keynote panel with Cameron Neylon (Biophysicist, Science and Technology Facilities Council), Jasdev Dhaliwal (Head of Communities, AVG), Helen Keegan (Senior Lecturer in Interactive Media here at the University of Salford), and Chris Harrison (Director of Research and Innovation, University of Salford).

For me, Jas Dhaliwal set the tone for the day with a challenge to “Be what’s next!“. He recommended to all the research postgraduates that they make sure they are Google-able, get a smartphone, and get their own domain name – and if you can’t have, get Why not be

As someone who has spent the twelve years that I’ve been online making sure I’m not Googleable, it was quite the turnaround! I have several online identities on various platforms, and have usually tried to make sure that my online identities can’t be connected with my real name. Now that I’m working in an area where a strong online brand can be a useful professional tool, I’m trying to bring them back together a bit more. But I’m not quite there yet.

At the same time, whilst it also raises a lot of questions – what kind of barriers to employment are being created, since the digital world isn’t equally accessible to all? And what is the point of us having legislation banning an employer from, say, asking a young woman about her marital status and whether or not she’s intending to have children, if he can go and see pictures of her wedding on Facebook, or read about her kids on her blog? Should we be advising students to make sure they have a professional online profile, which obliterates all references to their personal lives?

What do you think? How many online profiles do you have, and how careful are you about how you present yourself under your real name? Are you maintaining a professional/personal divide,

And finally, for fun, who are you according to Google? The top result for “Mary Macfarlane” used to be the manager of a teddy bear museum in North Carolina, which I loved. She seems to have gone now, to be replaced by my LinkedIn profile, and then page after page of Scottish genealogy pages. You?

The Graduate Gateway five-day programme

15 June 2011

We’ve now finished the week of Graduate Gateway activities, and are currently interviewing final-year students for our five-day Graduate Gateway programme.

Unlike the workshops, which were stand-alone sessions, the five-day programme requires students and graduates to commit to all five days.  We’ve had between 18 and 23 people in each of the four cohorts we’ve run so far, and by the end they are a tightly bonded group, and each other’s best cheerleaders.  We really enjoy running the course: it’s great to watch the participants go from slightly watchful to laughing and teasing each other.  By the third day, they are giving each other really helpful and constructive feedback and by the end they’re all making plans to stay in touch and support each other’s job search.

There are just a few places left on the June-July Graduate Gateway programme, so, if you’re interested in coming along, please go to our website;, download an applicaiton form, and return it to no later than Friday 17 June.

If you’re interested but aren’t available for this cohort, send an email to the Gateway address and we’ll let you know in August when we’re recruiting for the September cohort!

The programme is supported by the European Social Fund, and similar programmes are being run by other universities across the Northwest. So if you’re not a Salford graduate but still want to take part, contact your university’s careers service and see what they have anything to offer!


Only three posts so far, and two of them about Graduate Gateway! Sorry about that folks: next Tuesday we’ll be running Postgraduate Futures 2011, so I’m looking forward to telling you about that!

Graduate Gateway workshops and five-day course

6 June 2011

Today is the first day of our Graduate Gateway employability week!  We’ve run four workshops today for our final-year students and graduates: Navigating the Road Ahead,Selling Your Skills: How to recognize your strengths and abilities and successfully sell them to employers, Beat the competition: Success at recruitment fairs and creative job search and Writing your own winning CV.  We’ve had over fifty students attending these workshops, and have a packed schedule for the rest of the week:

Tuesday 7th June

  • Volunteer for Your Career
  • Personal Branding

Wednesday 8th June

  • Self-Employment – Setting Up Your Own Business
  • What do Employers Want from Graduates? Employer Q&A Panel
  • Job Seeking and Interview Success
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Spark Studio Information Session

Thursday 9th June

  • Excelling at Interviews
  • CV and Application Forms
  • Impress in Assessment Centres – run by Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Friday 10 June

  • Coffee Morning: Your chance to quiz the Careers Staff!

The sign-ups are now shut, but there are still places on many of the workshops so just come along if you want to join in.  There’s more information available on the Graduate Gateway website.


We’re also accepting applications to the full five-day Graduate Gateway programme! Unlike the workshops, where you can just drop in to one or two, the five-day programme requires you to sign up for all five days of intensive employability and skills training, covering communication, leadership and teamwork, career management and more.  We also send you off for a day’s training at the Manchester and Salford Universities Officer Training Corps barracks: everyone looks very nervous to start with, but by the end of the day they’re all claiming it was the best part of the course and it really helps the cohort bond.  It’s fantastic to see the way the students and graduates help and support each other.

We had some brilliant feedback from the previous cohorts:

“I hope other people get the opportunity that I did in being able to attend GG, its a fabulous scheme and I hope it goes from strength to strength.”

“A huge thanks to Tim, Esme and everyone who was involved with the course, the past 12 months have been an incredible journey.”

“The services and support Graduate Gateway provide are vital to Salford University’s fledgling graduates. I would like to express my thanks to all of the team, they do a sterling job. ”

To apply, download and complete an application form, and return it to Mary Macfarlane in Careers and Employability no later than Friday 10 June.

Stay in Touch!

31 May 2011

Welcome to the Salford Stay In Touch blog!  I work in the Student and Graduate Futures team in Careers and Employability at the University of Salford, and this blog is intended to help our alumni and local employers find out more about what we’re up to.

We have a lot of connections with local employers, and are always keen to develop more.  We also like keeping in touch with our graduates as they become tomorrow’s employers.  We find that our students love hearing about the world outside university from recent graduates, more senior alumni and local employers.

Some of the opportunities and activities that I’ll be writing about include:

  • Industrial and summer placements
  • Volunteering
  • Advertising job opportunities
  • Recruitment fairs and employability days
  • Employer presentations and workshops
  • Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Business Development training
  • Mentoring
  • the Salford Student Life Award
  • the Graduate Gateway training programme
  • Alumni events and activities
  • Graduate  and alumni case studies
  • Spark Studio, our Live/Work project
  • Some of our social media activities
  • MediaCityUK
  • the 100 Salford Stories project
  • the DLHE and Labour Force surveys
  • Labour market and higher education news
  • and much, much more!

Here’s to good blogging!