Building business links
Vicki, Graduate Resourcing Manager from Tesco, described the breadth of programmes in retail including merchandising, property management, logistics, personnel, technology and marketing.
Kier from Arcadia group, which owns major high street brands such as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, gave an insight into merchandising, explained the core element of analysing why products sell, customer demographics and predicting trends.
Kingston University is working with businesses from a broad range of sectors and in different innovative ways to help bridge the gap for students between university study and the world of work.
Recognising the value of work experience and early contact with employers, and to increase the number of job offers for Kingston students, the University is partnering with Enterprise Rent-A-Car (ERAC), one of the largest graduate recruiters in the UK. Rather than completing an online application form for placement and graduate opportunities, students have an initial interview with the Careers & Employability team. Successful students then go on to interview with ERAC. Applicants found it easier to demonstrate their suitability for the roles in this context rather than on an application form.
The initiative does not only focus on final year students. With summer internships for first year and placement years for second years, this creates a pipeline to ERAC graduate roles and is beneficial as a management training platform regardless of the industry students decide to go into. Kingston is extending the initiative within ERACs European offices giving students the opportunity to gain exposure of international markets and raising student aspirations and confidence. After a successful first year of the programme it is being expanded across the university and with other prestigious graduate employers.
One factor that can limit students’ career choices is a lack of awareness and knowledge of the variety of opportunities available. Kingston is tackling this with “Careers Uncovered”, a series of events focusing on specific sectors such as Public Sector & Charity, Energy & Environment and Engineering. Business representatives discuss job opportunities and roles within the sector and how students can stand out in the recruitment process. These presentations are followed by networking. “Retail Careers Uncovered” saw 12 major retailers (including Tesco, HSBC, Arcadia, Apple and John Lewis) promoting graduate scheme, placement and internship opportunities helping to broaden students’ views on opportunities in the sector.
To find out more, visit www.kingston.ac.uk