WIT Careers Centre wins Employability award four years in a row

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Pictured is Head of Careers Angela Collins

Pictured is Head of Careers Angela Collins

The Careers Centre has had a lot of success in employability and has put WIT on the map for many leading employers at a local and national level

WIT’s Head of Careers Angela Collins has won the AHECS (Association of Higher Education Career Services in Ireland) Supporting Student/Graduate Employability Award for 2020.

The award was announced at a virtual awards ceremony.

Winning streak

This is the fourth year in a row that the WIT Careers Centre has won the AHECS employability award and as a result of this has put WIT on the map for many leading employers at a local and national level.

Collins received the award for her project titled: “Making the study-abroad experience work for international students - A career management programme to equip international students with the tools, knowledge and confidence to successfully compete in the Irish and overseas job markets”.

Link between employability and wellbeing

“As a careers advisor I feel our students’ employability and wellbeing are interlinked. Students coming from overseas face additional challenges in getting to know our culture, making friends and dealing with different teaching methods.

In addition, they can often feel the burden of high family expectations. How well students navigate this has an impact on the headspace they have for exploring their career paths, getting work experience and engaging effectively in the recruitment process.

Third level institutions spend a significant amount of time and energy attracting international students to study at their institutions. I feel as a careers advisor I have a duty to invest time and energy in assisting our international students on their career journey once they are here.”

Collins adds that it was a great pleasure to work with some fantastic international students on this project. “I would like to say a big thank to them for getting involved, it was a great honour and learning experience for me as a careers practitioner as well.”

Design impact

She also thanked and acknowledged the help and support of Lorenzo Tonti, a WIT Graphic Design lecturer for designing the cover of the project booklet. 

Collins explains that the inspiration for the project came from a discussion with an international student. “Liju Joseph was a WIT student from India who first proposed the idea for this project. His idea sparked something within me and I was determined to act on it.

I would like to thank the international alumni that participated in this initiative as well as the local and national employers who made this possible.”

Excellence highlighted

Feedback from the judges for Supporting Student and Graduate Employability comments such as:

“Excellent high impact project. Ensuring great reach to international students with limited resources.”

“Fine-tuned by a master at networking with a very democratic approach.”

“An excellent submission with a complete overview of the efforts and lengths that the Career Service team have undertaken to support International students.”

“In addition to the internal resources that were called upon to support the initiative, it was impressive to see local and international groups/government bodies insights being sought to assist international students’ opportunities.”

“A creative and well-executed solution to an area that isn't commonly discussed outwardly by employers.”

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