Planning for the future

As a Personal Tutor, you are well placed to support your tutees to develop their employability skills whilst at the University of Leicester. (Employability skills are those skills and attributes which make our graduates ready for employment and enable them to succeed in their chosen career.) The University’s Employability Strategy (University log in required) sets out the ways in which our graduates will become the “stand out choice for employers” and suggests that the personal tutoring system is one of the ways in which students will receive enhanced support in this area.

Here are some things you might do to support and raise the aspirations of your tutees:

Talk to your tutees about their career aspirations throughout the course – right from the outset, and revisit this through their course. All tutees (even those with a clear idea of what they want to do after graduation) need help to make the most of the opportunities available at Leicester.

Invite tutees to participate in research-related activities, listen to external speakers, and introduce them to new schools of thought in their discipline. Encourage them to make contact with researchers, participate in national or international competitions in your subject, or join special interest groups, or otherwise connect with others working in their field who may be able to offer a variety of perspectives on their topics of interest.

The Careers Development Service (CDS) provides a range of activities, events and guidance and also supports personal development planning. The helpful Personal Tutor Guide provides information on the range of  work of CDS which you can signpost your tutees to. Please note that this resource is currently being updated . In addition a practical workshop an online learning resource is being developed for November 2016 to guide your ‘Career Conversations’ with your tutees.

Have a look at the University’s Transferable Skills Framework (TSF) which groups employability skills under 3 broad headings (interpersonal, exploring & implementation and self management & values) and provides helpful advice relating to how you can plan opportunities for the acquisition and development of skills within the curriculum. Try to help your tutees link activities within the curriculum (for example: working in groups, solving problems in class, presenting project findings via a poster) to the TSF. Encourage your tutees to: think about their skills and strengths, identify areas of weaknesses and plan for action.

Discuss this aspect of your Personal Tutor role with your department’s Careers Tutor if you are unsure how best to support your tutees.

He was really friendly and was really helpful to talk about what my plans would be post-graduation and that’s really important to get students thinking early on right from the beginning.

Wisker, Exley, Antoniou & Ridley, 2008.