Final Year: Look to the Future
Now that you’re in your final year, you should start to prepare for the work environment. Thinking about this now can give you a head start over fellow graduates. You should consider your options and try to add to your CV through volunteering & work experience. Below you’ll find some vital information on your college Career Service, the different careers fairs (including our own, Building the Future) and more.
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Most colleges have a Careers Service office and have dedicated careers advisors who can assist you individually with preparing your CV, interview skills, job seeking, career planning and advice. They may also run various workshops throughout the year such as employer talks, career days, CV workshops etc …
If you have not done so already, introduce yourself to the careers advisor and inform her/him of any facilities or arrangements that you may require in order to access careers information and services. It is important to remember that in some colleges the Careers Office may not be wheelchair accessible; in this instance the careers advisor will normally arrange to meet the student at an alternative venue.
Some Disability Services in college have their own dedicated careers advisor who understands barriers people with disabilities may face in the workplace and also may run career development workshops for students with disabilities.
Take advantage of the career fairs which happen throughout the year where you can find out what companies are offering jobs and to get further career advice. The biggest careers fair in Ireland which GetAHEAD participate in is the GradIreland Fair which takes place twice a year, usually in October and June. GetAHEAD also host our own dedicated careers event for students and graduates with disabilities which takes place at the start of the summer called Building The Future.
Building the Future
Building the Future is a unique careers event aimed at students and graduates with disabilities. At this event, you will have the opportunity to polish your job seeking skills, get important tips and advice on successfully adjusting to the world of work and building a fulfilling career. The event features high profile companies who host stands and you will have the opportunity to ask questions and to speak with the employer one on one about their expectations.
In addition to that there are workshops, CV clinics where you can bring along your CV for review and the opportunity to undertake a mock interview by an employer. Details of the next Building the Future will be posted on this website and via our social media sites and if you have registered with us, you will also receive email updates.
All third level institutions should provide appropriate facilities to ensure that students with disabilities can attend and participate fully in their graduation ceremony.
Before graduation, students should, if necessary, consult with the Disability / Access Officer and/or the graduation office on the appropriate arrangements and supports that they will require on graduation, for example, a wheelchair accessible venue, a sign-language interpreter, or a tailor-made gown.
Another project of AHEAD is the WAM Programme which offers a minimum 6 month, paid and mentored work placement in a company only for graduates with disabilities. Placements are typically mainstream graduate entry level positions with high profile companies. It is a competitive process however, WAM gives additional levels of support for graduates by offering a needs assessment and delivering training. Find out more about the WAM Programme.
Some large companies offer their own graduate training programme which can last for a period of between 1 and 4 years. The purpose of these programmes is to give graduates an opportunity to gain work experience and some companies give graduates a chance to work in various areas of the company before they choose a career path. Graduate recruitment deadlines are usually from September January for the following year. So if you are thinking about applying to a graduate programme, get researching and working on your application as soon as possible as the competition for these graduate programmes is extremely high.
AHEAD have our own graduate database where you can register your details with us. You will receive updates from both the WAM Programme in relation to WAM placements that are currently being advertised and from GetAHEAD in relation to events that are aimed at getting you ready for work e.g. interview preparation workshops, CV skills etc… Find out more about registering on the database.