A Weekend Away At Gregynog

Every year, the Aberystwyth University’s Department of Computer Science organises an away weekend for its 2nd year students at the atmospheric University of Wales Conference Centre, better known as Gregynog Hall. The purpose of this away weekend is to help students prepare for the task of finding a year-long placement in industry by the following summer.

The Department’s staff are joined by an invited group of Visiting Industrialists (all highly experienced interviewers and recruiting managers), who volunteer their time to give something back to our industry. I’ve been volunteering since 2009. It’s always both a privilege to do so and one of the most rewarding weekends in the calendar.

What do we do with the students?

The Visiting Industrialists run mock interview sessions, using our experience to give the students what we hope is helpful advice to follow to land a job. Some of the advice we give is technical: what the recruitment process is, and what the students need to do at each step of the process to make it through to the next step. Some of it is contextual: the state of the job market, and the expectations of employers today. The rest of it is personalised: showing each student in turn their individual strengths and weaknesses as we see them.

Every student goes away with actions that they can take before they apply for real jobs.

There are common themes that crop up each year - pitfalls to avoid, improvements to make, and additional actions to take. Many of these aren’t unique to undergraduates. I’m involved with recruitment where I work, and the majority of candidates of all levels of experience appear to need the same advice!

You’ll find this advice in this short e-book, along with additional background information about recruitment from an employer’s point of view. It should take you about an hour to read end-to-end.

I hope you find it useful.

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