Here at The University of Manchester’s Careers Service, we are very keen to harness the wealth of knowledge, expertise and connections across our international alumni community We are keen to learn more about the global job market and to use this to support the career development of our students. A few initiatives are already in place to support this process and we have recently launched a couple more. Here is a summary of what is happening and ways for our international alumni to get involved:
Manchester Gold – our mentoring programme has been running for over 10 years now and although it has grown considerably, there is always demand for more mentors. The programme matches a current student (mentee) with a Manchester graduate now working in the student’s career area of interest (mentor). This one-to-one relationship is about anything from sharing ideas, giving feedback, to suggesting connections or just listening. We now have over 500 mentoring partnerships per year – of which 100 are with international alumni based outside the UK. Although these international relationships operate mainly via email, there are also options for skype calls, telephone conversations and some meet up in country, too. It is a hugely valued resource by our students. For more information about mentoring – http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/recruit/mentoring/
For those alumni who cannot commit to a 6 months relationship, there is alternatively the option to be involved more informally. Our Q&A database is a listing of alumni who are happy to take questions from students. You can make yourself unavailable at any time – for busy periods – and can set a maximum number of emails you would like to receive per month. We have about 200 alumni on the database already, despite this being a new service, but would be keen to grow our international database if we can.
As LinkedIn grows as a key networking tool and recruitment resource across the globe, we are keen for our international students to make the most of this resource from an early stage. To enable our international students to connect with alumni and prospective recruiters around the world, we have established 3 LinkedIn groups: The China Manchester Graduate Network; The India Manchester Graduate Network and the most recent group to launch is The Pakistan Manchester Graduate Network. These are open to any students and alumni from the University who are keen to connect. It’s already a becoming popular with our alumni for their own networking too!
If we do not yet have an international network established for your country of interest, do let me know. We are keen to expand this resource.
Each year we circulate over 500 international job opportunities to our international students ranging from engineering roles in Nigeria and PR placements in the USA, to banking schemes in Singapore and legal trainee posts in Hong Kong. The challenge, though is to put our international students in touch with more of these opportunities globally as we have over 8500 international students now! To support our networks, we recently held a recruitment event with Pakistan recruiters in 2012 and are looking to host another China event in October 2013.
We are particularly keen to work with international firms to circulate their jobs to our students and can offer a range of free recruitment services. Some recruiters are also using our LinkedIn groups (above) to connect with and hire our students. If you are from / or work with an organisation that is keen to identify and recruit international talent, please do let us know. You can find out more about our services at: http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/recruit/
Feedback – we would love to hear from you!
Many of our international graduates return home or head to a new country when they graduate, which can make it harder to keep in touch with current students. However, our students are always interested to hear about your experiences both during and after University. If you would be happy to share information about your own experiences of job hunting in another country – we would love to hear from you. There is so much that we can learn from your insights. We can profile you on our website or you can just tell us privately. Simply email Amanda Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org to express an interest. I was recently lucky to visit China – and the highlight for me was meeting alumni whilst out there and learning from their experiences.
A big thankyou!
If you already participate in any of these programmes, just to say a huge thank you for your involvement to date. It has been so rewarding to see some of our international students obtain a mentor whilst studying in the UK, and then go on to be mentors themselves to new international students once they are established.
Amanda Conway is the Head of International Career Development at The University of Manchester. Amanda has been a career consultant at the University for over 15 years and also has a background in retail management and HR, psychometric testing and personality profiling.