20 July 2012

Awards for getting the most out of university life

Dr Matthews receiving his award from Professor Jules Pretty.

‘Employability Champions’ at the University of Essex are now being recognised through the University of Essex’s Big e awards.

The awards were originally established to reward students who make most of their time at Essex through the huge range of opportunities outside their academic studies – from enterprise activities and career development to volunteering and supporting peers.

For the first time an Employability Champion award has been established for academic staff who have made a significant contribution to the work of their department or faculty. This year’s Employability Champion is Dr Will Matthews from the Department of Psychology.

Student Employability and Enterprise Manager Charlie Wheeldon said: “We’ve established the new Employability Champion award category for academic staff who have made an outstanding contribution to supporting the employability of their students. Their work is crucial as employability has to be a shared responsibility across the whole University.”

Employability projects Dr Matthews has been involved with include:

  • Launching a detailed Careers Pack tot final year students to provide advice and information including profiles of former students to show what graduates have gone on to achieve in their professional lives. These were used by colleagues to discuss with students their career aspirations.
  • Helping to organise Careers Panel events where final year students meet representatives from various branches of the psychology professions to learn about those careers and how to get into them.
  • Establishing Careers Sessions in Year One and Year Two as part of the timetabled curriculum, to give students the chance to get advice on career planning and employability from members of the Careers Service.

He said: “It is obviously very nice to receive recognition for the work I've put in, although the people at the Employability and Careers Centre, especially Georgina Murrell and Dee Hardcastle, deserve most of the credit for their constant help and support.

“I think it's great that the University is prioritising employability, and that so many people across all faculties are working to improve the prospects of our students.”

Two other new awards have been introduced this year. The Academic Support award for students involved in peer mentoring and course representatives was awarded to Daniel Albertsen and the Significant Contribution award for students who have made an all round contribution to university life was presented to Alice Wilson.

This year’s big e award winners are:

  • Academic Support – Daniel Albertsen
  • Career Development Learning – Camilla Sandford
  • Enterprise – Dubem Menakaya
  • Essex Ambassador – Lauren Brown
  • Peer Support – Alina Jipa
  • Student Activity – Robert Michael Lundin
  • Student Employee – Chris Watson
  • Volunteering – Ileana-Sinziana Puscas
  • Work Experience – Bianca Castro
  • Significant Contribution – Alice Wilson
  • Employability Champion – Dr William Matthews

For more information about the Big e visit: www.essex.ac.uk/bige

Our picture shows Dr Matthews receiving his award from Professor Jules Pretty.

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