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The Corporation

Posted: 05/05/10

Undergraduates’ employer showcase success

Over 45 university-level students at West Nottinghamshire College presented their final work-related projects for local employers to view and join in the celebration of their success and hard work in April.

The ‘Employer Showcase’ event took place at the college’s Derby Road campus from on 15 April and was the first of its kind at the college featuring final year foundation degree students’ projects at a number of stands.

The students, who have just completed studies in sport, computing and business and management related subjects, engaged with local employers and discussed their projects in detail and obtained professional feedback from them.  Some were fortunate enough to have been presented possible employment opportunities.

One of the aims of the event was for students to develop their employability skills needed to make a significant impact in today’s challenging and competitive business environments and it also gave employers the opportunity to meet the undergraduates and discuss their projects in detail offering students their own perspectives of the projects.

Matt Fox and Mark Bullock
Students on the Fd in Sport and Science

Matt said: “This event has been great for us to show off all the work we’ve done on our final projects and it’s also a great opportunity to show potential foundation degree students what the course involves.”

Mark said: “We’ve had lots of interest in our project and it’s really good to meet with new people.”

Jonathan Bell
Student on the Fd in Software Development with Multimedia

“This showcase is a really good idea and a fantastic chance to speak to employers.  This enabled us to get feedback from people in industry.  We had a good mix of employers and students who all seem impressed with the work we’ve done.”

The college’s HE development manager, Dani MacKinnon, said: “I was really proud of the students at the event. They presented themselves and their work in a first-class manner.  It was their opportunity to show what huge efforts they have put into their studies, to promote their skills to industry and to also help reassure future students who will be embarking on these same courses this year.

“Over 100 prospective new students as well as staff took the time to come along to find out more about the students’ projects.  I feel that the event both encouraged and reassured new students regarding their next steps towards higher education and enabled them to ask current students what to expect from the course.

“We had such positive feedback from employers, some of whom wish to set up links with the students regarding future work opportunities.  We shall definitely be working towards putting the same kind of event on next year.”

Linda Phillips, senior lecturer at Staffordshire University and external examiner

“This event really is excellent and I am impressed with the students’ projects.   You can see just how they’ve developed over the duration of their studies.  It’s great that employers have been invited along to this and have the opportunity to see the future potential these students have for working in their relevant industries.”

Steve White
Student on the Fd in business management and works at Rotork

“Many employers have visited my stand and have been to ask about my final major project.  I’ve brought along practical equipment so it’s created lots of interest.

“I am now a general manager at Rotork and this course has really helped me to develop.  I know have the theoretical knowledge to take me further.  My development since being a higher education student has even been commented on positively in my recent appraisal and I’ve also helped to improve bottom line figures.”

Gerard O’Reilly from NHS Leicester

“What a wonderful opportunity for the students to show people what they’ve been doing on their studies.  It’s such a great idea to put on display what might otherwise be filed away as ‘completed work’.”

Mark Beardsley, from NT Voice and Data Solutions

“This event is really well attended.  It’s obvious the students are confident, proud of their work and really know what they’re doing. 

“At my company based in Nottingham, we have an apprentice studying on an NVQ and I am confident that should they wish to pursue higher education, West Nottinghamshire College is certainly a great place to do this.”