Shauna McCloy (Head of Employability, Ulster University) and Stephanie Gowdy (Senior Student Recruitment Manager, PwC)
Ulster University’s popular employability award is being refreshed to support the Five & Fifty focus on developing student employability skills. The Ulster EDGE Award, sponsored by PwC, allows full and part-time undergraduates to complete a variety of extra and co-curricular activities alongside their normal studies.
Participation gives students a competitive edge when it comes to applying for graduate jobs, as they can show potential employers clear evidence of their competency across a variety of areas.
Mark Lawson, a BSc Hons Psychology graduate from Coleraine campus, was the overall winner in the 2016-17 EDGE Excel Award. He says the programme gave him a variety of employability skills.
The EDGE Award is currently split into four categories with over 150 activities for students to choose from. But the refreshed offering will see these renamed to more clearly demonstrate the range of the activities on offer and to help students make more informed choices about their career development.
The revised categories are:
These updates to the EDGE Award reflect the focus on confident careers and raising ambitions as part of the Five & Fifty vision. Shauna McCloy, Head of Employability, said the programme will do this in various ways, by creating opportunities for developing academic excellence and providing structured support for exploring and fine tuning personal and professional skills, through its accredited activities.
Corporate partner and sponsor of the EDGE Award, PwC, is keen to support the initiative as a way of supporting and encouraging career-ready graduates throughout their university experience.
Senior Student Recruitment Manager at PwC, Stephanie Gowdy, believes extra and co-curricular activities are incredibly important from an employer’s perspective, particularly in a labour market which continues to demand more of our graduates. Stephanie explained,
Emer Nugent, studying for a BA Hons in Irish with Marketing at Magee campus, said she learned a lot from completing the EDGE Excel Award.
Also showcasing the talent of Ulster University students, the last of 5 successful Graduate and Placement Fairs to place today (Tuesday 17th October). Over 170 organisations participated in the series of events, showcasing thousands of opportunities for graduate, placement and internship roles. Shauna added,