The Peers in Careers conference held on Tuesday 9 May in Birmingham was the first of its kind in the UK to celebrate students and graduates who work within Careers services.
Jamie Rooke supporting a workshop at Peers in Careers 2023 conference
The inaugural event, organised by TargetJobs alongside Queen Mary, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University and Gradconsult, hosted 64 students from across 25 universities. Including Jamie Rooke, a Careers Ambassador and final-year Linguistics student at Queen Mary who was part of the conference’s organising committee.
"The conference was a great opportunity to leave my comfort zone and present to a group of peers as well as careers leaders from all over the country. I met lots of other students, graduates and leaders from careers services from all sorts of different universities, gaining an invaluable insight into the innovations they have, and the similar experiences we all share. Being involved in the planning and logistics of the event was also a great experience as I got to share my views on how it should be run," he said about the experience.
Katie Thomas, Events Delivery Manager at TargetJobs, said: "Jamie was a key member of the Student Steering group for the Peers in Careers conference. He clearly has a great passion for his role in the Careers and Enterprise team at Queen Mary and was a proactive member of the committee, coming up with new ideas and helping to coordinate the various sessions of the day with the rest of the group. It was fantastic to be part of an event hosted by students for students, as Jamie had a natural presenting style and really kept the audience motivated and upbeat. Look forward to hopefully working with you again Jamie!"
Peer-to-Peer models within careers services exist across many universities with activities covering areas such as delivering drop-ins, co-creating materials, running social media channels, running workshops and more. Feedback shows that students feel more confident discussing career planning with their peers. These students also give services invaluable insights into the student body and how to engage with them.
The Head of Careers and Enterprise at Queen Mary, Judith Baines, values the participation of these Student Ambassador type roles within the service and will be expanding the student team in Autumn 2023 with a Team Leader in place to manage the expansion. "It was great to see how passionate the students are about their roles and it’s inspirational to know that some of them could be talented members of the Careers sector in the future," she added.
There are plans to grow the Careers Ambassador team and put them front and centre in the newly developed Queens Building from 2025.
If you are interested in becoming a Careers Ambassador, email email@example.com to express your interest. Vacancies are not yet open but we will be recruiting later this summer.