Last weekend I went to Gregynog Hall (the University of Wales conference centre) to help out with a weekend of activities to support 2nd year students getting ready to take a year in industry. I’ve not had much experience of this kind of event before – they didn’t do anything like it in Leeds – and it seemed to me to be an excellent idea. CV workshops, teamworking, Belbin workshops, mock interviews, talks about working in industry (from actual people from actual industry)… a dose of “real-world-corporate-IT” for those who may have only experienced academic life. It certainly wasn’t easy on the students. But then again, finding a job in this economic climate is not going to be easy for them either, and after the weekend, at least some of them will have a better understanding of what recruiters are looking for in CVs, interviews, and so on.
I’m not going to go into depth about the cohort, and how they got on with the tasks (that’s been blogged elsewhere by David and Welp). I will say that the teamworking exercises I watched were handled very well, and the overall impression I took away was of people learning a lot in a fairly short time (the group of students I was with spent 24h at Gregynog). Just this afternoon Carolyn from Careers was running a drop in CV session as followup for people from the Gregynog weekend, and it looked as if they were keeping her busy.
The hall itself is a strange and wonderful building, set in attractive landscaped grounds, which makes the whole experience slightly surreal. It turned into one of those lovely clear bright winter afternoons, and I managed to get out for a couple of short walks, which made the weekend even better.