Using a Professional Development Program to Enhance Undergraduate Career Development and Employability

Julia Choate, Judi Green, Sandy Cran, Janet Macaulay, Michelle Etheve

Abstract


Students in the final year of their Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash University participated in focus group interviews about perceptions of their employability. They felt they had limited employability skills and they were unaware of their non-medical/research careers options. In response to these issues a team of academics and careers staff developed a professional development program that aimed to build students’ career development skills, careers knowledge and their ability to articulate their skills to employers. Each semester (starting from year one) students have an employability lecture and a careers development activity (assessed) linked to the development of an electronic portfolio. On completion of the program, students will have developed life-long career management skills and produced a transferrable profile that reflects their experiences, skills, knowledge and capabilities. We report on the initial introduction of the program into the first year of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science in 2015. This process has been associated with changes in students’ careers certainty. We have also experienced issues with the integration of the careers and academic staff in the program and a need for staff and student training with the unfamiliar portfolio platform.

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