The Social Work Programme Team organised its annual ‘Wise Choices’ Careers Workshop on Saturday 11 March 2017. This event is aimed at providing current final year BA & MA social work students with key knowledge and practical skills relating to:
- Employability, successful job preparation and interviewing
- ASYE and KSS
- Meet inspiring practitioners who reflect on their professional trajectories
- Meet an expert panel of social work alumni
Job interview preparation
Christel Thames, Brunel’s Careers Consultant who is a keen advocate for social work, provided an informative session on how best to prepare for applying for a job, developing CVs and covering letters, ways to ‘sell yourself’ to your employer and stand out from the crowd. Critical discussion also followed around the competitive environment around social work applications especially with the ‘fast-track courses’ such as Step Up and Front-Line competing for jobs alongside BSW and MSW. Main points to take away: be prepared, be passionate about your career and be yourself.
‘Speed-Dating’ style interviewing practice
Our students enjoyed putting their interviewing skills to test, in a ‘speed-dating’ style group exercise where they were interviewed by staff, practitioners and each other.
The Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE)
Alka Moonga, an ASYE practice educator, a lecturer and PEP assessor delivered an excellent presentation about the new KSS framework as well as the ASYE evaluation frameworks for adults and children and families developed by skills for care.
Award winning and inspiring social workers
One of the highlights of the day was a presentation by Anju Bhatti, who was winner of the Social Worker of the Year Award for 2015 for Life Time Achievement. She shared with the audience her fascinating life story of growing up in Uganda and arriving to Britain as an 11 years refugee after the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of the country’s Asian minorities. The family spent nine months in a refugee camp before they were rehoused. Much of Anju’s time was spent caring for her mother, who was a diabetic, and her sister, who had lupus. “This is when my social work career started”, she says with a smile. Anju is both a qualified nurse and a qualified social worker. She received her award for her many years of involvement in an impressive range of international social work projects focused on several different marginalised groups in India including setting up of several eye camps that treat thousands of people each year.
The day ended with a panel discussion with a few of our high-flying recent graduates who spoke about their transition from being students to full time employment.