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UL’s secret strategy for postgrad career success



What defines employability? It's easy to debate whether it comes down to achievements, skills, connections or even a winning personality. Without a doubt, it’s about having a set of skills and attributes that make you worth employing.

The 2017 International Student Barometer (ISB) survey ranked UL first in Ireland and second in Europe for employability, and was also named first in Ireland and third in Europe for career services.

So how do we do it?

We ensure students are career-ready with a two-tiered strategy. The strategy includes top-down tactics, like working with industry practitioners, to ensure course material is up-to-date, and a bottom-up approach – which involves working with students and teaching them how to sell their new-found skillsets to employers.

Read below to find out the secret steps to UL’s postgrad success across a range of industries.

1.      Master your employability

UL prepares students for employability through its innovative ‘Mastering Your Employability’ module. This practice-orientated module is designed alongside employers and is delivered as a series of workshops to help students identify their unique skills, and to translate them into professional strengths.

The approach has proven hugely successful, as UL’s 2017 survey of graduate employability revealed that 91 percent of former postgraduate students are in employment or further study.

The Master of Laws (General) LLM employability module is designed together with legal academics and employers, and delivered in a blended learning environment by the university’s Cooperative Education and Careers Division.

Students are then prepped for interviews with the biggest law firms in Ireland, such as Matheson, Holmes O'Malley Sexton, A&L Goodbody and Arthur Cox.

PhD student Lucy Davis used the skills from this module to secure a place on her PhD programme.

“The module helped me to identify my particular characteristics and to understand how to convey my attributes to a potential employer,” Lucy says. “This proved particularly useful for me, as it helped me with my application to pursue a PhD programme in the faculty.”

2.      Real-world learning across every faculty

UL’s teaching is focused on a practical, hands-on approach.

In 2010, the School of Law opened the first replica courtroom in Ireland on a university campus (and a new purpose-built Appellate Courtroom is currently underway). The Kemmy Business School is also the first in Ireland to open a virtual trading floor, giving students a real taste of the global trading community. Emma Pembroke, a student of MSc in Marketing, Consumption and Society, shares why her postgrad prepped her for the working world.

“I think I'll definitely be ready [for the working world],” she says. “UL equips you with real-life examples within the classes and gets you thinking about how you'll apply it in the working world. it's hands-on stuff.”

3.      World-class resources and facilities

It’s hard to gain leading employability skills without the facilities to support the real-world approach. These resources are proving invaluable to students.

Sarah Markham, a PhD graduate in Biomedical Device Materials, explains how a science postgrad in UL was a gateway to employment.

“My employability is much higher since doing the MSc,” says Sarah. “I think almost all of us who came out of the Masters are either employed or pursuing a PhD. We have all gone in different directions too: drug delivery, medical instruments and the crystal structures of the drugs themselves. The course gave us a good base to go into different research areas.”

4.      Aligning your interests to your career potential

Our Cooperative Education and Career division has won awards through its industry knowledge and keen understanding of recruitment practices.

UL’s career experts    work with students to help them discover their unique strengths and their interests – which is the key to career motivation and success, according to Gavin Connell, Head of Careers at UL: “When you study something you love, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

5.      An industry-focused approach

UL’s heads of faculties and course leaders work with industry employers to introduce modules and new courses in line with new technology and innovation. An example is UL’s new MSc in Health and Wellbeing, which has been driven by the growth of MedTech and digital products in health. Graduates of this course will have the opportunity to work in companies shaping new product development and modern solutions to health and wellbeing. The programme will be launched in 2019.

The Graduate Diploma / MA in Journalism is an intensive 12-month course that combines academic and practical training while also helping students build a portfolio. It's all about fast-tracking you for success. Dan Danaher chose to do the course after working as a journalist for 25 years.

The course gave him a refresher in best practice, helped him to embrace new media trends and opened his eyes to the global employment opportunities that come with online technology and emerging digital markets.

Why do a postgrad in Business?

UL’s postgraduate courses are developed and reviewed with industry leaders, to make sure our students have the most up-to-date skillsets for up-and-coming careers.

The University boasts exceptional facilities and the highest quality academic standards, all in the vibrant and affordable city of Limerick. Click below to download your eBook and discover why UL is the number one choice for your business postgrad and future career.

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