UTS Accomplish Award
The UTS Accomplish Award is designed to develop essential skills to ensure success in the graduate recruitment process and the workplace. The Award gives students the opportunity to reflect on possible career pathways, to meet employers from a variety of industries and encourages students to build confidence in a comfortable and supportive environment. The Award recognises students' involvement in extra-curricular activities, paid work and volunteering being undertaken while at UTS.
Successful students receive the UTS Accomplish Award signed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning and this achievement is also listed on the AHEGS statement.
Benefits to tertiary students, graduate employers and/or tertiary institutions
Run initially as a pilot of 100 students in 2012, the UTS Accomplish Award has grown significantly, with over 520 students enrolled in 2014. Local students complete the program in their penultimate year and international students complete the program in either penultimate or final year. Postgraduate students are also invited to join the program.
Students who commit to the year long program complete 16 hours of employability workshops, 100 hours of employment practice and attend a mock interview with an employer.
Students attend eight interactive workshops from March to October to improve their professional skills and to learn how to succeed in the recruitment process. Workshops cover topics such as: Professionalism; Resumes and Cover Letters; Interview Skills; Marketing Yourself to Employers; Professional Presentation Skills; Adapting to the Australian Workplace; Online Applications; Job Search; and Dressing for Success. Workshops aim to develop students’ confidence in a safe environment, while also challenging their understanding of the recruitment process.
Practical professional skills taught include shaking hands, taking action points in meetings, managing a professional diary, dressing for the workplace (including casual Fridays!), building rapport with employers, negiotation skills, and writing professional emails.
Students are able to gain insight into employer expectations during many opportunities provided including employer panels, networking events and mock interviews. The mid year networking event is a fantastic way for students to practice their networking skills and to meet employers in a relaxed environment before many internship positions open in Semester 2.
Each student must complete 100 hours of employment practice which allows them to put into practice newly gained skills learned in the Accomplish Award.
At the end of the Accomplish year, each student is required to attend a 20 minute mock interview with an employer representative. They are encouraged to dress appropriately, answer in the STAR method and build rapport with the employer during this time. Students are supplied with feedback from the employer to enable them to further develop their interview skills.
The program is very structured and requires the students to complete the program within a year, encouraging students to be proactive in prioritising their own career development. With many students completing this program in penultimate year, it means they are prepared for employer expectations in the graduate recruitment cycle in final year.
In 2013, an additional arm of the program was established called Accomplish Intensive, which is a snapshot of the year long program. This program runs over 3 consecutive days and in total sees 150 final semester students completing this in December, January and July.
Employers are involved in the program from start to finish. We ask our employers to act as experts on panels, covering topics from resumes, cover letters to interview skills. Employers are able to reach a wide pool of penultimate and final year students from a variety of faculties at no cost to their organisation.
Our industry contacts are invited to attend a mid- year networking event, which encourages students to practice their networking skills and to widen their networks.
UTS: Careers could not run our mock interviews without the valuable contribution from our employers. In 2014 we hosted 40+ employer organisations on campus to interview 350 Accomplish students.
The UTS Accomplish Award is an innovative and functional model that encourages students to take ownership of their employability. UTS believes in sharing our student’s success and would like to encourage other tertiary institutions to adopt this model.
Benefits to NAGCAS
The UTS Accomplish Award is an employability model that has many potential benefits to other tertiary careers services:
Engages employers, Alumni, and university staff, allowing a higher number of stakeholders to interact with the program
In terms of employer engagement, value has been successfully demonstrated to employers through accessing potential employees and provides an opportunity for employers to give back: such as through Networking; participating on employer panels; and participating in mock interviews.
UTS Alumni have also had the opportunity to participate in the Accomplish Award and has led to several Alumni recruiting UTS students.
Scalable model to larger numbers of students:
The UTS Accomplish Award has grown from an original group of 100 students in 2012 to now 520 enrolled in 2014.
Other career services may wish to use this model for their own institutions.
The UTS Accomplish Award incorporates both employability and professionalism.
UTS: Careers has developed a community of students who are committed to taking responsibility for their own career development, applying the skills and knowledge they’ve gained from the workshops into their 100 hours of employment practice and to their mock interview.
Over 70 employers and UTS Alumni have participated in the Accomplish Award in 2014, indicating their strong desire to interact with UTS students, students that are committed to their own employability.