THIRD YEAR ENGLISH STUDENT, LIBBY, TELLS US ABOUT THE PROFESSIONAL TRACK SCHEME AND HOW IT COULD BENEFIT YOU…
As a final year English Language and Applied Linguistics student, I thought it was about time I got around to sharing how much I have benefited from the Professional Track scheme and promoting it to new Language and Literature students.
The scheme is an easy way of tying together placements and different University opportunities to create a separate qualification to add to your CV to increase employability. I interviewed the scheme convenor, Jack, to share with you how the scheme works and just why it is such a great addition to not only your CV, but also your University experience.
Hi Jack, can you introduce yourself and the Professional Track scheme to us?
Hi, I’m Jack and I run and administer the Professional Track scheme within the School of Literature and Languages at the University of Reading. As an alumnus from the University of Reading myself, I wish this existed when I was here!
The Professional Track aims to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of all the things you have done whilst at University that can benefit your employability, as well as the opportunity to enhance your professional skills. It is exclusive to the School of Literature and Languages, meaning that we can tailor the scheme to the needs of our students. In fact, we believe we are the only university in the country that offers a professional development qualification.
What courses do the Professional Track offer?
Next semester we are offering courses in Publishing, Social Media Marketing, Project Management and Leadership to name but a few. We are also offering courses that develop your professional behaviours, such as professional presentations, and personal branding to enhance your CV. On top of this we run external courses that enable you to get a certificate, such as St. John Ambulance, TEFL and an introduction to Marketing.
How is the Professional Track beneficial as a qualification to add to your CV?
The Professional Track is an amazing addition to your CV to enable you to stand out in the graduate market. Businesses and organisations consistently strive for their employees to have a personal development plan; by completing the Professional Track you are showing to future employers that you have thought about your own professional development before even leaving University. For example, a student has recently been successful in gaining an apprenticeship in marketing and her interviewer said that the Professional Track courses she had completed supported her application.
What do you have to do to complete the scheme?
To complete the Professional Track, you need to have attended three courses, carried out two placements (one of these must be academic) and been part of a University scheme, such as student ambassadors or STaR mentor scheme. This is about piecing together your experiences so some of you may have already carried out a placement as part of a module or taken part in a University scheme. We help you to complete the rest and show you how to package this as a professional qualification on your CV.
How do I apply?
No need to apply! Your RISIS record will be updated automatically when you complete a course, carry out a placement or when you show evidence of having completed a university scheme.
Courses are advertised via Facebook, BlackBoard and email with guidance on how to sign up for them, so keep an eye out for what we are running next semester and see what takes your fancy. I am more than happy to support with placement hunting, whether this be professional or to support a module. In the school of Literature and Languages you can convert any part 2 or part 3 module into a “placement module” meaning the placement replaces part of your assessment for the module. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org should you want to book in some time with me. Please see our booklet of University schemes on BlackBoard.
Instagram – instagram.com/proftrackru
Twitter – twitter.com/proftrackru
RISIS will show you your progress on the professional Track.
All students in the School of Literature and Languages have access to the Professional Track BlackBoard site.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or swing by my office at Edith Morley G14a.