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Staff focus of the month - Joanne Daly

Jo has been a Careers Adviser at the College since April 2018 - we caught up with her to find out more about her role in supporting students before, during and after their time as a student at MidKent College.

Please can you explain a bit about what the role of a Careers Adviser at the College involves?

My role as a careers adviser at the college is to work with and support students to consider and understand their next steps with regards to their future career interests, aspirations, and choices. I work with young people and adults who can be current, prospective, or previous students. I also meet with parents to help them understand all the different pathways and choices for their young person. I usually meet students via face-to-face appointments but also over zoom or phone. I plan and deliver group works on a range of different topics, everything from ‘how to do a CV’ to ‘how to find an apprenticeship’. I represent the college at various careers fairs and events at local schools and training providers. I also belong to the Maidstone Careers network and meet with the careers advisers from the local schools once a term. This helps to share information and good practice between advisers.

What is your work background and what inspired you to become a Careers Adviser?  What training was involved?

I left school at 16 with no career aims. I worked in lots of different jobs from office work to a car wash! I returned to education as a mature student and did an Access course and degree in Anthropology and Sociology. I then got a job in an admissions department at a university. I really enjoyed meeting with the students, particularly at open events and it was this that helped me to recognise I wanted to help young people who were feeling unsure or worried about what sorts of jobs and careers they could aspire to do. The training I undertook to become a careers adviser was The Qualification in Careers Guidance (QCG) with Canterbury Christchurch University. It was a part time 2-year level 6 course.

What do you enjoy most about the role?

When you work with someone and see the recognition in their eyes that something they thought was unachievable, or out of reach for them, isn’t. Also, being able to be truly impartial within my role.

What are your frustrations?

The fact that the government have underfunded and belittled careers education for such a long time. Careers education, advice and guidance is not about one meeting with an adviser, it’s about learning how to understand, navigate and manage your career throughout your working life.

Do you have any particular success stories or moments that stand out that you’d like to share?

A while ago, I did an interview with a former student who had completed a catering course here and had gained a good career in catering. He was now mid 20s, and a bit unsure about whether to continue in that career. We talked through his interests. He had loved science and engineering at school but didn’t think he was smart enough for university so put these interests to the back of his mind. By helping him to identify, not just his interest in engineering, but also relevant and transferable skills he had developed from his life, education, and work, he was able to see that a new career, and university could be a possibility. I had an email from him a few months later to say that he had started a foundation degree in Engineering at Canterbury Christchurch University.


Need help with your next steps? Contact our Careers Team

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