BCS Young Professionals - South Yorkshire Student Event

On Thursday October 15 Andrew and Eva, the Young Professionals Group representatives from South Yorkshire held an event at Sheffield Hallam. This event was put in place to give students the opportunity to learn about BCS and hear some IT professionals speak about their backgrounds, what they look for in graduate hires, why BCS is important to them, and career progression in technical roles. It was great to see some familiar faces in the audience including Rob who chairs the Bradford student chapter, and also Penny and David from Amsource Technology plus many attendees who were engaging with BCS for the first time.

I (Olivia) started off by giving the students some information about BCS including the background of the organisation, our members, and what we are aiming to achieve. I gave some details about BCS student chapters and the scholarship scheme as well as other tools including the career mentoring network and the personal development plan. I had brought many leaflets, booklets and flyers with me which proved popular with the audience - a good sign!

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Andrew Seaton, managing director of Resolve Solutions and chartered IT professional with BCS spoke about his professional background. He gave an insight into what he looks for in graduate hires as well as some interview tips. He emphasised the ‘soft skills’ and stressed the importance of strong communications skills. He then explained why he feels BCS is an organisation worth being a part of. Credibility rated high on the list - especially as a professional with chartered status, he felt that the recognition of his standards was invaluable. Andrew also emphasised the networking side of things, that the saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is undoubtedly true and BCS is great for facilitating some important links.

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Mike Jervis, technical manager at Servelec Healthcare followed up by covering his background as a computing graduate from the University of Manchester and his previous roles including web development and transaction settlement processing. He explained some of the difficulties graduates will face when entering employment including agency and HR CV screening. Mike then explained what Servelec looks for in graduate hires and he strongly emphasised the importance of a strong academic record and relevant professional qualifications. He explained some of the career progression pathways within technical roles which will be informative for students’ aspirations.

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It was very interesting to hear the differences between what the two companies will be looking for in potential graduate hires and the talks provided evidence of the diverse requirements of the job market. Many thanks to all the speakers and congratulations to Andrew and Eva for hosting a great evening enjoyed by all.