Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 11. 1961
Careers Information Week
Careers Information Week
How many people come to the University not knowing what they really want to do with themselves? How many go on gathering units still not knowing what to do? And how many students reach that lofty plateau labelled "Graduates" to view a blank personal future?
Stray surveys and questionings would suggest that a considerable number do. Some estimates would say that only 10 per cent, of students have a clear idea of where they are going and why. Yes, the university is a convenient Institution for spending a few years between the reality of school and the reality of a career. But, if the end of your degree is in sight, the long deferred question once again looms—what are you suing to do with it and with your life?
But of course, some sense of direction is necessary also early in a university career if a degree is to be planned to be most useful and advantageous. If first and second year students are to gain the best possible education from the university they should have some Idea where It is leading them. The malaise of aimlessness is not only confined to those in the final year of their degree, and it Is not only then that Its consequences can be unfortunate. If the use to which a degree is to be put Is decided, greater thought will be put into its composition.
Recently a small group of Interested employers got together to discuss this problem and decided that something should be done to inform students, particularly those with broad based degrees, just what career openings and opportunities were available for them in industry, commerce, and Government service. A Committee was set up consisting of three representatives from Government Departments, three representatives from private enterprise, and three from the University. Mr L. W. Keys (Divisional Director, Post Office) was its Chairman, and Mr B. D. Mercer, of Lever Brothers (N.Z.) Limited, its Secretary. They approached the Students' Association with the suggestion that something might be gained by holding a careers Information week within the University. Recognising the need, the Students' Executive agreed to the plan.
Some overseas universities facing this same need have established what are called Appointment Boards. Interested prospective employers then Inform the Board of their requirements and opportunities, and students are able to get leads from the Board when locking around for employment. Whilst not wanting to cut across any plans the University or Students' Association might have In this direction, the group felt that something should be done Immediately.
Plans for the week are under way, and Include lunch-hour talks by various speakers, and displays by prospective employers. It Is proposed to open the week with a broad talk by the Hon. T. P. Shand, Minister of Labour. That will be Monday. July 31, 12.30 in the Memorial Theatre. On the Tuesday there will be two short talks: the first by Mr Kevin O'Brien, representing the private zone of employment, and the second by Mr L. A. Atkinson, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, on the Government service zone of employment. Speakers for the rest of the week will specialise on particular faculties.
This week will not subject students to a barrage of high-pressure salesmanship. All speakers and employers understand that this is not a recruiting campaign, but one designed to inform students of career opportunities available, leaving them free to Investigate and decide for themselves. And questions, on the broad theme, will be welcomed by speakers.