DMU graduates gain wealth of experience after completing training scheme

By Kerri Stevenson

A group of De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduates have gained a wealth of experience and are now fully prepared for excellent careers thanks to the university’s Graduate Champions scheme.

The scheme, which takes place multiple times a year, involves a paid six-week internship with a leading business.

The aim is to improve the graduates’ employment prospects and help them stand out from the crowd in a furiously competitive job market.

Before beginning their internship, the graduates completed three days of training, which involved learning about how DMU Local and Square Mile work to raise awareness of important issues in the area and to organise projects to help people living in the local community.

During the course of the internship, the graduates developed their skills and experience in areas such as blog writing, podcasting, interviewing and using social media to promote the work of DMU Local.

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Tim Ince

Priya Patel, 25, a Fine Art graduate, said: “I chose to do the DMU Graduate Champions scheme as it helps to train people in things they have little experience in but have an interest in.

“The placement was excellent for me, especially in terms of learning what is on offer for the local community through DMU Square Mile and DMU Local.

“It was also incredibly interesting to put together podcasts and research into how volunteers help the local community, as my group looked into education and it was great to speak to some of the volunteers and experience the whole event.”

During the scheme, graduates are given tasks to create interesting content about research done by the university, including YouTube videos, podcasts and blog posts.

Topics that have recently been covered by this include research into stem cells and breastfeeding.

Jordan Wildman, 22, a Dance graduate, said: “This scheme is great for helping graduates like me get more contacts in fields they want to work in in the future and it also provides great references for future employers, which improves prospects of getting jobs.”

The scheme is also highly effective as it not only increases the employment rates of graduates, but gives leading employers the opportunity to work with talented former students with graduate-level expertise and innovation.

The main focus of the internships is on providing high quality experience and benefiting both the graduate taking part and the host organisation.

Occasionally employers providing the internships are so impressed by the graduate’s work that they have chosen to take them on permanently after the six-week period is over.

Tim Ince, a Journalism graduate who now works at the university as a DMU Local Projects and Outreach Co-ordinator, said: “Graduate Champions are generally very successful with becoming employed shortly after completing the scheme.

“Despite having a degree, sometimes people find it very difficult to find work after graduating from university and this is where Graduate Champions comes in, as it helps to provide people with the relevant employability skills and confidence they may be lacking.”

If you graduated with an undergraduate degree in 2016, you can apply to join the Graduate Champions scheme by filling in an online application form.



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