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Strategic Support for STAR Students

Staff and management from Strategic Resources have been working with students to help them achieve their Students Taking Active Roles (STAR) award.

The award programme focuses on preparing undergraduates for life beyond the university through volunteering, active involvement in clubs and societies and attendance at a series of careers-focused workshops. 

Based around the University of Aberdeen’s Graduate Attributes – academic excellence, critical thinking and effective communication, learning and personal development, and active citizenship – the award encourages the development of skills outside the classroom.

As part of their involvement, staff at Strategic Resources wanted to provide students with guidance prior to graduating and entering the job market.  Strategic Resources provides specialist recruitment services to the energy industry and the company was therefore keen to promote the oil and gas sector and provide students with an insight into areas of the industry that they might not be aware of. Given the company’s collective knowledge and experience of the local job market, there was a widespread willingness among staff to participate.

Gary Gray, associate director and Aga Kartasinska, commercial assistant, hosted a presentation for participants in December covering a number of practical topics such as graduate recruitment, CV writing and interview skills.

He said, “This type of knowledge is crucial to students prior to taking their first career steps,” says Eloise Leeson, STAR project officer.  “Those who attended were extremely positive about the content of the session.”

Strategic Resources was then invited to extend its commitment to the programme by participating in the first ever Aim Higher Conference, which was organised by STAR students in collaboration with the Students’ Association and Careers Service.  Held in early February at Elphinstone Hall, the employability conference incorporated networking sessions, two keynote presentations and a series of workshops.  Representatives from Strategic Resources were involved at various stages throughout the day.

“As a recruiter of graduates into our own business, Strategic Resources has always tried to retain links with our local universities,” says Shonah Raffan, managing director, Strategic Resources.  “The recent Aim Higher Conference provided an excellent opportunity for us to interact with the students and share our perspective on the job market here in Aberdeen.

“Some of the workshop sessions that we participated in with the students were fascinating they included puzzles designed to test our logical, semantic, systemic and empirical knowledge.  While this was the first Aim Higher Conference, I have every hope that it will not be the last as this type of event is beneficial to employers and students alike.

“Developing and retaining talent in the north-east of Scotland is something that should be a priority for all employers. Initiatives such as the STAR programme provide an ideal means of working towards this."


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