“Everyone is at a different stage of their journey post-Cranfield, but all voyages are equally important.” The Cranfield Career Continuation Service is a lifelong provision, helping our alumni through every stage of their post-Cranfield journey. Learn more about the service and the support you can access from Career Development Manager, Katrina Armstrong, as she provides an insight into her role…
Graduation doesn’t mean the support stops
In my role as a Career Development Manager, no two days are the same. My role is about motivating, inspiring and empowering our students; equipping them with the skills and knowledge to get them where they want to be. But the support doesn’t stop when our students graduate.
We work with alumni who have studied across all the schools and themes at Cranfield - Aerospace, Transportation, Water, Energy, Business, Finance, and our MBAs. Everyone is at a different stage of their journey post-Cranfield, but all voyages are equally important. In supporting our global alumni community, I get to enjoy virtual trips around the world. Time differences don't matter - we can always find a way to connect. From India to South Africa, Europe to the UK, I also get a chance to find out how life is outside of Cranfield.
The Cranfield Career Continuation Service is a lifelong provision, and we have a team of coaches – meaning that we can always be there for our alumni, supporting their career aspirations, providing advice and offering guidance. Access continues to a range of resources including paid-for subscriptions, events and our online career management portal, Symplicity, where alumni can post their CV and profile, hunt for jobs, book coaching appointments and RSVP to events.
“To all the students and alumni who are currently job hunting, I would just like to say keep faith in yourself and trust the process! In the current times, it is very normal to face a high volume of rejections. Try to communicate and be in touch as much as you can with the careers service team and your supervisors. This will help you to remain confident and motivated. Keep building your network in the industry and you never know when an opportunity might arise!”
- Shawon Saha (MSc Thermal Power 2020), Gas Turbine Performance Engineer, ALTEN India.
Helping our alumni to navigate the post-Covid world
Over the last 12 months my role supporting our alumni has strengthened as I have continued to help many navigate the challenges and changes of our new post-Covid world: through redundancy, redeployment, rejection and career changes. For our newest graduates, we’ve been here to help them secure that first postgraduate opportunity.
There is no limit on the number of interactions that alumni can have with us. To make the provision bespoke for their needs and enable them to book appointments, we have dedicated coaching sessions scheduled throughout the week. From mock interviews to discussions on updating CV content, getting them to think about their options, making sure they have a plan A and B in place and are aware of the consequences of their decisions.
Alumni turn to us using a variety of vehicles; a referral from an academic colleague, an email to the careers inbox, a message through our social media platforms such as Instagram or connecting on LinkedIn. A plus side of the pandemic is that we now work smarter, embracing technology and thinking outside the box in a different way. Running webinars to provide intel, advice, and inspiration. Thinking of guest speakers to whom our students can relate. Creating a forum for networking, to develop contacts and remind alumni they are not alone - but a part of the Cranfield community. Getting the balance has been challenging, as we are all susceptible to zoom fatigue, but it has definitely opened up new ways for us to connect.
Working together to support our global Cranfield Community
Cranfield University is renowned for the strength of its global community, and the support we in the Careers team are able to provide for our alumni by working closely with the Alumni Relations and Development team embodies this community spirit. We’re able to reach out to alumni and get them involved so that they can share their experiences and knowledge – helping us to inspire the current students who are following in their footsteps. For example, through sector-specific events such as the recent Talent Forum and Industry Insights where we had Agrifood, Water, Environment, Energy and Design alumni taking part.
We’ve also recently worked with the Alumni team to develop Cranfield’s Career mentoring programme – offering students the chance to learn from a Cranfield graduates first-hand experiences and offering our alumni the opportunity to share their insights and gain a new perspective from those who are in the midst of the latest research and thinking. The benefits to all involved are invaluable, and it’s great to see a pilot alumni-to-alumni mentoring scheme also being trialled.
Here in the Careers team, the support we provide for our alumni is an extension of the first-class student experience we aim to provide when people study with us – it is a continuation of the empowerment we put in place when they come to Cranfield. Your time at Cranfield might have come to an end, but the support you can access will be available whenever you need it.
Katrina Armstrong, Career Development Manager.
Find out more about the free lifelong careers support you’re entitled to as a member of our Cranfield alumni community.