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How watching films can improve your career decision making…

UCL Careers18 November 2015

Careers thoughts can creep up on you in the most unexpected places – I went to see the film Brooklyn over the weekend. It’s a beautifully observed film about emigration from Ireland to the United States in the 1950’s. If you think that’s not relevant to you, think again. The film explores different factors that affect and influence our career decision making:  the main character Eilis looks set  to follow the same career path and way of life of her family and community, however, circumstances  propel her into a completely different environment as an immigrant to Brooklyn in the United States. Here she begins to forge a different  life and career. On a visit to back to Ireland Eilis faces a difficult decision about where she sees her future. My careers thoughts from the film? Taking time to gain a reflective stance on  our career decision making and gaining an understanding  of the  different influences that shape our decisions  will help us create the careers we want. Oh,  and  having courage to explore new ideas and ways of living.

What factors are driving  your career decision making?

– Kate Woods, Careers Consultant, UCL Careers

The benefits of a Liberal Education

UCL Careers1 September 2015

Recently in the Financial Time’s John Kay explored the benefits of a liberal education. He argues that with the advent of technology and in particular of search functions, it is the ability to sift and synthesise information that is an essential workplace skill – one that a liberal arts education develops within  it’s graduates.  

UCL Graduation 2008

Kay  states “writing newspaper columns, running businesses, managing assets and advising clients in legal disputes are activities whose primary demand is synthesis. The ability to make connections between disparate sources of information is more critical than detailed familiarity with any specific source.”

In the USA the liberal arts are under attack with  subjects such as history and English  in decline –  some states are severely reducing their taxpayer funds available for liberal arts subjects.

Fareed Zakaria based in New York, is  the author of a new book “In defence of a Liberal Education”. He  grew up in India and is a CNN anchor reporting on international affairs  . “I get it,” he writes, recalling the atmosphere in India which was obsessed with getting a skills-based education, however  the skills developed by a liberal arts education “how to write clearly, how to express yourself convincingly, and how to think analytically”  are, he suggests,  immensely valuable in their own right.

He does not dismiss skills based education. “Engineering is a great profession, but key value-added skills you will also need are creativity, lateral thinking, design, communication, storytelling, and, more than anything, the ability to continually learn and enjoy learning” -precisely the gifts of a liberal education.

Kay concludes his article with the view  that in a an  ever-changing world,  job specific skills may become  outdated within a few years, so one aspect of education is to  “equip students to enjoy rewarding employment and fulfilling lives in a future environment whose demands we can neither anticipate nor predict.”

Learn how to market youself and your degree by booking an appointment with UCL Careers

– Kate Woods, Careers Consultant, UCL Careers