Preparing Students for the University-to-Work Transition

Preparing Students for the University-to-Work Transition

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-9827-9.ch006
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This chapter focuses on preparing students for the university-to-work transition, predominantly from the perspectives of graduate recruiters and recruitment agency representatives acting on behalf of organizations. First, the university-to-work transition is defined, and the benefits organizations can expect from hiring graduates are considered. Next, the Graduate Recruitment Attraction Matrix (GRAM) is introduced, encompassing twenty-five activities to enhance talent attraction efforts and prepare students for undertaking the university-to-work transition. The four quadrants that form the GRAM are subsequently explored, followed by the activities grouped into six themes: (i) careers fairs, (ii) presentations and panel events, (iii) sponsorship and ambassador roles, (iv) networking and mentoring, (v) experience opportunities, and (vi) diversity-focused events. The chapter concludes with four lived experience insights offering real-world examples of the challenges and opportunities associated with preparing students for the university-to-work transition.
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The University-To-Work Transition

The university-to-work transition refers to the period when individuals move from academic to professional life, typically after graduation (Ng & Feldman, 2007). It can be a challenging phase as individuals navigate the job market, adjust to new work environments, and take on new routines and responsibilities. From a sustainable career perspective, the university-to-work transition is seen as “the intersection of education and work, shaped by the individual (i.e., person) operating in different contexts (i.e., educational, organizational, and societal) over time (i.e., a career transition process)” (Blokker et al., 2023, p. 243). Properly preparing students for this transition is crucial because a successful transition increases the likelihood of career sustainability, while an unsuccessful transition can have negative consequences throughout an individual’s career and lifespan (Akkermans, Blokker et al., 2021; Zacher & Froidevaux, 2021).

Preparing students for the university-to-work transition not only enhances their employability and post-graduation employment prospects but also positively impacts organizations (Buckholtz & Donald, 2022). The unique perspectives, skills, and knowledge of graduates enhance the ability of organizations to adapt, compete, and thrive in a dynamic business landscape (The Graduate Project, 2023). Therefore, recruiters and representatives from recruitment agencies recognize the significance of attracting high-quality applicants from diverse backgrounds to their organizations (Ab Wahab & Tatoglu, 2020).

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