Recent Graduate Jason Park landed his dream job after enrolling on a work based Future Leaders Graduate Management training programme at South West College (SWC).
Jason from Stewartstown graduated from Queens University with an International Business Law Degree but struggled to find a job aligning with his career aspirations. He said: ‘During the pandemic, opportunities were scarce for recent graduates; SWC presented a unique opportunity as they provided me the chance to diversify my learning and facilitate an opportunity to work with local industry leaders EDGE Innovate.’
The post-University 21 week Skills Intervention programme funded through the Department for the Economy offered Jason a paid position alongside full training and mentoring that helped springboard his career.
Jason said: ‘My career plan after university was to pursue a career in the legal sector, but after undertaking the programme, SWC opened up opportunities in sectors I previously never considered. I am now working as a Sales Support Officer, which involves building rapport with our numerous representative and clients across the globe while also supporting the Territory Managers with ongoing projects.’
‘I certainly enjoyed my time at SWC; the staff and lecturers encouraged and challenged me to take my existing skillset and apply it to my placement as a Sales consultant for EDGE, which was an industry unfamiliar to me in the beginning. Everyone made huge efforts to make remote learning as engaging as possible and made themselves readily available to provide additional support when required. I felt the course content was very engaging and relevant to the work placement they had provided. Learning how to manage a project and put it into practice has given me the belief and know-how for leading teams into the future with confidence.’
Jason is grateful for the opportunity presented and has gained significant and invaluable skills and experience from the programme and believes it opened the door to his future career. He said: ‘I feel it is important to recognise that we have a number of global industry leaders here on our doorstep with endless potential, and SWC has the connections to help get your foot through the door.
‘Thanks to SWC’s connections, I have accepted a full-time role with EDGE Innovate as a Sales Support Officer. I recognise that this company affords great opportunity for those willing to put the effort in. The staff here were extremely helpful to me and afforded me early opportunities to work on major projects from across the globe. I am excited to be joining this fast-paced environment, and I hope that I have a long future with EDGE. Once the restrictions are lifted, it will be exciting to do some travelling and experience different cultures.’
Nicola Quinn, SWC Skills Intervention Programme Manager, stated: ‘The Future Leaders Programme provided an excellent opportunity for those graduates unable to find work due to Covid or who were furloughed to gain a level 5 ILM qualification and work experience with a local employer. This programme has provided the participants the skills and knowledge for management roles in a competitive marketplace. I am delighted that Jason has been able to find employment with Edge Innovate, a local innovative company who operate in the global market.’
For further information and to apply, please visit www.swc.ac.uk