Enhancing employment outcomes

November 13 / 124

Student Peggy Soo with Yovanna Adamis and Dilani Rasanayagam, both careers consultants, Careers & Employment.
Student Peggy Soo with Yovanna Adamis and Dilani Rasanayagam, both careers consultants, Careers & Employment.

Last month more than 100 students joined a wide range of Australian employers to discuss diversity in the workplace at the Career Access Through Diversity event.

Hosted by Careers and Employment and sponsored by the ANZ Bank, the event encouraged students to engage with employers and services that actively support diverse workplace practices and recruitment programs.

This year’s event focused on students from Indigenous backgrounds, students with disabilities, and students from the LGBTI community. It was supported by a range of employers including IBM, PwC, and Teach for Australia, the Victorian Public Service and the Federal Department of Human Services.

The event provided opportunities for students, employers and careers advisors to learn about inclusive employment initiatives, and how to identify and promote skills.

The forum-style event featured panel discussions on how diversity can enhance the workplace, and how to identify and communicate unique skills and strengths for employment.

Dilani Rasanayagam from Careers and Employment said a clear goal for this year’s event was helping students understand that by encouraging people to be themselves and bring their full selves to the workplace, their differences can help an organisation achieve its full potential.

“The event reinforces the message to our students that the University of Melbourne is an organisation which values and supports student diversity,” Ms Rasanayagam said.

“It is also committed to enhancing the employment outcomes for under-represented student cohorts who face extra challenges in transitioning from study to meaningful employment.”

Masters student Matthew* attended the event to explore potential new career pathways in the disability field.

“It’s given me a broader perspective of what’s actually available out there. I didn’t think there’d be quite as many potential opportunities as what there are, so it gave me more areas to focus on,” he said.

“It also helped me realise that depression and anxiety are bigger issues than I initially thought – I went in thinking ‘how do I fit in here?’ and it became apparent that I wasn’t the only one with these issues, and people do battle with it on a day to day basis.

“It’s really increased my confidence in applying for jobs. It broadens your focus a bit – you are accepted in an event like that. Some of the employers represented have disabilities themselves, so I found it really valuable and very encouraging that there’s a shared understanding.”

Careers and Employment provides a range of services to students, including online career tools, job search and tips on applying for work.

More information: www.careers.unimelb.edu.au.

*Alias used.

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