Emma Dorrel believes the social entrepreneurship program she undertook in Ecuador will assist her in gaining graduate employment.
Emma Dorrel believes the social entrepreneurship program she undertook in Ecuador will assist her in gaining graduate employment.
2 August 2017

The new-look UQ Employability Award is designed to help students develop their skills beyond the classroom and become well-rounded, highly sought-after graduates.

University of Queensland Student Employability Centre director Dr Dino Willox said the Employability Award encouraged students to enhance their degrees through activities including work experience, volunteering, global opportunities, leadership programs and networking.

“Students are taught to reflect on experiences to help them understand the skills and attributes they have gained,” Dr Willox said.

“This helps them to communicate their skills to prospective employers and apply them in a work environment.”

Arts graduate Emma Dorrel, who majored in peace and conflict studies with a minor in Spanish, said she was motivated to apply for the award after an overseas exchange program and reflecting on the personal and professional benefits of the experience.

“When I returned from this life-changing experience, I decided it was time to get more involved with the student community at UQ,” Ms Dorrel said.

She said she had gained clarity about her career plans, and a range of skills from the award program.

Dr Annabelle Willox“I acquired leadership skills through my role as a student leader, and interpersonal skills,” she said.

“I can now speak confidently in front of large crowds.

“An Amnesty International internship and volunteering as a student leader really helped me identify my life aspirations.”

Ms Dorrel said the best opportunity she experienced as part of the award was a short-term global experience in Ecuador through the U21 social entrepreneurship program.

“I got a taste of what I have always dreamt of for a career – working with indigenous communities on the ground, helping people directly, using my language skills, problem solving and cultural awareness,” she said.

“I was exposed to everything I was studying and it felt like I could put what I have learnt into practice.”

Ms Dorrel said she her involvement in the award would assist her in gaining graduate employment.

“I have had many opportunities because of the award and been exposed to a large network of people who notice my experience from the award to be a major strength for my future career aspirations,” she said.

“The best advice I could give students is to keep busy and do as many extracurricular activities as possible.”

Dr Willox (pictured) said students could join the award program at any time while studying for an undergraduate or postgraduate coursework degree.

Contact: Leesa Schwarz, UQ Student Employability Centre, l.schwarz@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 2929.