Durham University launches new careers centre

by Sarah Ingrams

Durham University launched a new centre yesterday to improve its world-class career and start-up business advice service for students and graduates.

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC), aims to offer advice and guidance to improve the quality of Durham graduates ahead of other leading world universities.

Durham was placed in the top 25 universities globally for employer reputation in a recent survey which asked 5,000 blue-chip organisations around the world to rank the quality of Durham students.

The CEEC is located in part of Dunelm House, Durham and in the Ebsworth Building on Queen’s Campus, Stockton.

The centre works with renowned employers, including KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and independent charities such as Teach First, to identify entrepreneurial and other work-orientated skills. It also works with students to help them develop these skills and achieve their career goals.

Anthony Forster, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, spoke at the launch. “Employability and developing a broad range of skills is at the very core of the student experience”. This is “one of the four key themes within the University’s Education Strategy which aims to provide our students with outstanding and distinctive opportunities for personal development.

“The new Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC) embodies the University’s partnering approach to careers services, building on the excellent relationships we already have with many of the UK’s biggest and best employers furthering the employability of Durham University graduates.

And Catherine Richardson, Head of the CEEC, explained: “The new CEEC provides a natural evolution in our professional and integrated approach to careers support for our graduate and postgraduate students by enabling them to tap in to the rich resources of our staff and partner employers.

“We have also developed invaluable links with employers in the region with companies including car manufacturer Nissan and IT consultancy Waterstons regularly taking our graduates as we actively look for excellent career opportunities for our Durham graduates right here in the North East.”

Durham University works closely with Teach First, a registered charity that recruits talented graduates to teach in challenging school environments. Many Durham graduates begin their career with Teach First.

James Darley, Director of Graduate Recruitment at Teach First, said: “We have been recruiting exceptional graduates from Durham University since our launch nearly ten years ago, placing them in schools in challenging circumstances to raise the achievement, aspiration, and access to opportunity of children from low socio-economic backgrounds.

“This successful partnership will only be enhanced by the new CEEC and, as we look to recruit over 1000 graduates for 2012, we hope it will encourage even more Durham students to apply to Teach First’s Leadership Development Programme”.

Celebrated musician and postgraduate student Peter Oken Ong’are performed at the launch. Peter received world acclaim for his song built on a ‘rhythm of success’ which he composed to inspire sportspeople and fans in the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa.

John Cordrey, 21, who has just completed a degree in Business Management at Durham University and secured a sought-after role at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, stressed the importance of the University’s role in his success.

“As a student you are looking to your university to provide a contact network within the working world and to develop your interpersonal and entrepreneurial skills through work placement, intern, mentoring and interview practice opportunities.

“Throughout my degree Durham University has provided me with numerous opportunities and it is great that all these services have now been brought together in the new Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre.

“I was also able to use an alumni database that gave me access to advice from people within companies including Ernst and Young, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte and Morgan Stanley.”

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