Exploring student futures as business graduates
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‘Work-ready’ curriculum initiatives include helping students to conceptualise their intended career, yet students often have a poor understanding of what their careers might look like and rarely plan their careers prior to graduation. One way of assisting final-year students is to support their development of career and self-awareness. Our qualitative research explored the career and self-awareness of 35 final-year undergraduate business students enrolled in a work-integrated learning capstone unit at an Australian research intensive university in 2017. Leximancer mapping of student responses to a two-part, career literacy-focused inquiry showed that students associated proficient communication skills, being confident with people, and being adept at teamwork with successful business graduates. Students believed that the main differences between themselves and these characteristics were their lack of career awareness and their ability to communicate. Though the findings showed some alignment between skills that students attributed to successful business graduates and skills that employers are known to seek in graduates, there is much room for improvement, particularly in communication.
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