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Research Seminar

Thursday 22 May 2014, 3pm - 5.30pm

University of Warwick

3pm-4pm Life in the graduate graveyards: Exploring graduates' experiences of underemployment and evaluations of career success
Dr Tracy Scurry

4.30pm-5.30pm The Career Dream: A new career counselling model
Orlaith Tunney

More details and speaker biographies

Life in the graduate graveyards: exploring graduates' experiences of underemployment and evaluations of career success
In recent years there has been mounting concern regarding the nature of employment which graduates enter and the increasing potential for them to be underemployed. To date graduate employment has typically been studied in terms of objective career indicators (wage level, occupation etc.) using cross-sectional survey-based designs. The present study adopts a qualitative, longitudinal approach and examines the experiences of underemployed graduates in the first few years following graduation and how they make sense of their employment in career terms. Drawing on theories of relative deprivation and career success, the study highlights the importance of the subjective in understanding graduate underemployment and individuals' reactions to it. In particular, it highlights the importance of the 'referent other' in underemployed graduates' sensemaking.

Biography - Tracy Scurry
Tracy Scurry is a Lecturer at Newcastle University Business School. Her main research interests are in the area of careers from the perspectives of the individual and the organisation. Work to date has focused on graduate careers, in particular 'non-traditional' graduate employment, and the consequences that this has for individuals, organisations and societies. She has received funded from the British Academy and the department of Business Innovation and Skills. She has also undertaken a research project for AGCAS.

The Career Dream: A new career counselling model
Many arts and humanities students with whom I work study what they love but struggle with figuring out how they can fit into the wider world of work and contribute to it. In relation to this, I was curious to explore people’s experience of the Career Dream approach to guidance developed by Alan Richardson, a careers professional from Queensland University of Technology and self-employed psychotherapist. Working with Alan also provided the opportunity to develop my own guidance skills. The Career Dream is a career counselling intervention aimed at accessing the emotional and psychological identity that is embodied within a person’s perception of their future vocational self, known as the “high Career Dream”. I will describe the background and influences to this method and explain the process in more detail using brief case studies and videos. I will share some of my recent findings and ideas on how this might be taken forward.

Biography - Orlaith Tunney
Orlaith Tunney works as a Careers Adviser at Trinity College Dublin. Her main activities relate to careers advisory work with higher education students. She has over 16 years experience working particularly with students studying arts and humanities. She has recently completed a research project on the Career Dream. She is also a member of the Employability Task Group of the Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS) in Ireland and previous member of the executive committees of AGCSI (pre- AHECS) and Confederation of Student Services in Ireland (CSSI).

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