The Insights Programme

Insights Online - Zoe

Zoe gained new digital skills and now feels more confident about what she wants to do after university. Hear what else she got out of her Insights Online Week.

Insights student online week

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the University decided to re-design the 2020 Insights Programme to be exclusively online. Students worked in groups to gain an insight into job sectors and careers of former University of Edinburgh students (alumni), and develop skills in networking and professional behaviours through workshops, resources and activities.   

What did you think of your Insights Online Week? 

I thought the Insights week was a great opportunity because it covered many areas and skills and allowed these to be developed through sessions including networking and group work. I did not fully know what to expect from the week being wholly online but I was definitely pleasantly surprised with how it was run and how we were able to be involved fully through elements such as being split into smaller subgroups to speak to alumni. 

Although it was a different experience to the in-person Insights, I still found it extremely valuable. 

What did you gain from the week? 

I feel that I will be better informed to make choices about my career in the future. In addition, the Programme has opened my mind to the many areas within organisations and how many roles are inter-disciplinary - this means that skills I gain through university and jobs can be useful in many departments. 

What skills did you develop? 

I have definitely developed networking skills through the Insights week. I feel as though this makes me feel more confident in speaking with alumni and others, and would also serve me well if I was ever to do online interviews.  

I have developed digital skills this week, something that is largely important as we enter the future of work. This skill has been honed through the use of Microsoft Teams, something which I had not used previously. In addition, this has been developed through the creation of a Digital Artifact as part of a group project, which involved co-ordinating and creating with other students on the programme.  

I also feel as though I developed skills in reflection and resilience through the sessions on these. I think what has been important for me is realising that yes, succeeding is great, but there are always failures and setbacks along the path to success and that sometimes I may not be the perfect fit for something but then other opportunities will come along if I put in the hard work and dedication. 

What will you do now? 

I am going to update my LinkedIn profile, then using this resource to search and connect with alumni who are in career roles which are of interest to me. I am hoping to utilise connections from LinkedIn or PlatformOne to find an internship next summer. I am also going to explore the possibility of an international career in greater detail, and am hoping I can use LinkedIn to perhaps find an internship in Canada next year. I am also going to update my CV and try to apply for jobs. 

Would you recommend other students take part? 

I would recommend this Week to other students because it gives a great opportunity to gain skills of networking, resilience and digital skills. In addition, it allows you to connect with alumni and to hear career stories which would not really be possible otherwise. I think it has also been great in showing how to use LinkedIn and find alumni and make connections through there. I think that as a Widening Participation student, I would not have the career knowledge or the drive that I do now had it not been for the Insights Programme.  I would also recommend this as I plan to connect with alumni in order to eventually find an international internship.