OUSU careers handbook criticised

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OUSU’s lavishly-produced careers guide has been slammed by students as useless for job-hunting.

The Oxford and Cambridge Careers Guide brought in almost £40,000 of profit for the Student Union thanks to sponsorship deals, but failed to include the police service under its A-Z section.

The guide’s introduction boasts that it is “the comprehensive guide to finding a career.” However, it only features companies who have paid for advertising.

Melvin Chen, a Mansfield student who has published his own careers guide, said that OUSU’s handbook was “not really a guide.”

He added, “it’s useless unless you know what you want to do and then you wouldn’t need it… It’s a waste of money and a waste of paper.”

The “Not the 9-to-5” job category features only the British Horseracing Association, and only Lloyds TSB makes it into “Diversity and Inclusion” section. The Masonic Lodge has a full colour double spread, but neither the NHS nor the Army are featured.

University Chancellor Chris Patten described the book as “an excellent handbook… what luxury – fit for the coffee table,” according to OUSU’s material for prospective sponsors. But students have claimed that the guide puts style over substance.

A physics student hoping for a career in consulting also criticised the guide, “it’s awful. This is actually useless if you want a career. They tell you absolutely nothing about the job, it’s just a plug for the company.”

He added, “it’s all style, no substance.”

Another fourth year said, “careers are a huge part of our lives.” She said the emphasis on sponsored companies was “a bit silly. It’s meant to be a guide for us, but it doesn’t reflect that.”

She added, “it’s got a chair on every page. So it would be quite good for home furnishing except it doesn’t tell you where they’re from.”

Director of the Oxford Careers Service, Jonathan Black, said, “we guard our independence fiercely, which is why I wouldn’t put my name on this guide.”

He added, “we don’t support it, but it can be useful, as long as students recognise that its selective.” The careers service encourages any publications that encourage students to think about their future.

 

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