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New unit assists students on a personal insight journey

"We have worked alongside industry partners to ensure this unit meets employer expectations and beyond."

Helping students attain their dream jobs is the ideal outcome for Deakin Business School (DBS)'s Bachelor of Commerce, Personal Insight unit.

A driving force behind the introduction of this unit is research highlighting the decline in graduate employment and the need for investing skills into students during the early stages of their university course.

Lincoln Then James, unit coordinator, wrote his honours thesis on employability and the offering of authentic assessments as a necessary addition to any university degree – which reinforces the benefit of units such as this.

Course director, Associate Professor Kerrie Bridson says Personal Insight gives students and opportunity to develop their personal and professional identity, assisting them to stand out from the crowd.

‘We have worked alongside industry partners and current employment research to ensure this unit meets employer expectations and beyond,’ says Assoc. Prof. Bridson.

‘DBS, and the university as a whole, is preparing students for careers of the future. This means more than just excelling in relevant academic work, but providing students with an ‘all-round’ professional identity going into the workforce.

‘Students can explore and discover intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects of themselves with the outcome of creating a personal portfolio of career resources.’

The first part of the unit is geared towards exploration and discovery of personal interests, values and personality type. Students will then gain an understanding of emotional intelligence, practicing interpersonal skills and diversity and teamwork skills. The final part of the unit focuses on developing interview skills and communicating a personal brand.

'Personal Insight is notably different from other core units in the commerce degree. Rather than learning about business formulas, students are taught how to market their ability.'

Commerce student Nathan says the unit gave him a clear focus on employability skills and career development.

‘There can be such an emphasis on purely academic and industry specific skills, but this unit offered the opportunity to reflect on, and improve in other areas,’ says Nathan.

‘I found the unit really useful to look at a “dream job” and to work out the steps, skills and experience required to progress my career to this point.

‘I feel I am now better prepared and conscious of skills I should be developing over my time at university to graduate with more than just a degree, but skills that will be valuable for years to come.’

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