QProjects is a Guardian University Award-winning work experience programme run by Careers & Enterprise at Queen Mary. QProjects places Queen Mary students into challenging projects within local charities. The aim is to give the student an opportunity to develop and showcase skills – such as leadership, influencing, problem-solving and initiative – whilst filling a skills and/or resource gap in a charity. At the end of the 3-month project, the student should be able to give a clear, positive outcome of their achievement on their CV, while expanding the college’s public engagement within East London.
QProjects places on average 130 Queen Mary students a year into projects and students who take on a project are more likely to attain graduate level employment after completing their degree. The programme won the 2014 Guardian University Award for Employability Initiative.
Past QProjects have varied greatly and included students helping with social media and marketing campaigns, data analysis, website builds, government lobbying campaigns, workshop facilitation and pro-bono legal case work. Careers & Enterprise advertise roles to students, shortlist candidates, coordinate a graduate-level interview and pay the students’ travel expenses, saving charities both time and money. The student receives thorough feedback and support during the application and interview process as well as a one-to-one skills debrief at the end of their placement allowing them to reflect on their experiences and update their CV.
Rachel Roberts is the Director of the Phoenix Education Trust who have hosted several QProjects students since the launch of the programme in 2012. Rachel has fed back:
The students who have come to us through this scheme have been exceptional; they have been competent, confident and full of ideas. In this ever harder economic climate it is good to see a scheme like this which supports the community. QProjects is by far the best careers service initiative I have ever come across.
According to 2014 English graduate Anum Ahmed, the 2 QProjects she did during her degree helped her to land her graduate job in the Civil Service,
I certainly wouldn't have been able to secure my job without the amazing experiences I had at my QProject placements. Throughout my interview I was referring to all the skills I had acquired and demonstrated whilst at my QProject placements and I really hope every student at Queen Mary seizes the opportunities available.
You can find more information about QProjects and the other services Careers & Enterprise offers here.