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Disability & Student Life: Walking In My Shoes

Graduate Recruiter’s Breakfast Seminar 14 (BS’14)
Hosted by Motability

On Wednesday 15th July 2015, members of the Graduate Recruiters’ Disability Café Club (GRDCC) met up at the offices of Motability Operations, in Central London, to take part in the third and final Breakfast Seminar of 2015.

The seminar focused on living with, and managing, a disability while at university. Five recent graduates joined the delegates to discuss their experiences – discussing how their disability had affected their academic studies, the impact on university life, the affect it had on gaining work experience and their thoughts concerning employment and applying for opportunities. The aim was for delegates to build their general understanding of disability, particularly in relation to graduate recruitment, and help them to better understand this talent pool.

The event began with Helen Cooke, Director of My Plus Consulting, welcoming delegates to the seminar and setting the day’s agenda. The delegates were split into five groups, with one graduate speaking per group; after fifteen minutes, the conversations came to a close and delegates moved around to another table. This was repeated until every delegate had had the opportunity to hear from each graduate.

During the last part of the Seminar, Helen asked the delegates what had really stood out for them from what they had heard. Delegates commented on issues such as the importance of firms making clear their support of disabled applicants on their websites, such as through named contacts and case studies, as well as on campus. Also discussed was the importance of viewing disability in a positive light - highlighting the strengths some disabilities can bring as well as well as skills gained through coping strategies.

Jonathan Andrews from King’s College London, who was one of the graduates to share his experiences, provided the recruiters with some extra reading on the subject of disability and employment in the form of a booklet he’d written for the event called ‘Autism and the Workplace: Hidden Myths and Untapped Talents’.

Thank you to Motability Operations for kindly hosting the fourteenth Breakfast Seminar.