Kirsty Mitchell has been in the hopes and dreams business for more than 20 years.
As the Director of Bond’s Career Development Centre (CDC), over the past 15 years Kirsty has supported countless Bondies in navigating their career journey, while they’re at university and well beyond - she’s been working with some alumni since the 2000s, across several career changes.
The self-confessed optimist calls it the hopes and dreams business because, well, it is. The Career Development Centre is entirely dedicated to helping Bond students plan and achieve their hopes and dreams. It provides a level of service and support that other universities would struggle to offer, says Kirsty, but she believes developing employability skills is one of the most important parts of university.
“Fundamentally, employers are looking for someone who can add value to their business,” Kirsty tells Jason Murray, General Manager of Learning Services, in an episode of the Academic Skills Centre podcast.
“They’re looking for a broad set of skills. I think that’s where employability development programs whilst you’re studying are super important, because it helps you shift from ‘I know things’ to ‘I can demonstrate how using skills’, because that’s the language of employers.”
A big part of the Career Development Centre’s focus is on the future of work and ensuring Bond students have the skills employers are looking for as the workforce continues to evolve.
So what do employers look for? It all comes down to the soft skills which, as Kirsty explains, aren’t soft at all.
“The things that employers are always saying that graduates are desperately needing a really people skills,” explains Kirsty.
“We call them soft skills but they’re not soft skills, they’re incredibly hard because they’re not so easy to develop and they’re ephemeral at times.
“It’s communication, interpersonal team skills ,problem solving, creative problem solving, and particularly now we’re looking at collaboration and contribution as to how you are adapting to the environment.”
In the current climate, where the workforce is starting to recover from COVID-19, adaptability has proven especially important.
“What we’re seeing in this COVID interrupted world of work is that employers are doubling down on what did you learn in this challenge, how did you adapt, how can you read what’s happened in our market and think about how you might contribute in the future,” says Kirsty.
The Career Development Centre provides personal career counselling to all Bond students – from day one of their study, and after they graduate. And according to Kirsty, it’s never too early to start building your employability and exploring your career.
If you’re unsure of the exact path you want to take, that’s completely fine, says Kirsty. Your time at Bond has so many opportunities to get involved in a broad range of things, particularly during the Beyond Bond program.
Hear more of Kirsty’s advice on career development and finding meaning, the employability skills and how to develop them, the importance of self-reflection and failure, and embracing uncertainty on the ASC podcast.
Employability at Bond
Learn more about Bond's career development and employability services.