A graduate whose experiences at Wrexham Glyndwr University helped to inspire her own career is supporting an upcoming Careers Fair at the institution.

Joan Murray was a student on a Youth and Community course at the university’s predecessor institution NEWI back in 1997.  Whilst attending the institution an opportunity to visit Denmark as part of an Erasmus exchange programme helped change her life – and made her think about the difference between a job and a career.

She is now a Team Manager working for Careers Wales on their post education service, Working Wales.

Joan said: “I was a Youth and Community second year student, when I applied to do the exchange programme. I remember the support we were given – one of my lecturers asked me ‘what about your child? – I was a single parent with a 9-year-old daughter, and they were concerned how I would cope. However, they worked with me to make sure I could secure an Erasmus grant.

“I was the first student in Wales who used their Erasmus money to not only take themselves but also a child with them. We stayed in a place called Gentofte in Copenhagen, Denmark and my placement was with an organisation which ran from a series of high-rise buildings where young people were living independently without their parents. We taught them living skills and how to look after themselves.

“It was wonderful, and the experience both helped me – and inspired my daughter so much. I remember her asking me ‘what’s the difference between a career and a job?’, I said that a job was something you do to get money, whereas a career was something you were born to do, it’s something you are passionate about.”

Twenty-two years after her visit, Joan has returned to her former university, where she is working alongside Glyndwr’s award-winning careers team on a series of projects which link the work of Careers Wales and the university.

Among these projects is the university’s annual careers fair, which Joan will be attending alongside her Careers Wales team. The fair – an annual event – is bigger than ever this year, with local, regional and national employers in attendance.

Among those who will be attending are North Wales Police, the BBC, games developers Hardlight who bring SEGA games to life, catering providers Brakes, the Chester Race Company and many more – with more than 40 recruiters taking part in the event.

As well as meeting with recruiters from across the country, attendees will also get the chance to find out more about the latest internships, work experience, volunteering and graduate scheme opportunities.

Both Glyndwr’s careers team and Job Centre Plus will be on hand to provide professional careers advice, to check and improve CVs, and much more.

Student Employability Advisor Angela Corbett said: “Our team knows just how important our students are to our region’s economy – both once they graduate and while they are studying with us.

“We also know how local employers value events like our careers fair – and how many have found the right person for their business after taking part.”

Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Careers Fair runs on Thursday, October 10 between 10am and 2pm in the Sports Centre at Glyndwr’s Plas Coch campus on Mold Road in Wrexham. There is no charge to attend.

Find out more about Working Wales and their careers support at: https://workingwales.gov.wales/  and find out more Glyndwr’s award-winning Careers team and their work here: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Studentsupport/Careers/

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