Employability, Skills and Career


Course Objective

The aim of this course is to create awareness and to understand the need
to think and work about your employability, reflect upon your strengths
and weaknesses and to develop/improve skills.

At the end of the course the students:
- Can list what they want in a job (personal value);
- Can describe their strong and lesser developed skills;
- Are able to give a non-scientific pitch about their research;
- Are able to write an application letter and adjust their resume to a
specific vacancy;
- Have an idea about the career options in their field.

Course Content

After graduating your master program you will enter the working life.
Like everyone else you want to have a job that makes you happy. But what
makes you happy in a job is different for everyone. And once you found
an open position you also need to get hired for the job. So thinking
about what you want in a job, what your strengths and competencies are
and prepare for job interviews are very important aspects of this
process. This also holds for finding an internship or PhD position. All
above falls under the umbrella of ‘employability’: investing in your
development (knowledge, skills and values). In this course you will
start with developing your employability. You will discover your values
and dreams. You will think about your skills and how to improve these as
well as work on the missing ones. You will practice with resume (CV)
writing and doing a job interview. At the end of the course you will
reflect on your development and you look forward towards the future. An
alumni-evening is also part of the course, where you can get inspired by
alumni and practice with networking.

Teaching Methods

This course has three mandatory meetings/workshops where students will
be actively involved. The meetings will mostly start with a lecture
after which students will work on assignments or discuss the topics of
the lecture. The course will have (at least) one online module, where
students use the Canvas page to make assignments.
There will be one alumni-evening where former students will tell about
their current work, the career path they have walked so far and give
tips about finding a job. Students are encouraged to actively
participate in this meeting, to prepare for it and to ask questions.
All three meetings are mandatory. If you are not able to be present, you
need to contact the course coordinator in advance. Only in special cases
of absence an alternative assignment will be provided.

Method of Assessment

To pass this course you need to write a report. This report will
include, amongst others, a reflection on the course, the internship and
your learning process. A resume, skills list and plan for the future
will also be part of this report. See Canvas for specific details.
Note: for this course you can only get a pass or a fail.

Target Audience

This course is mandatory for all students following the VU MSc Ecology
and its specialisations. It is open for other students, however they
need to check with the course coordinator for applicability and space.
The topics covered are general (e.g. how to write a resume), but it is
targeted for the biological fields of Ecology & Evolution.

Explanation Canvas

Canvas will be actively used for this course. Some parts need to be done
by students online, in a self-study module. All information about the
course and assignments can be found on the Canvas page. But the Canvas
page will also be used as a community page of the whole master program.
E.g. updates about the program, interesting internships or job openings
will also be posted.

General Information

Course Code AM_1244
Credits 0 EC
Period Ac. Year (sept)
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator R.M. Pols MSc
Examiner R.M. Pols MSc
Teaching Staff R.M. Pols MSc

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Seminar