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    Oxford Brookes Union organises Black Students Careers Week

    Matilda Gettins reports on the new careers week at Oxford Brookes university.

    Oxford Brookes Student Union is currently running a Black Students Careers Week. It is part of the Brookes Student Union’s commitment to “tackling racial inequality on campus as a matter of emergency”. Black Students Careers Week offers online networking events with successful individuals in the finance, law, music and technology industry, as well as recruitment and interview coaching. The events have been curated by Brookes Union Black Officer Iman Tadu, but are open to all.

    Brookes students are invited to join the talk with Amanda Mapanda about her experiences as a lawyer at Freshfields, or to register for a talk with chartered accountant Thelma Matsaira on the financial sector. They can also sign up to listen to Radha Medar share her experiences co-managing Skepta or popstar Mabel, or listen to Andrew Osamyemi outline his successful launch of the Netflix series ‘Meet the Adebanjos’. Events to improve recruitment skills include “Write Job Applications That Work”, “Ace Your Assessment Centre” and “How to level-up your LinkedIn bio in 1 hour”. 

    Black Students’ Officer of Brookes Student Union, Iman Tadu, says: “My vision for the Black Students Careers Week was to bring a light to the faces of individuals that are from the backgrounds of students who are not always given a platform to share the story of their career journeys … visibility can empower someone and help them believe in themselves where they were not able to before.”  The event series is a collaboration between Brookes Union, ACS, Brookes Enterprise Support, Oxford Brookes University Careers, and Oxford Brookes University Alumni office. 

    Oxford Student Union (OSU) runs a permanent Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE) dedicated to “creating a more just and inclusive student experience at the University”, though the last report uploaded on the CRAE webpage is over 5 years old. OSU also supports the University-wide Race Equality Taskforce, launched November 2020. The taskforce is “in the process of establishing our own equality, diversity and inclusion action plan” which will be presented in September 2021. In the past, OSU has run BAME Leadership in Oxford conferences.

    Oxford University Careers Service told Cherwell: “Our research strongly indicates that there is statistically minimal difference in the graduate level employment outcomes of our students of different ethnicities, but we are working hard to speed up the pace of change outside the University.”

    On its website, it provides resources on BME recruitment schemes as well as on the Equality Act (2010). It “[offers] a number of more target activities to support Black students” including the “10000BlackInterns initiatives” and “delivering careers sessions for Black Boys Cant”. 

    Image credit: Jpbowen / CC BY-SA 3.0

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