How to boost your employability while a student at NUI Galway

There are many ways to use your time as a student to improve the skills that employers are looking for from candidates. Some opportunities are open only to students in NUIG, others give the opportunity to compete on a national / international stage.

What employers are looking for

According to a recent survey by AHECS  significant factors when shortlisting graduates include

relevant work experience (68%)
proven employability skills (43%)
extra curricular involvement (34%)
overall academic results (68%)
relevance of degree (57%)

Employability skills they deem most important include:

Positive attitude
Communication & Literacy
Business & Customer awareness
Problem Solving

The skills they highlight as needing further development by graduates are:

Self Management
Business & Customer awareness
Communication & Literacy
Problem Solving
Enterprise / Entrepreneurship
with IT skills, postive attitude, application of numeracy and teamwork also mentioned.

The above report also gives a breakdown by sector. 

In recent gradireland surveys employers* have found the following the most effective ways of boosting skills while at university,

Competing in student competitions
Carrying out team-based exercises at university 
Undertaking a skills workshop run by Careers 
Taking part in team sports at university 
Taking on a leadership role in a student society
Completing an internship/industrial placement
International experience - studying or working abroad

*over 65% of respondents rated the above as effective or very effective.

Read more Make the most of first year (Careers brochure)


Some of the opportunities available include


ALIVE - Gain a Certificate for Volunteering

Make the most of your undergraduate research 

Service Learning - Modules to connect students and community through the curriculum

EXPLORE - Invites students and university staff to work in equal partnership to deliver innovation on campus

Societies - As part of a society you can learn new skills, explore your interests, and take a leadership role

NUI Galway Clubs - Leadership Development Programme

Student Mentor programme - Mentor the university's first year students

Help students academically - e.g.,

  • SUMS is a free drop in support centre for students and recruit Postgraduate Maths students.
  • The Students Union maintain a grinds tutor register  
  • The School of Business trains a number of postgraduates as Tutors to assist on the Skills for Worklife module
  • Some units take on lab demonstrators for 1st/2nd years.

Students' Union Enterprise Awards - If you have an idea for a new business or a social enterprise then this can be the competition that can allow you to realise your goal

Learn a new skill - Use your time on campus to learn something new. Some examples are

SIN - Get writing

Flirt FM - Get experience in media


Other programmes, competitions and awards open to NUI Galway students


If you have been involved in a great project, you may be eligible to submit it for an award.

Training or study programmes