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 on this topic at

Make the most of first year (Careers brochure)   

our links 

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