CEU Career Services Lends Expertise Regionally, Across Europe

Career Services Manager and Doctoral Career Adviser Cristina Balint-Nagy and her team were recently invited to participate in two European Commission EURAXESS programs meant to enhance European researchers career development. CEU's level of expertise, underpinned by the CEU Web Team-created Career>Next integrated platform, has also begun to spark the interest of various other higher education and youth employability organizations.

EURAXESS Researchers in Motion is a unique pan-European initiative providing access to a complete range of information and support services to researchers wishing to pursue their research careers in Europe or stay connected to it. Over the past several years, mainly through career fair participation, the CEU – EURAXESS - Researchers in Motion cooperation has raised CEU's profile and has led to recognition of the University's strengths in human resources and career services for researchers.

Balint-Nagy was also nominated to participate as Working Group (WG) Expert in the EURAXESS TOP III, a three-year project focused on preparing a support network for the career development of researchers in Europe, resulting in creation of so called Career Development Centres (CDC). The first meeting (March 2016) gathered experts from varied background and roles including: researchers, career development advisors, human resources managers, heads of departments at universities & research organizations and PhD program coordinators from a broad spectrum of countries and organizations to ensure that the guidelines are applicable for researchers and the EURAXESS Centres throughout Europe.

In parallel, the CEU careers team has participated in various workshops in Hungary under the EURAXESS REFLEX - a two-year FP7 project involving partners from five European countries with the aim of developing models for the career development of European researchers with the help of the EURAXESS network. The results of a recent Hungarian survey that revealed a lack of available development program for researchers led to CEU being called upon to offer expertise in the area. Through the new CEU services for doctoral students and early-stage researchers (Professional Skills workshops and internship program) and existing career services for graduate and post-graduate students and alumni, CEU has a clear competitive advantage in the local higher education sector.

CEU alumni are also spreading the news about the expertise of the Alumni Relations and Career Service Office. Alumnae Patricia Patkanova (DPP’14) and Anna Conkova (RAP’14), who work for EPIC, a Slovakia-based non-profit focused on employment for marginalized groups, invited Balint-Nagy to be a keynote speaker at EPIC's “Job Interview Simulator” project. The initiative focuses on empowering university students and giving them the skills they need to handle school-to-work transition successfully. Balint-Nagy's presentation focused on best practices, recommendations about setting up a functional career services center and practical experience on tackling challenges with the student engagement. She also recommended services that do not involve large financial investments, for example incorporating free LinkedIn alumni databases and low-cost online surveys as offices tools.