USC graduate helps others prepare for work

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USC graduate helps others prepare for work


Karen Stagg

19 June 2012

19 June 2012

Recent University of the Sunshine Coast graduate Karen Stagg has landed a job in her hometown region of Moreton Bay helping others to find work.

Karen, 24, graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work in April and was quick to secure permanent employment at the Deception Bay Neighbourhood Centre.

Her position as a case manager/emergency relief officer for the centre’s Spectra (Supporting People Enabling Choices Through Responsive Action) Works program, involves helping people who are unemployed.

The Brisbane northside resident said she was delighted to now be a full-time staff member at the neighbourhood centre, where she has done voluntary and casual work during her studies.

“I love my job and the rewarding personal satisfaction I get from it,” Karen said. “It is great to see participants achieve their goals and to build their independence.”

Karen said her position required her to prepare participants – some who’ve been unemployed for long periods of time – to re-enter the workforce.

“They come to see me on a weekly or fortnightly basis and we work together to set goals toward gaining a job,” she said. “We focus on interview skills, resumes, cover letters and ways to build their confidence.”

After graduating from Deception Bay State High School in 2005, Karen completed a Diploma of Youth Work in Brisbane before starting her degree at USC.

“One of the main things that attracted me to USC and its social work degree was that most of the teachers are academics who specialise in social work and human services fields,” she said.

“I also love that the University is small, has a relaxed atmosphere and is close to the beach. University and the field placements are what prepared me for the workforce.”

Karen, who moved to Australia from the Philippines with her parents when she was seven years old, is the first in her family to achieve tertiary qualifications.

— Michelle Widdicombe

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