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I’m talking ‘bout money money: Graduate employment: is CDEC really fit for purpose?

Plummeting temperatures in Falmer House last week only exacerbated the criticisms levelled at CDEC, resulting in its temporary closure. (Photo: Catarina Neto Carvalho)

Plummeting temperatures in Falmer House last week only exacerbated the criticisms levelled at CDEC, resulting in its temporary closure. (Photo: Catarina Neto Carvalho)

Today, I went to ‘CDEC,’ the Career Development and Employment Centre, a place which I seldom knew existed until last week, usually masked by a Bohemian fruit and veg market on a Tuesday morning. I had imagined the small doorway (embodying the shining jewel in the Crown of 1960’s social housing-esque Falmer House) leading to the Mecca of wisdom in terms of graduate career opportunities.

Unfortunately, this was not to be the case. The smell of the carpets, the confused etiquette about how loud one is supposed to communicate with fellow organisms, and the general social awkwardness, all created an atmosphere similar to that of a cross between the opening scene of Mike Lee’s ‘Abigail’s Party,’ and a Doctor’s surgery. Actually, that’s a bit too much, the women in there were extremely friendly, it was probably just a little bit too late in the day for an exchange of English pleasantries.

“Come through”. I sat down, and proceeded to explain what I wanted help with; a relatively simple process within the consultation field. After much confused deliberation about how I would go about finding work placements, I was given the URL’s for a couple of websites, of which I were unable to be shown in person, because the Cold-War-relic of a computer kept crashing. I understand that in Brighton, especially, the vintage/retro look is without doubt in fashion, but I think a Tamagotchi could have answered my bemused malaise of questions regarding my future better than that thing. To conclude my ‘appointment,’ I was handed the best piece of contemporary literature since Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code;” a University of Sussex publication, entitled ‘Careers with International Relations.’ I know that most of you have already jumped onto the internet, and are currently scouring Amazon for a copy of it. But for those of you reading on:

The graphical arrangements bear some similarity to the leaflets that you get at the doctors surgery, you know, the ones that you pick up and read when you are so bored waiting for your appointment, even though you know that the chances of contracting Polio in 2009 are about the same as eating 52 hard-boiled eggs in a minute, Paul Newman style.

To conclude, I am going to show you a sentence from the opening paragraph:

“Sussex International Relations Graduates are now in jobs such as research, international development, education publishing, high education lecturer.”

What on earth, in the context given, does ‘high education lecturer’ mean? Does this imply that once I have grasped Ibn Khaldun’s theory about the rise and fall of civilizations, or analysed the Communist Manifesto, coming to the inevitable conclusion that it is complete bollocks, I can get stoned and transfer my ideas to fellow scholars about education?

Oh, maybe they mean that I could be a Higher Education Lecturer. Great. Maybe my University doesn’t really care about my future after all. At least I am sure that, in humble faith, my tuition fees are going toward a good cause: a giant, life-size facsimile of the Niagara Falls at the Governing body’s AGM meeting, but with Veuve Clicquot instead of salt-water, perhaps?

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2 Comments

  1. This is a very snide little piece, Henry. A typo on a leaflet, poor internet connectivity and bad weather are your complaints?! Sounds like you were out to get them from the moment you strutted in there.

    Reply
  2. If you read the article properly, Lo, you’ll understand that crux of my complaint is underpinned by the experience as a whole. The fact that CDEC is under-equipped is merely scratching the surface. I felt it was impersonal, and the advisors seemed lacking in an adequate degree of knowledge and communication skills. I had an excellent careers teacher in 6th form, at a state school, and to be quite honest, at University, where I am paying a lot of money to be there, I expected better.

    Reply

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