March 29, 2022
Emily Zadok from Smart Works Leeds

A charity dedicated to empowering female jobseekers has given a motivational talk to students at University Centre Leeds.

Smart Works Leeds provides coaching, high quality interview-appropriate clothing, and other practical assistance to help women secure employment.

Volunteers Manager Emily Zadok explained the charity’s work, and the life-changing impact it is having, when she spoke on Thursday 17 March.

The event was part of the University Centre’s six-week Women in Leadership programme, and made a big impact on the students who attended.

Our Deputy Head of Business, Sarah Cook, said: “Emily delivered an eloquent and motivational presentation about what Smart Works does, which I think knocked us all sideways.

Providing tools to build confidence

“They are all about helping women feel confident enough to get into, or get back into, the jobs market.

“We heard how the charity’s volunteers support people throughout the job application process, including with preparing CVs and interviews practice. Then, when an individual does get an interview, they invite them along and let them choose a set of clothes that they will feel comfortable and confident in.

“They really kit you out with high-end outfits, and the help doesn’t stop there! If you do get the job, Smart Works invites you back to collect five more pieces of clothing to help you get started in your work life.

“Our students were amazed by the level of help this charity provides.”

That assistance is being extended to our students, too, as the University Centre has been told it can refer them to Smart Works when they begin job hunting.

And students also learnt about opportunities for them to work for the charity, through a graduate scheme.

Innovation bootcamp

Emily’s inspiring in-person talk was followed by a virtual presentation from Claire Cockerton of GenIE (Generation of Innovators and Entrepreneurs).

Claire shared details of GenIE’s April innovation bootcamp, a free, five-day experience designed to give young entrepreneurs the tools they need to turn their ideas into a business.

The bootcamp, for 16 to 20 year olds, takes place at NEXUS, the University of Leeds’s innovation hub, from Monday 4 to Friday 8 April.

Sarah said: “Our students were all very interested in the bootcamp and thought it was a brilliant idea.

“Five have applied to go on it, and the good news is there will be further bootcamps later this year for anyone who can’t get along this time.”