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Transition of graduates from backpack‐to‐briefcase: a case study

Peter McIlveen (University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)
Dominic Pensiero (University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 12 September 2008




The purpose of this paper is to overview the Backpack‐to‐Briefcase project which established a set of prototype career development learning strategies for Australian university career services, with the aim of contributing to their services for supporting students and graduates to make a smoother transition into graduate employment and the world‐of‐work.


A case study analysis of the development and implementation of three career development learning interventions is described. These interventions include: employability skills workshops for students; career mentoring for students; and services to small and medium sized employers to support their recruitment and induction of new graduates into their worksites.


The prototype interventions developed in the project extended the work of the university's Career Service. The interventions were judged as having the capacity to be readily implemented by university career services. A key outcome was the success of the graduate‐induction initiative which engaged small and medium sized employers traditionally unfamiliar with or unable to enter the graduate recruitment market.


This case study highlights the value of university career services' contributions to undergraduate preparation for the world‐of‐work, particularly in regional areas. Furthermore, the case study highlights the importance of inter‐departmental cooperation within the university environment, and the value of university‐industry collaboration toward the goal of improving graduates' transitions into the workforce, particularly in rural and regional areas.



McIlveen, P. and Pensiero, D. (2008), "Transition of graduates from backpack‐to‐briefcase: a case study", Education + Training, Vol. 50 No. 6, pp. 489-499.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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