AU Graduates Digital Skills Profile Series – Week 1 (Francesca Hughes)

Blogpost by Laurie Stevenson (Student Digital Champion)

*Please read my first blog to learn more about our AU Graduate Digital Skills Profile Series*

Our first graduate interview is with Francesca who now works as a support secretary within the NHS and wished she had been able to improve her knowledge and proficiency using MS Excel before she graduated.

Our Digital Skills Festival (6-10 November 2023) has two events on using Excel for both everyday use as well as working with more complex data sets. For more information, and to book your space on any event at the festival, please have a look at the programme.

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When did you graduate from AU?

What did you study? – Criminology

What are you doing now professionally since graduating? – I am working for the NHS as a Support Secretary in the Oncology Dept. of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

What digital skills do you use in your job? –

Digital Collaboration and Communication- “sending emails and using MS Teams to communicate with colleagues”.

Digital Problem Solving- “the NHS uses lots of old systems so I am often dealing with software crashing, computers freezing, file corruption and deletion”.

Digital Learning- “I had to learn how to use Excel for spreadsheets and how to use the NHS digitally automated lettering system for completing patient details on forms”.

Digital Identity- “the NHS has guidelines on how to present yourself online and how to properly handle patient data according to data protection regulations.”

Are there any digital skills you wish you had learnt before you graduated?

“I wish I had used all the resources available to me and explored them more rather than just using them for what was needed in my modules and assignments. I also wished I had explored or been taught more on Excel because I use it so much in my job and I think I only really knew the basics coming into it”.

Are there any common weaknesses in digital skills you notice amongst your colleagues?

“Yes, definitely massive weaknesses in digital problem-solving skills around knowing how to fix technical issues when they happen as well as information literacy skills around general computer use”. 

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