Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Job-seeking narratives: in search of graduate capitals acquired during student placements

Smith, Sally; Smith, Colin


Profile Image

Prof Sally Smith
Head of Graduate Apprenticeships and Skills Development and Professor


Being a graduate is no longer sufficient to secure a fulfilling and rewarding graduate role. This paper drew on Tomlinson’s Graduate Capital Model to analyse the job-seeking narratives of recent computing graduates searching for a graduate job. Participants (n=38), drawn from a national placement programme, were interviewed up to 12 months after they had graduated. Narrative interviews were analysed using the five graduate capitals of the Model, providing empirical evidence of the acquisition and application of graduate capitals, in particular through experiences of student work placements. The study found strong claims of human and cultural capital, arising from placement experience, while social and identity capital acquisition was found, but to a lesser extent. Fragile psychological and identity capitals were eroded by multiple unsuccessful job applications. This work empirically tested the Graduate Capital Model, contributing to understanding of capitals and their interplay.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 4, 2024
Online Publication Date Mar 13, 2024
Deposit Date Mar 7, 2024
Publicly Available Date Mar 13, 2024
Print ISSN 0142-5692
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Graduate capitals; job-seeking; student placement; employability; student narratives; graduate attributes
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations