When experiential learning is not part of the curriculum - Jenni Jones

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Presentation at the HEA-funded workshop 'Using active and experiential Learning to improve student employability in Business and Marketing'.

This workshop was aimed at colleagues seeking ideas and advice about incorporating active and experiential learning into the marketing curriculum or wishing to improve upon current practice. The workshop identified various approaches which enable students to gain valuable employability skills and considered the benefits and disadvantages of these approaches.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event: http://bit.ly/NanSOJ

For further details of the HEA's work on active and experiential learning in the Social Sciences, please see: http://bit.ly/17NwgKX

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When experiential learning is not part of the curriculum - Jenni Jones

  1. 1. Using Active and Experiential Learning to improve student employability in Business & Marketing When experiential learning is not part of the curriculum (2) Jenni Jones HEA Workshop 14th November 2013
  2. 2. Objectives of this session • To introduce our student mentoring scheme • To share expectations and learning – The University/The Institute of Directors (West Midlands) – Mentees/Students – Mentors • To share the successes • To share some additional feedback • To offer ideas for future programmes
  3. 3. So what is mentoring? Mentoring is….
  4. 4. Our IoD Student Mentoring Scheme • The purpose – Employer-student partnership; Directors as ‘critical friends’ – Recognising/supporting/developing employability skills and beyond • The people – @40 mentors & 72 mentees (final year Business School students) • The process – Students complete short form about expectations from mentoring – We match students with a mentor in their aspirational/future career – Mentors trained and students attend a short expectations session – Students and mentors meet for group reviews/celebrate successes http://youtu.be/3PHlwH7QOVc
  5. 5. Expectations – The University/The Institute of Directors (West Midlands) • To support students beyond the classroom teaching • To offer real life experiences for students • To build student’s networks • To develop wider relationships with each other – Students • To get a job • To develop employability skills, particularly in relation to marketing self • To have a fantastic CV and apply for the right jobs • To learn from ‘role models’ – Mentors • To share real life experiences and enthusiasm for business • To offer practical advice • To open doors • To put something back
  6. 6. We have gained so much from the experience; mentors have helped us revisit our strengths and development needs, showed us how to work on some of these, encouraged us to consider what job we REALLY want and introduced us to some additional networks that can help support and guide us towards our career goals. Some of our student mentees
  7. 7. What was learnt by them? • Students • What employers need and want and what they (the students) really need and want • How different departments and different companies operate • Further developed interview techniques • How to use a PDP to focus on strengths and development needs • Honed employability skills; time management, presentation skills, marketing self • Increased self confidence • Re-motivation towards studies • The importance of networking • Mentors • What students need and want • What different generations bring • An insight into different counties and different cultures • New knowledge in relation to business (e.g. modern marketing techniques) • Developed mentoring skills, including flexibility/adaptability – one size does not fit all
  8. 8. It is good to know there are real quality individuals prepared to work very hard to gain a business role in the future. I would like to say that if more people in business had the approach and integrity that my mentee has, business for the future would be in safe hands. My mentees and I have been on a journey. Our first meetings were to identify strengths and what jobs my mentees were looking for. I provided both of them with the opportunity of meeting with my HR & Finance Director, and other contacts. We then focussed on their CVs and applying for jobs and the final meetings were more focussed on the interviewing process. They have both now secured jobs. 2 of our mentors
  9. 9. What was learnt by us? • The University • Reinforced the importance of students getting out into the real world • There is always more to do with CVs and interview skills support for our students • Improved relationships with local employers • Increased our own networks • That we can’t do it all • The Institute of Directors • Got something of value to give to young people • Spending time with young people can really bring out the ‘real person’ • Every generation has the responsibility to look forward toward tomorrows leadership and be involved • It’s a privilege to be able to help young people • There are some ambitious young people out there, after our jobs!
  10. 10. How was this learnt? http://issuu.com/universityofwolverhampton/docs/uwbs_ug_student_newsletter_spring_2013?mode=window http://youtu.be/gDTRcdbUZRQ
  11. 11. The successes • During mentoring • Real world view; tours of local workplaces • Real world experiences; mini-work experience days/weeks for students • Building own networks; meeting senior colleagues, attending IoD regional/local events • Developing new skills; observing role models, mock interview sessions • Applying learning; revamped CV, more targeted applications • Reflection; use of PDP, feedback with mentors, review sessions with other mentees • Beyond mentoring/student employability • 16 mentees achieved a first class degree • 10 mentees were awarded University special prizes • IoD (West Midlands) Director of the Year Award given to one of the mentors (2013) • Over 90% of our students are now in employment • Example 1 – Mike on DHL Graduate Scheme • Example 2 – James on Nationwide Graduate Scheme • Example 3 – Jessica in marketing role at Advantage Healthcare Group • Example 4 – Sylwia at Carillion
  12. 12. Active Learning Taken from: http://www.teachit.so/activelearning.htm
  13. 13. Experiential Learning Taken from: http://www.wageningenportals.nl/msp/tool/experiential-learning- cycle
  14. 14. My mentor Mike has a background in Communications and PR. He helped me think about things from an employer’s perspective when they are recruiting, and I have been successful in getting a job. David is extremely motivated. He took advantage of this mentoring scheme to tap into my experience and to find out what organisations are really looking for, in order to develop those skills and qualities that make an individual stand out from the crowd! David and Mike (Marketing)
  15. 15. This mentoring scheme built upon both what I have learned at University and during my placement. To have access to people working at this level for advice and guidance has really helped me to develop. I have been successful in getting a job and I really recommend being mentored to other students! This has been a great example of how employer- student partnerships work. Our mentees and mentors were extremely motivated and committed and they (and we) have seen a huge return on investment! John and James (Business)
  16. 16. Additional feedback Mentees • ‘I’m getting to know what I’m good at.’ • ‘I’ve learnt how to manage my time and workload effectively.’ • ‘I would have liked more meetings but recognise my mentor is busy.’ • ‘Some mentors were more accessible and flexible about meeting up than others.’ • ‘Some Mentors did more than others; I was happy with my mentor until I heard that others had a mentor who did so much more.’ • Mentors • ‘I have learnt that there is so much involved in degree studies.’ • ‘It’s pleasing to work with mentees that have so much enthusiasm for improving their life and who are focused on achieving.’ • ‘Best to let mentee travel, so they can see where I work and get access to other key people.’ • ‘My mentee was wanting to discuss her dissertation and involve my organisation in it. I needed to remind a few times that here to discuss their employability and not student work.’
  17. 17. Ideas for future programmes • Need a champion from both sides • Make it open to all • Match by aspiration and then location • Manage expectations of both parties, at the start • Contract/guidelines at first meeting • Train/Refresh mentors • Keep in touch through group review sessions • Create other ways to keep in contact/build networks • Widen choice/mix of mentors and students • Consider other organisations (Chamber, CBI, CIM etc) • Re-consider how it is marketed to the students
  18. 18. ‘It is better to teach people to fish, than to give them a fish’ Mayo & Lang (1997) Thank you for listening. Any questions? Contact details: jenni.jones@wlv.ac.uk

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