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Stephen Grady University of Wolverhampton Business School. Enhancing employability for all :  a project-based approach. HEA Thematic Workshop: 17 th July 2013 . Key elements: IN-COMM live project. Recent Graduates.

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stephen grady university of wolverhampton business school
Stephen Grady

University of Wolverhampton Business School

Enhancing employability for all: 

a project-based approach

HEA Thematic Workshop: 17th July 2013

key elements in comm live project
Key elements: IN-COMM live project

Recent Graduates

Lead generated by the Business Engagement Team - promoting student projects as a way of reinforcing relationships with business organisations;

Business organisations looking for students to support them in meeting their objectives;

Original academic driver for the projects was to facilitate the transition from education to employment – therefore aimed at recent graduates;

Recognised that if the task was sufficiently demanding (involving high level skills), a team based approach could yield multiple benefits for a variety of stakeholders;

Specific project :

6-8 weeks duration

Local (Walsall) SME – 26 employees

Training organisation specialising in the engineering sector

Task - development of a marketing strategy

Academic Mentor

Company Stakeholder

Current

Students

slide4

Information retrieval skills, numerical skills, problem solving skills, independent working skills

Decision making skills, strategic skills

Communication skills, team working skills

Decision making skills, strategic skills, independent working skills

Communication skills, team working skills

Company Stakeholder: strategic skills, personal learning and development skills

Academic Mentor: team working skills, leadership skills, personal learning and development skills

student team member comments
Student team member comments…

“Very much looking forward to beginning this project!”

“I've just received the information for the project. The business itself seems really interesting, as I'm reading through its business plan, marketing tools are jumping into my head as ways to analyse parts of it – Ansoff; BCG Matrix … Looks like a really interesting project, looking forward to getting started-will be able to learn a lot from this!”

“I am very aware that the anticipated start date for the IN-COMM Training program is next week...it's not an opportunity I want to let slip through my fingers!”

“This sounds like a really great opportunity, thank you for believing in me enough to allow me partake!”

“Just a quick update, I have booked for us all to go in on Thursday next week. We're all looking forward to it, well I am, I want to see what the thoughts are on the floor about the management structure! Can't wait!”

“I would definitely be interested in an opportunity like this. I have had experience with the CRM system, using it at a placement with Marketing Birmingham.”

“If you could send me your write ups, and anything else you may have done for the project, I'll whack it together on Sunday.”

“Great job yesterday, I think we had some very surprising results and I'm looking forward to putting it all together.”

issues to consider
Issues to consider
  • Recruitment of the appropriate abilities/skills mix from the students and graduates in order to deliver the project outcomes;
  • Significant up-front investment of time by the academic mentor – the higher the level of skills, the greater the need for stakeholder meetings and management of expectations, development of a detailed project brief, use of dedicated project management tools;
  • Matching staff expertise and commitment to project leads;
  • Identification of leads, benefits and costs of project based approach;
  • Impact on graduate employability/DLHE stats and action learning benefits for current students;
  • Management of employability enhancement culture within the HE environment;
  • Helps enhance staff expertise, maintain the currency of their own learning, and increases case study materials for use in the classroom.