Acing student development AC (After Covid)

Mar 24, 2021 | Development

Ahead of our course Acing Development for Early Careers, Bob Athwal from The Student Job Coach reflects on the period that time will never forget – BC, DC, AC – and its impact on student development.

BC (Before Covid)

Like many of us, I attended my last in person event in March 2020, which was the ISE Development Conference that I chaired. My colleague Fiona Belk delivered one of her last workshops for a client onsite and commented on how empty the conference centre had been. Who would have known that after that day in London everything would change so dramatically?

DC (During Covid)

The world came to a halt with the spread of Covid-19 and a once in generation moment occurred, forevermore we will hear the stories in coffee shops and pubs, “Where were you when Boris asked us all to stay home?” 

I was driving back from Manchester with my eldest, her first year at university having just been interrupted. The biggest disruption in the university sector in nearly 30 years. Fiona recalls picking her kids up from school and a few people suggesting they might not return until September and that seeming unfathomable at the time.

Employers of early careers talent were not exempt and the student learning and development agenda that historically had been face-to-face, classroom-based was now under threat; how would we manage our learning DC? How would we create that cohort feel? How would we measure the learning and know that it was sticking? 

The word of DC has to be ‘pivot’, yes we all pivoted and created online solutions – some as a necessity of survival, others as an opportunity to create something new and some of us started with a blank canvas. 

AC (After Covid)

There are five emerging themes that will need addressing AC:

  1. Avoiding burnout and building resilience;
  2. The shift to hybrid working, managing and engaging people in and out of office;
  3. The implications of increased focus on racial and social justice for early careers development;
  4. Aligning individual and organisational purpose and values in your programmes;
  5. The development skills shift, fostering the power of relationships in the hybrid world.

Acing development for early careers

Fear not, we have some answers for you and by registering and attending the ISE Acing development for early careers course you will access four exclusive workshops that will help you think about these themes and their implications for your early career programmes. The workshops are:

  1. Make learning sticky though effective use of virtual tools and platforms
  2. Manage relationships and build trust with a dispersed trainee population
  3. Manage the wellbeing of trainees as they transition into the workplace
  4. Engage senior stakeholders to ensure the long-term survival/pivot of early careers programmes

We hope to see you on the programme and in the meantime will leave you with five top tips to ace development for your early careers talent.

5 top tips

#1 – Keep communication often and bitesize e.g. lightning talks for cohorts.

#2 – Know your population, be the ultimate partner e.g. build the social connection. 

#3 – Be available, be present e.g. offer regular, predictable, opportunities for contact with your team through a number of different channels.

#4 – Encourage change of scene for meets e.g. let’s go retro and use the phone during a walk and talk.

#5 – Take time to look after yourself e.g. set boundaries to create space, know the things that energise you and create space for these each day.

Bob and Fiona will be running ISE’s course from 8 April 2021. Find out more or register for ISE Acing development for early careers 

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