“Once more unto the breach dear friends….once more………..” this famous quote from Shakespeare’s Henry V entered my head as I drove to Bradford University today to take part in the second day of “mock assessment centres” for Business Management degree students.
This was to by my fourth day of participation, working with the students constituting 2 days of mock interviews and 2 days of assessment centres in the last four weeks. I have been involved with the programme for three years and give my time willingly (along with numerous other employers representatives) as I firmly believe that the students derive great benefit from the employability programme developed by the academic school and staff.
I get a little tired of the criticism of universities by employers who often claim that they “do nothing to prepare students for the world of work.” Well here is a programme that (amongst other things) puts students through a process of self assessment including values and competencies, application form and CV completion, mock interviews, making an impact in the workplace which form parts of their individual personal development portfolio.
The turnout of students today was an improvement on last week and the three groups I worked with (along with my co-assessor Michelle) all performed well. There were some excellent examples of leadership, consultative working, negotiating and influencing and listening skills.
Although I have to confess that one group did not talk a great deal and I surmised they were communicating by osmosis as they did achieve the task. It is interesting to observe groups consisting of local and international students as often cultural norms come in to play and sometimes these can hinder the group task. But today there were some excellent examples of what I would call “inter-cultural” working.
After each exercise we asked the students to do their own self assessment (which, in some cases was quite perceptive) and then my colleague and I gave the students our assessment. It was pleasing to hear that the students found our feedback both useful and constructive and that they had enjoyed the experience far more than they had anticipated.
Once again a thank you to Debbie, Elaine and Michelle for such a well organised day……….I just hope the students fully appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm you all show in supporting and developing the students.
And thanks you to all my fellow employers without whom, none of this could happen.
All photographs are of some of the groups participating in the mock assessment day.