I attended the National Undergraduate Employability Awards last week (although not, sadly, the BAFTAs) and it is hard to think of another event that creates the same blend of informative speakers, interesting discussions and a proper feel-good factor.
I like the NUE Awards for two reasons.
First, the two headline awards are based on student generated feedback and metrics. If you really want to know how your placement scheme (or careers service) is working, ask a student. When I was running the careers service at City I spent a lot of time measuring impact. I looked at how and why students used our different offerings, and tried to understand how these activities had an impact on their success – which of our interventions really helped students to get a graduate level job? I used student feedback to supplement the metrics we generated through CareerHub and DLHE to do this.
Second, the NUE awards celebrate individual impact as well as the achievements of employers and university teams. It was great to see three students recognised for the difference they made during their placements and internships, and to commend a student society for their efforts to promote the value of work experience. And hats off to Mike Grey (@MikeGradconsult) for his outstanding work running the EC Futures team at Coventry University. I was lucky enough to be presented with an award at City last year, and I still remember the sensation of my heart rate spiking when the nomination was being read out. I hope all the winners last week enjoyed the same feeling.
Also, I confess I have a soft spot for the RateMyPlacement team. I was one of their first clients when I was at Logica, and I remember meeting Ollie, Ali and Chris when they were only a year or so out of Loughborough. It has been quite a journey since then, and it is great to see what they have gone on to create with Lizzie, Alex, Gareth and the rest of the team. Here’s to the next nine years.