Employer involvement, work placements and alumni mentoring

More and more employers are getting involved on a regular basis in advising on professional content within Russell Group university degrees. This includes formal accreditation of programmes in professional subject areas as well as more informal engagement via advisory boards.

Employers are also increasingly keen to offer opportunities for work placements, mentoring or participation in real-life projects. For example, the Club 21 Internship Programme is a work experience programme based at the University of Glasgow Careers Service. It provides employers with the opportunity to recruit interns from the university, and gives participating students the opportunity to add greater value to their degree through real-world experience and work-related learning. Over 200 employers are involved, ranging from blue chip organisations to local charities, SMEs and the University of Glasgow itself.

Working with the employers, the Careers Service ensures that all work experience opportunities offered are structured and address particular business needs and objectives. As part of their experience, students are asked to complete a learning diary, which encourages them to reflect on the skills they have developed and the benefits they have gained from participating.

Many of our universities make active use of their alumni to mentor current students or to provide work experience opportunities. Alumni also often contribute to other activities such as admissions and marketing. At King’s College London, alumni attend a wide range of recruitment events and sometimes assist in interviewing prospective students.

The Alumni Mentoring Network at University College London (UCL) is a web-based facility through which graduates can contact UCL alumni to gain an insight into the realities of working in specific professions, based on their experiences: they can give the inside track on what they enjoy about their job, the challenges and how to get into the sector. Hundreds of UCL alumni spanning a wide range of professions have volunteered to become informal mentors to students and graduates considering their career options.

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