Helping graduates get ahead

December 10, 2015
United Kingdom

Campus Living Villages (CLV) recently launched its first ever Graduate Scheme and our two successful applicants – Mazen Bashraheel and Rosie Allen – are both alumni from the University of Salford.

 

Stepping Up Stepping Up

They started the programme in September 2015, joining our Operations team at Salford Student Village for the opening of Peel Park Quarter. They will be at CLV for a two year period, completing a journey which includes international placements in the USA and Australia.

The scheme is operated by CLV Communities, our not for profit entity, and was coordinated by our Corporate Responsibilities and Communities Manager, Alex Mayes. The extract below is from his blog:

A graduate scheme with a difference

At Campus Living Villages, supporting young people to learn and grow is at the heart of the way we do business. This approach also drives our Stepping Up programme which helps young people learn the skills they need to develop their future careers. This autumn we launched our latest initiative in this area: the CLV Graduate Scheme.

Developing future employability

Our new scheme focuses on two areas of development. The first, as you’d expect, is about building business knowledge and experience by working in different areas of the company through a series of three or four month placements.

The second area is all about employability: building the soft skills which will set our graduates up for success in the longer term. This means that, throughout the two year programme, we give them regular, structured coaching and mentoring support.

The aim is to help them think about what they’re learning and to focus on the skills they must develop to manage their transition into the workplace: collaborating, dealing with different work styles and developing their own style of management and work based values/ethics.

Putting our graduates in charge

Our scheme also places an emphasis on giving the graduates the opportunity to take responsibility and make an impact on our business. This is reflected in the way that the placements work.

In the first instance, it’s a case of ‘in at the deep end’: our graduates get to know what makes one of our villages tick. This year our group helped out on the newly launched Peel Park student village in Salford, getting involved where they were needed and seeing the way we operate close up.

After this and a second placement at our headquarters, our graduates get to choose where they want to spend their time next, giving them the opportunity to personalise their learning and spend time working abroad in one of the other countries where we operate.

In each team they work in, they are given responsibility for the delivery of a business critical project which is important to the success of their department. This idea is to stretch our graduates in order to build professional knowledge and business skills.

At the end of each formal rotation we bring our graduates together to deliver special projects – where they work together on a range of shorter assignments for two or three weeks.
Through the combination of these shorter projects and the longer placements, our aim is to equip our graduates with an understanding of what it takes to succeed in different parts of business, within the UK and internationally, as they witness different styles of leadership and management.

In the final part of the programme, our graduates get to put all of their business and professional skills to work by completing a final project which will draw on the knowledge and experience they have built in their time with us.

A springboard for a future career

When we were putting together this programme, we thought hard about how we could bring our company values – community, respect, equality, accountability, trust and enthusiasm – into the way we designed and delivered the scheme.

Two months on from taking on our first graduates – who are both from the University of Salford – I’m really pleased to see us achieving that.

By selecting graduates from our partner university, we are giving something back to our academic partner. By designing a programme which is focused not just on building skills to succeed at CLV but which will enable them to find success with any future employer, we are looking beyond the needs of our own business.

Working with the graduates up close at the beginning of the programme, it’s also incredibly rewarding to see the trust we put in them – to take the initiative to learn and make a difference – repaid with their enthusiasm.

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