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Professional development at New College of the Humanities

AGCAS welcomed New College of the Humanities as a new member service in February 2014. Based in London, it is a small college that opened in 2012. Director of Professional Development, Swatee Jasoria, outlines their professional development programme, which is designed to teach skills and foster behaviours that create greater productivity and job satisfaction.

Transformation 

Professional development at New College of the Humanities comprises a compulsory Professional Programme as part of the undergraduate curriculum and bespoke career guidance throughout each student's university career. Our key aim is to address the challenge of transforming a student into a employee, qualified to thrive in a demanding business environment. Our approach is based on equipping and empowering students to take responsibility for their careers, especially as they are also likely to undergo several career changes in their working life. We thus aim to teach students the transferable skills that are of value to employers to enable our graduates to not just acquire a fantastic job, but be in a position to keep it and thrive from the outset.

The Professional Programme consists of weekly seminars, project work (where students form teams to address live briefs from a range of businesses) and face-to-face meetings with professionals from a variety of backgrounds and industries. In the last year, people from organisations as diverse as Twitter, UBS, Unesco and Historic Royal Palaces have participated in the programme.

Bespoke approach 

The other aspect of professional development is our bespoke approach to careers guidance; we work with our students as individuals to guide them towards a career that matches their own ambitions and strengths and develops skills, attitudes and behaviours to help them flourish. Students also receive one-to-one advice, from assistance with interview preparation to tips on the art of networking.

The teaching elements of the Professional Programme cover the capabilities essential for a wide range of different professions. Our students develop skills in problem solving, working in teams and numeracy. They are trained to be financially literate, understand the impact of technology on the world of work and have an appreciation of a number of critical disciplines like strategy, marketing and negotiation.

Challenges

As we do not yet have any graduates, our focus is currently not only on making our professional development engaging for the students, but also ensuring it is relevant for employers. We are beginning to see the value in this with consistent positive feedback from employers and businesses following on from internships or meeting our students. In the media there are regularly question marks placed on the value of the humanities.  However, we have noticed (and receive direct feedback) that employers see the virtues of a humanities degree as it helps develop intellectual curiosity, creative thinking and, critically, creative approaches to problem solving. It makes it all the more imperative for graduates to be equipped with employability skills; this will give our graduates the edge.

New ideas

Our approach is based on equipping and empowering students to take responsibility for their careers, especially as they are also likely to undergo several career changes in their working life. We offer bespoke careers guidance from every student's first day at New College of the Humanities - it's highly personalised to promote self-awareness and personal branding skills - and we hope it helps make our students employable.

Membership of AGCAS

This is key for New College of the Humanities; we value the support offered and the ability to nurture relationships with other careers professionals, maintain a network and learn from the great output of other higher education institutions in this area.   

Swatee Jasoria
Director of Professional Development, New College of the Humanities



Tags: New College of the Humanities humanities AGCAS University

Created on: 17 April 2014

Last updated: 18 April 2014


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