Last Tuesday, Marshall Wolfe led a workshop for 15 students studying a mixture of T-Level and B-Tech courses in their first year at Suffolk New College. Covering modules on diversity and inclusion; CV writing, and the candidate journey, we facilitated key advice and skills development for students, supporting their transition from education to a career.
We recognise the importance of helping young people understand the different career options available and the skills required to access and approach these opportunities. With many companies facing the challenging skills shortage in the UK, there is a shift to look for new talent to upskill and retrain. These hires often include apprentices, interns, or graduates, which opens a range of opportunities for school leavers.
At Marshall Wolfe, we have witnessed a growing focus on diversity in the workplace. Not only as clients aim to improve their EDI, but as they seek candidates that align with their company’s ethos. In a post-pandemic world, companies are increasingly tailoring their marketing campaigns to prospective employees by promoting their values, options for flexible working, and pathways for personal development. In our first interactive session, Marshall Wolfe helped students to identify their values and communication styles, and more importantly, to understand that people think differently, which is vital in any workplace.
We are strong advocates of hiring on potential over proof, where ability, curiosity, and growth mindset shine through. Our previous exercise developed students’ awareness of their specific strengths and stressors, and our CV writing session assisted them to put this to paper in a form of their personal statement. A CV is often the first point of contact between a candidate and an employer, and therefore the first chance to make a good impression. Nailing a CV takes time and multiple attempts to summarise a true representation of yourself in just a short paragraph. During the early stages of a career, personal statements are extremely useful to stand out from the crowd. Students are unlikely to have as many work experiences on their CV, compared to someone further along their career journey, so a personal statement is vital to demonstrating their skillset and value.
Understanding your career opportunities with ‘the world is your oyster’ mentality can be overwhelming, especially for students as they endure their next steps. Our final workshop took our students on a journey to better prepare for the various options, and what to look out for during the process; from digital footprint to dealing with rejection – something that everyone will inevitably face at some point during their life, no matter the context. The challenge is breaking down the taboo of rejection. No one wants to share their experiences for fear of appearing weak or worthless. By acknowledging the commonness and normality of rejection, however, we hoped to engrain greater optimism and resilience within the students. We provided a platform to discuss ways to harness rejection to our strength, using the experience to improve skills.
Our aim is for students to leave our workshops feeling more confident about the next steps in their careers. We received positive feedback from students, who felt that our workshops were insightful, grounding, interactive and enjoyable, with tangible outcomes.
Our mission is to support the further and higher education system to better prepare our rising young talent for the next steps to a career.
A final quote from our own MD:
“We have seen the demand for tech talent explode over the last few years. As technology evolves at a rapid rate, the challenge is hiring and retaining people with these new skills. Whilst companies continue to seek experienced hires, they now find themselves repositioning to attract new digital talent in order to balance the skills shortage – leveraging this by promoting upskilling, retraining and softer skills, alongside apprenticeships, internships and graduate schemes. At Marshall Wolfe, our Consultants encourage a more inclusive approach to recruitment and open doors for people from diverse backgrounds. We explore with our clients how they can create a sustainable pipeline of talent for the future and thrive in the current technology ecosystem.”
– Amber Hunt, Managing Director, Marshall Wolfe Hiring Consultancy