Early Careers Bootcamp

10 June 2019

At our Early Careers Bootcamp, we were lucky enough to hear from Jane Clarke (currently undertaking a PHD) and Anne-Marie Canning (currently undertaking a Masters) – two highly experienced professionals giving us employer and university perspectives.  We also ran speed sessions on Marketing, Social Success and Neurodiversity.  All in all, it was a brilliant day with early careers professionals from organisations such as Pret, Expedia, Kier and Just Eat. Thanks to everyone for coming and workshopping your ideas in our therapy session; it was a fantastic day, and one not to be missed next time!


Future World of Graduate Programmes – Jane Clarke


We are now in the 4th industrial revolution and the nature of jobs and organisations continues to change.  For example, the vast majority of graduate jobs today didn’t exist 20 years ago.  However, we still hear commentators telling us what skills we need, even though few people can predict exactly what jobs will be like in the next five, let alone 20, years.  The truth is that we have to move to a new model of career and skills development.


From the traditional career, defined by:

  • Organisations being in charge
  • Valuing advancement
  • Having a commitment to your organisation
  • Success = level, title salary.


to the boundaryless career, defined by:

  • The individual is in charge
  • Valuing freedom and growth
  • Commitment to profession
  • Work satisfaction, work to live not live to work
  • Success = meaningful work


This shows that candidate experience really is king – the power has completely shifted from the organisation to the individual. With £95mm being spent annually on development, is now the time to asses why your company runs a two-year rotational program? Is this just because it’s the way it’s always been done? Perhaps this could be condensed into a six-month cycle, and then continually added to as jobs and skills develop.

Old Ways Won’t Open New Doors – Anne-Marie Canning


Anne-Marie is the Director of Student Success at King’s College London, with a vision to lead the Russell Group in terms of social mobility and widening participation. Her programme cares about students on an individual basis and designs mainstream interventions that remove all forms of inequality in learner engagement, retention and success.


She touched on the idea of Lost Einsteins from Professor Raj Chetty, director of the Equality of Opportunity Project, which analysed women, minorities, and children from low-income families. They found that these groups could have had high-impact discoveries had they been exposed to innovation while growing up.


Rather than outreach, Anne-Marie believes in never seeing a child once. Her programme gets to the ground level and sees a child repeatedly to maximise the chances of improving their opportunities. One of the ways to do this is for the admissions process to measure by potential and consider “performance in context”. For example, a student who manages to get B’s and C’s despite not having a maths teacher for half the year has demonstrated true determination and high performance given their circumstances.


One of the great examples of this is a medical student at King’s, who joined with BBB at A level rather than the normal A*A*A.  He has blossomed at King’s and is top of his year, despite not achieving the grades that others have at A level.

So what were our key take-aways from the day?


Don’t just do something because you’re always done it this way

  • Is your graduate programme really serving your needs?
  • Is retention really the best measure of graduate success?
  • Why do you ask for so many UCAS points, when that could be putting great students at a disadvantage?


Open up your recruitment process

  • Look at potential rather than just grades, to be more inclusive – especially in terms of social mobility
  • Analyse the HESA data and see how you could reach out to different unis
  • Look at how you can make your recruitment process open to everyone, including the neurodiverse


If you’d like to hear more about the day, including seeing the content of the presentations, do get in touch, and we’d be happy to set up a meeting or a conference call.  Email

Useful links from the talks:

106 Comms and Adjust – neurodiversity

Gen Z global web index

Equality of Opportunity Project

What is Neurodiversity?


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