Career Launchpad: World Changers
As students pivoted to online learning, they missed out on key career planning opportunities. Many questioned, “how did this happen, and how can I make a difference?”
We have all lived through remarkable changes in societal structures: globally, nationally and locally. Upon return to face-to-face learning, students were craving meaningful career investigation opportunities. But curriculums were jam-packed, and organisations were facing workforce issues of their own. A light touch but impactful career investigation model was the solution. Could organisations host a work experience student for a week? Not necessarily, but they could spend 2 hours meeting students and providing kind, specific and helpful feedback.
Launchpad was hosted at Monash University’s Woodside Building for Technology and Design. The stunning building was the perfect backdrop to accommodate a large number of people in a COVID-safe environment, as well as build future study aspirations and generate a corporate sense of occasion.
The 44 partners who contributed to the morning session included representatives from multiple Monash University faculties, not-for-profit organisations, Victorian Government Departments, the private sector, R&D and Monash University Alumni. Victoria’s Lead Scientist Dr Amanda Caples opened the event and participated in student rotations.
After interviewing professionals about their thoughts on their top tips, early influences, key skills, qualifications and what their typical working day is like, students returned to MTS to enjoy lunch whilst listening to the 2022 Graeme Clark Orator, Dr Natalia Trayanova, allowing an in-depth career investigation of a global leader in Medical Technology.
Students met academics who could talk about their qualifications and course work in a friendly manner which allowed students intimate access to University information.
Launchpad is a fast-paced networking format between students, industry, and academics, which allows students to investigate careers and pathways that matter to them most. Combined with a school version of the Graeme Clark Oration, students spent the morning interviewing 44 industry and academic professionals in a speed interview format.
Students met professionals who were passionate about their work and learned how it contributed to positive community change. Through the interview process, students learned about soft and hard skills and how to kickstart their own journey.
Lockdown kept us local, so professionals predominantly came from the Monash Precinct - demonstrating to students that they could live, learn and work in their Monash neighbourhood.
Engaging 44 different industry professionals took careful planning, with the right mix of climate action, sustainability, science, social justice, design, public health, engineering, technical and humanities professionals in the mix. It was important to represent pathways that could be achieved via a University, TAFE or entrepreneurial pathway so that all students felt they could navigate a course or occupation that generated positive social outcomes.
The students worked in pairs and compiled their own questions as part of careers investigation pre-work at their school. Support resources were developed and on hand to enhance discussion and assist junior students and those who felt shy at the beginning of the rotation. Students had 5 minutes per rotation to ask questions, capture info and learn about the importance of networking. They enjoyed a snapshot of 14 different careers and pathways. For many students, Launchpad replaced work experience, expos and incursions that had been placed on hold during lockdowns.
Professionals were issued an MTS Digital Badge, reflecting their participation in a community engagement activity. To view the Digital Badge visit - Pathways > Digital Badges > Career Launchpad.
88% of professionals surveyed would recomend Career Launchpad to their networks and colleagues.
And 90% of professionals agreed they would be happy to consider participating in future MTS Industry Immersion events.
The students spent the morning rotating and meeting a suite of different professionals, all contributing to educational, technical and social positive change. Students practised their emerging human and enterprise skills in a 90-minute careers conversation ‘sprint”. By the end of the Launchpad session, they had experienced 14 different mini interviews, where they flipped the experience by interviewing the adults. They had broadened their study, career and social skills horizons and had potentially unlocked at least some of their wonderings around “who is making decisions and how can I make a difference.” Very soon, it will be these students who are making the decisions and contributing to positive change.