We were invited up to Manchester to speak to a group of students on the Hyper Island MA Digital Experience Design course. This was a great opportunity for us to be able to share some of our knowledge of the industry as it is currently, and help open their minds to possibilities they may not have thought of previously.
Getting to meet the students face-to-face, going through various activities and then speaking to them one on one meant that we got a really good understanding of what their goals were, and the challenges that recent grads or people new to the industry face.
Our day started off with a quick introduction to the company from Jonathan our Project Management and Client Services recruiter, and Pritesh our Creative/UX Recruiter. After a break for lunch we started on a couple of exercises to map out the industry and give the students more of an idea of what options are available to them.
The first challenge was to get them thinking about what kind of skills and attributes are actually needed in the world of work. In groups of 5-6 the students charted out what they thought would be the most important skills.
It was interesting to note that some groups focused more on technical and process skills where as others leaned towards more personal attributes such as leadership, communication and team building. As a whole group we picked out 5 of the key things that would be important for future careers. These are some that we at Zebra People think are crucial –
Communication | Self Learning | Problem Solving
Storytelling | Confidence
The next task was looking at the various set ups that the students could get into – whether working for a start up, agency or direct client. Pritesh and Jonathan did a brilliant job of mapping out the structure of a large agency, showing the links between each department and really emphasizing how complex it can be. After this we also looked at the various industries, and how their experience would fit in there. Some of the students mentioned afterwards that this was a great eye-opener for them, as they had been focused on the actual job they wanted to do, rather than looking at it from the perspective of choosing an industry they would be interested in.
We then got a chance to speak to everyone one on one to find out what their aims and passions were, and gave some (hopefully useful!) advice on how they could improve their chances or other avenues that they could look in to.
The day was a really good opportunity for us to get to know a handful of the exceptionally talented next generation of digital practitioners, and we’re really excited to see what they do next.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on what challenges you have faced when looking for jobs, especially at a junior level, leave us a comment below or find us on Twitter
You can read our thoughts on the growth of the digital industry here