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Employment expectations and preparations of Management School Undergraduates Adelina Broadbridge Management Education Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "Employment expectations and preparations of Management School Undergraduates Adelina Broadbridge Management Education Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 Employment expectations and preparations of Management School Undergraduates Adelina Broadbridge Management Education Centre

2 Aim: to provide findings from research undertaken with current undergraduates’ on their career expectations and preparations for employment after graduation. The vast majority fall into the category of Generation Y Increasingly high contributors to the economy (Poornima, 2009) Challenging and shaping contemporary management (Meier & Crocker, 2010; McDonald, 2011) ‘… current new entrants to the workforce, represent its growth and evolution, and have different needs from their predecessors ‘(Mello, 2011, p. 43) YET 83:1 graduates for every graduate job (AGR, 2011) Number of graduates entering FT employment is at lowest for a decade Based on research conducted with Gillian Maxwell and Susan Ogden, Glasgow Caledonian University

3 Characteristics of Gen Y Employees 50+ characteristics Employment terms and conditions Management approach and culture Personal career development Personal values

4 Background – Generation Y Employment terms & conditions job and employment flexibility career & professional development higher entry level and fast tracking Management approach & culture high expectations of employers positive company culture open & positive managers empowerment and feedback

5 Background – Generation Y Personal career development drive for career success, craving opportunity & responsibility individual responsibility for career need to meet personal goals Personal values balanced lifestyle (but willing to sacrifice work- life balance in short term for career gain) enjoyment of work, embrace change, diversity, equality, tolerance, fairness

6 Objectives of the research Why do undergraduates choose to go to university? What are undergraduates’ expectations for their employment after they graduate? Do undergraduates prepare for, and manage, their graduate employability and, if so, what employability strategies are they adopting? How do students view the current economic climate and their opportunities for their future employment?

7 Methodology Questionnaire with 486 UG students (SU & GCU) 13 focus groups (10 groups= SU) 105 students (3 rd & 4 th years) Each session lasted one hour

8 Findings

9 Reasons for coming to university Natural progression (influence of school, parents & others) Response to current economic climate Delaying tactic Regret of full-time work experience Acquire human capital skills necessary to enter labour market Enhance employment prospects generally

10 Expectations for employment after graduation Satisfaction & fulfilment (pride, passion, enjoyment, a vocation) Opportunities (growth, stability, status, responsibilities, power) Progression (promotion, continual training, development and learning; new skills; new roles)

11 Expectations for employment after graduation Career is an integral part of their lives Assumption of personal responsibility for focusing and driving own career success with the back up of training and development opportunities and supportive managers Building, developing, achieving, progressing – in search of challenging and responsible work A desire to make a difference in their work but also for a good work-life balance and flexibility

12 “money’s not my priority – I’m hungry for success but not money…it’s not money that’s driving me otherwise I would be an entrepreneur. I want to do something that matters to society … is part of a big picture. I would want to have a position that would enable be to afford a comfortable family life … afford the rent, who knows even a mortgage” (laughs) (Group 6, Male)

13 Concern for WLB “I hope that I’m going to have a good work-life balance. In the beginning I will set my priorities on a job and having a career. But in the long run a job doesn’t satisfy you, you have to have social relationships, maybe a family. I don’t think too much about a family right now but in 20 years or so... I think it is very important to manage work and private life.” (Group 4, Female) “that’s my main focus to have a good work-life balance more so than achieving a certain status in my career … I want enjoyment, sense of fulfilment [rather than money]. I want to look forward going to work” (Group 4, Male)

14 Much concern over the recession “I hope the recession is away when I graduate” (Group 13) “I think it is really difficult now because there are so many students whereas before you would get a graduate job….….there are so many people and small amount of jobs…a lot of graduates will do jobs that they could have done before without a degree” (Group 4) “It makes you think of more options rather than just one – need to think of options B, C, D etc. now too as well as A. ‘I worry about it a lot’. You need to think about how you differentiate yourself from others” (Group 11) “there’s so much competition out there….you are not just facing people from your country but from all over the world, so you have to find a way of standing out from crowd.” (Group 3)

15 Preparations for graduate employment Skills strategists (need for right combination of skills & experience – acquisition of human capital; believe in a meritocratic system; concern for a 2i degree) [biggest group] Opportunistic strategists (more proactive re current employment market? More attuned to using social capital networks to getting a job; more outspoken about selling themselves into a job; recognise the benefits of voluntary work and generic skills acquired through employment) Non strategists (ignore thinking about the future; aware of economic conditions but delaying taking a decision - PG studies, gap year, travel, ) [smallest group]

16 Employers’ perspectives: What makes Gen Y stand out in the workplace? Generation Y employees standout: generally “more complex” and “upfront”; very strong communication preferences, e.g. all brought up 100% on technology... used to social media... instant expectations, so frustrated with slower corporate communications They don’t have long attention spans, you need to keep them interested or they’ll switch off quickly There’s a different sense of boundaries around hierarchy. They want senior leaders to be very accessible. Definitely less formality Undoubtedly know what they want...very clear on what they want from the company, what will make their life great...more focus on themselves… need to be paid attention to Vocal about what they are willing and not willing to do

17 Employer responses: implications on how to manage Gen Y “using simple messaging to get engagement & to try and play to their age” “having group interaction and individual [leader] approachability” “definitely have to sell more to this generation...show something that’s in it for them, that fits with their values and vision.” “They are a lot less open to accepting information, wanting evidence/ research.” “manage more loosely, within broad parameters” “reversing 1-2-1s so the individual brings information to their manager” “shift training material to more on-line and more for the individual” “changing dress code” “less overt things e.g. around CSR on volunteering and being greener to show individual personality”

18 The job of educators in this process? facilitate students adopting a protean attitude to their careers overcome any naivety over skills needed for future employment build the importance of personal capital into curriculum be in tune with how students learn & what is important to them best prepare students for the world of work & continual learning & improvement build associations with our alumni and integrate into curriculum (many are Gen Y managers)


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