Updated: Oct 20
There is an ongoing frustration amongst graduates that we need to address. It can be summarised into a few headline points:
The experience gap. One of the key questions asked in job applications relates to previous work experience. However, this is going to be absent in particular if the graduate has been focussing on obtaining top grades for their degree.
The generation gap. There is hesitancy on the part of many employers about embracing a different mindset of the younger generation. In particular, the one that has come through the pandemic era.
The process gap. The reality is that regardless of academic knowledge any employer will need to make allowance for a "return to zero base" and build a properly structured on-boarding process to ensure graduate success after employment. An effort and cost that is often a deterrent to employment. In particular in times of economic pressure.
The University of Johannesburg in South Africa (UJ) is a truly innovative institution and I had the fortunate opportunity of being invited by the Senior Lecturer and Deputy HoD for Undergraduate Programmes Teaching and Learning, Dr. Nicole Cunningham, to incorporate my programme Anatomy of a Personal Brand to the inaugural practical marketing programme for the B. Com Marketing Honours students.
The aim was to assist the graduates with identifying their unique, authentic attributes as a differentiator beyond their degree.
And they certainly rose to the challenge. The culmination of this experience was hosted in the TimesLive cinema in Johannesburg which made it feel even more glamorous and a tribute to these wonderful students.
The event was recorded and is available in this Art of the Suit podcast episode.
The platform was primarily an opportunity for the students to share their experiences and insights. Listen in to experience a few of the students’ Personal Brand pitches as well as their message to prospective employers. Whether you are a person contemplating your own Personal Brand, and how you can reinvent yourself, or a prospective employer concerned about whether or not your recruitment methodology is best suited to the current generation and environment, there is an enormous amount of authentic insight from these brilliant minds that you will benefit from.
Some of the key questions addressed were:
- The most enlightening discoveries experienced about their personal brands.
- The messages from the graduates for their generation about how they should shift the way they think about themselves?
- What is it about the environment we live in that contributes most to their sense of anxiety about achieving their goals out in the marketplace?
- The generation gap and the attitude towards work and job commitment. Is this well-founded?
- Their message to prospective employers about how they can help graduates enter the workplace?
Are you able to close the gap for these students?
Then please send a mail to email@example.com
Do you need some help with developing your Personal Brand?
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org