Here are some answers to key questions about the UNITECH Programme:
- Engaging with the Programme means direct professional and personal connections with the Corporate Partners, who are eager to establish their own connections with such as you. The nature of this engagement can be at the professional engineering level and can go further than that of a classic HR-driven recruiting contact
- The UNITECH Network provides professional and personal connection to like-minded professionals from other partner universities and among the UNITECH Alumni Association members These connections are intended to bring mutual benefit in areas of technical innovation, market opportunities and knowledge sharing.
- Assessment Centres are the first contact point, and Corporate Partners help in the process of selecting the right candidates, and the right mix of candidates, to form each year’s cohort of UNITECH students. Many Corporate Partners like to be in this position to influence the quality of the “raw materials” that will pass through the UNIITECH development process on their way to becoming future employees. These assessment centres are run at our academic partner universities and this brings our Corporate Partners into contact with students from those universities in a unique and direct way.
- Start Up Week is an intense growth period for UNITECH students as they come together for the first time – for a long week of self-discovery through exercises and discussion. Students enjoy close contact with Corporate Partners, who bring value to this week through formal events such as presentations on key themes and informal opportunities for deep discussion of cutting-edge topics. These interactions put Corporate Partners face to face with you – the talent of the future at a very influential stage of your development.
- The Mid-Term week centres on a set of case assignments provided by our corporate partners. Real issues are given to the student groups, with the Corporate Partners expecting, and receiving, real results that are, in many cases, put into effect directly in the Corporate Partner’s operations or strategy.
- Each student is required to complete an internship with a Corporate Partner company and this is where you as a student can get a really good look at a specific company in which you may have an interest. Your exceptional qualities as a UNITECH student are seen as a valuable short term addition to a Corporate Partner’s talent resources.
- At the end of the UNITECH year the students re-group after their time at exchange universities and internships with Corporate Partners. As you prepare to complete your academic studies there are again formal and informal interactions with Corporate Partners woven in to the final module of their programme, including interviews where Corporate Partners can begin the formal process that leads to employment.
In each of the three modules of the programme (Start Up Week, Mid-Term Week and the End of Year Event) students are led by, and can draw upon, experienced professionals from corporate partner companies and academic partner universities.Our coaching team brings students three areas of benefit:
- The coaches have personal experience of the challenges of, and the solutions to, making things happen in the professional world. They share this experience and expertise with students through skill input sessions, feedback and discussion.
- The coaches are practised ini giving constructive feedback. Their insight into student behaviour during the programme is sometimes tough but always honest and with the student’s long term development in mind.
- The coaches form a strong bond with the students, which continues beyond the programme. Some coaches have been with the UNITECH programme for more than 10 years and are still in contact with students from the ‘early’ years. Other coaches, new to the team, bring fresh ideas and energy.
Module 1: The Start Up Week
The content of the Start Up Week follows a complex and evolving pathway designed to make the student question their own perceptions, capabilities and expectations. Each day has a series of varied activities each aligning with a daily theme which corresponds to those required in the world of work.Those themes are:
- Strengthen Diversity! in which the student develops their instinct for handling the key elements of diversity most commonly encountered in the working world. The emphasis is on how to optimise such diversity, rather than merely how to recognise it.
- Skill yourself up! in which the student learns their own preferences and capabilities when dealing with others in pressured work situations
- Form the group! in which students set up the groups they will be with in the two following modules, and during their academic exchanges. They will have key tasks to perform in those groups at later stages, however at this point they explore all that is necessary to build a cohesive and productive team before considering the task itself.
- Plan the work Is a day focused on the value of and the skills for, effective preparation. Without knowing their upcoming task in detail their aim is to define how they are going to handle it.
- Work the plan! and at last the task is here! With a deliverable due the next day the students put into practice all they have learnt and set up in the previous days, and under the kind of pressure that exposes the gaps in their preparation and their performance. Frequent coach-led review and feedback supports a deep learning process in a safe environment where mistakes can be made and corrected.
- Make things happen! And the majority of the challenge of this day is comes from an extensive student-led interaction with Corporate Partners in an unstructured environment where students are expected to take the initiative and trigger the interactions themselves through sharing the work of the week.
- Set up your UNITECH year allows the students to prepare for their year in a deliberate, structured and strategic way, determining the expected performance, management and behaviours of their whole cohort group, and their separate university groups.
Module 2: The Mid Term Week
The Mid Term Week centres around, and is driven by, Case Assignments provided by our Corporate Partners. These assignments are drawn from the regular business activities of the companies and are set to produce a specific deliverable that can be used by the company in its strategic thinking or its operational improvement.
The students work under great pressure – a combination of time limitations, their perfectionism and their own performance expectations. The coaching team guide them through the process they discovered and developed in the first module – form the group, plan the work and then work the plan – as they apply it to a real and meaningful actual application.
From Wednesday onwards they are joined by Corporate Case Advisors – people from the corporate partner companies who “own” the assignment and its outcome internally in their companies. The relations between student and corporate partner in this phase of the programme – partly that of supplier/client, partly that of cooperation – leads to the most intense interaction and lasting connections are made during this week.
On Friday of this week the students make presentations, and answer questions from theirs and other Case Advisors. The student presentations are intended to provide a status report and a projection of what will be in their final report to the Case Advisors when it is delivered two months later.
Module 3: The End of Year Module
The third module is a short and intense period of self-examination and preparation for entering the world of work.
Students are guided to consider the impact of the UNITECH year on their attitude and capabilities.
From this reflection they develop their own “brand” that they can use to demonstrate their substance and value to prospective employers. This process is intended to make future conversations with corporate partner companies more effective in finding the match between each side’s perspective and expectations.
Also covered in the module is the “art” of making things happen without the advantage of hierarchical and time in a team or company. This element of the programme is intended to enable these new talents to have an early impact on working practices and business success, without antagonising existing “older” or more senior employees, when employed by corporate partners. It emphasises “standing out while fitting in” as a key expected behaviour.
Friday also contains the opportunity for Corporate Partners to meet selected students in pre-arranged interviews to add a semi-formal element to the relationship they have developed during the year.