Working with employers: insight days

Here we take a look at why teachers should be working with employers to link their students up with insight days. 

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School leaver insight days provide understanding for school and college leavers into potential companies, helping narrow down the search for a school leaver programme or sponsored degree.

Usually taking place over one or two days, these events give attendees enough time to get a proper flavour for a company, the company’s headquarters and engaging in activities and exercises.

Here are typical examples of what students can expect during one of these events:

Meet the team

Insight day attendees often spend time with senior staff members, as well as trainees who have made it past the insight day and into the business. This is a great opportunity for students to ask questions and chat with more senior staff, but also to get the inside scoop from current trainees: are they happy they applied for the school leaver programme or sponsored degree? What are they enjoying the most about it? And what are they not enjoying so much?

Attendees could also pick up some tips on how to impress on their application form and at interview, if they decide to apply for a position with the company.

Interactive exercises

These can take the form of anything from team simulations to business games, even debating opinions on topical industry news.

Students should remember that they are probably being observed (if not formally, as in a job interview), so should play up to their own strengths without being too loud or pushy: being able to listen is an important part of any job.  

Learn more about the scheme

CGI, for example, holds open evenings throughout the year for their sponsored degree programme: not only do CGI managers attend, but representatives from the University of Winchester (with whom the company runs its programme) as well as undergraduates on the programme. This is the perfect opportunity to learn not only about the on-the-job experience but the other side too, the academic side.

Pick up application tips

At all Insight Days students will benefit from practical advice about what makes a good quality application and pick up hints and tips on application and interview techniques.

All of this is invaluable whatever your next steps are, but especially if you apply to that particular company.

Learn about themselves

Exercises can help students find out if they have the makings of a commercial thinker, and experience how it feels to be part of a client project. All of this will focus their minds on the kind of personal and business skills the insight day company is looking for, and whether that particular industry is right for them.