Alumni take the Lead in Advancing Student Development

 

Alumni Take the Lead in Advancing Student Development

 


In the previous academic year, the Learning and Development (L&D) vertical at ISB, spearheaded by the Student Engagement & Applied Learning (SEAL) department, was reconstituted to optimally leverage and channel the talent of the ISB alumni body to forward the learning goals of current students and enhance student-alumni interaction. 
 


 

The School’s L&D model is unique in that it is highly customised to each student’s individual needs. From day one, a student’s incremental learning and evolution is tracked. The model is also distinguished by its transition into a programme that directly avails of the School’s alumni network and know-how as professional development levers for students. Through the extensive participation of alumni, it seamlessly integrates networking and career coaching into the learning ecosystem and keeps bespoke mentorship at the core of its approach. Function and industry-specific guidance are paramount, aligning with the activities of the alumni Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and leveraging those synergies to give students invaluable exposure. Softer skill development is also prioritised, and a key measure of success is a student’s ability to be self-aware, gauge her own strengths and skill set as well as the particular demands of a given professional role. The idea is that at the conclusion of the L&D lifecycle, each student will be exceptionally well-prepared to position himself in the job market, leading to a higher quality and quantity of interview conversions and positive recruiter feedback. In just one year, there has been an observable improvement in the placement preparedness of graduating students and their overall learning.

Alumni have shown that they are genuinely invested in their mentoring role and committed to doing their part to make the one-year journey at ISB transformative for students. For the Class of 2017, 335 unique alumni volunteered over 5,500 hours across 32 different L&D interventions.
 
The restructured approach is being followed for the Class of 2018, with the addition of a few new interventions and some alterations to existing sessions based on the feedback collected from the outgoing class and from alumni volunteers. For example, L&D partnered with faculty teaching the Leadership Development (LEAD) module to execute the first intervention for the incoming class: Career Goal Setting. Sessions were held in a one-to-one format, with the objective of helping students understand how to achieve their personal development goals by leveraging the co- and extra-curricular resources available to them at ISB; what is required for the roles they aspire to; and how to identify and fill gaps in their profiles based on their articulated aspirations during their year at ISB and thereafter. Prior to these sessions, SEAL conducted a resume-building exercise with newly admitted students, so that their profiles could be shared with mentoring alumni beforehand as a basis for a structured and meaningful engagement.