It’s been an unprecedented 365 days, to say the least. And we wanted our annual studentships to reflect that.
Which is why, here at Work Psychology Group (WPG), we are running our work experience programme slightly differently in 2021.
Casting our net wider
Studentships are an important part of WPG. In past years, we would offer two Occupational Psychology (OP) Masters students from either the University of Nottingham, Loughborough University and/or City, University of London the opportunity to work with us one day a week, to gain relevant OP experience. They would also carry out their dissertation research in partnership with us.
These studentships last for nine months.
But this year, with everyone at WPG’s working remotely due to the ongoing lockdown restrictions, it gave us a chance to widen the net.
With location no longer a barrier, we decided to take on 10 students from a range of different universities to undertake a four-week work experience programme.
The selection process
Usually, we would ask all applicants to send in their CVs. But this time round, we had applicants complete an application form explaining why they would benefit from this 4-week placement and what they could bring to the table.
We focussed more on how we could help bridge any experience gaps and support them in their career goals.
A clear plan
Each week, students will complete a different activity that will support their learnings of working within a small consultancy as an organisational psychologist.
Exploring the consultancy cycle in relation to project work. Looking at WPG projects and putting together case study documents that will be presented to clients in future.
Learning all about Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs) and supporting one of our projects by developing SJT items.
Finding out more about what is required of an organisational psychologist in a small consultancy, and conducting a role analysis.
The last week will see students take part in an a ‘Lunch and Learn’ event – more informally called Wine and Wisdoms at WPG. This virtual session will give students the opportunity to share their learnings with the rest of the team at WPG.
‘Bolstering skills is key’
Founding Director of Work Psychology Group, Professor Fiona Patterson, said: “We decided to make this year’s programme a little bit different. The idea was to help widen access and bolster students’ skills to help them progress.
“Work experience, in any form, is an invaluable learning curve for all those involved. Most employers look for graduates with relevant work experience because it can help prepare students for their next role. But it can also help students decide whether this career choice is for them.
“Our studentships can certainly give a thorough insight into how the business runs and life as an OP. We’re delighted so many applications came in – we had more than 100 in total. For those who were unsuccessful this time, we are running a Q&A session in June to answer queries about the world of organisational psychology. We look forward to meeting everyone virtually then.”
If you would like to register your interest for the virtual Q&A session, click here.