On the 4 August we launched our very first purely remote LEEP & LEARN programme! The programme lasted four weeks and was a combination of mentoring, development sessions and a practical project.
The programme culminated with students presenting their project to a panel of three MVF experts at the end of August.
All the students absolutely smashed the project and their presentations! Prizes were also up for grabs to recognise all of their hard work and commitment to their own growth during the summer holidays.
What we learnt along the way
- Students can be reluctant to unmute their audio and preferred to use the chat tool, particularly in larger group settings, but confidence to speak up grew and icebreakers were great at improving this
- Communication can be a challenge, particularly when everything is remote, people are working from home and WiFi issues can impact us all
- Communication and engagement with students should come earlier on so that they know what to expect and can ask questions before the programme starts
- Don’t underestimate young people and their hidden skills - one student blew us away with her video skills when creating an ad for the project and the research into a product, client and audience from the other group was beyond what we were expecting
- Creating a programme that appeals to different strengths allowed all of the students to shine and also develop other important skills for the future
- Some students might drop out particularly if the programme is running during school holidays - what this does mean though is that you end up with a highly committed and engaged group taking part!
- Having great support from the school and key people there is crucial
- Having MVFers committed to their mentoring relationships is also key - they can offer closer support to help the students grow
What the students said they enjoyed most...
"Learning about MVF and the roles that they have. What each role does and how they live their day to day lives regarding their job. Grasping the concept of it all was incredible as I feel like I could genuinely put all the skills and information I learnt to good use rather than just storing it away in my head."
"I’ve learnt how many job roles there are at MVF and before joining I didn’t have the same level of awareness. So many people contribute in different ways like Sales and Marketing. I most enjoyed working with my project partner and working on our project, this gives a real sense of responsibility and insight into the world of work."
"How fun the experience was! I can’t express how happy I am with the end result - disregarding the fact that my team won - I am happy with the learning I gained from this programme. From presentation skills to communication and interpersonal skills - I am extremely grateful for having had this opportunity. This experience was definitely a god-send. I would never have guessed that I would enjoy Digital Marketing or be obsessed with something like a user journey or affiliated marketing. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that my writing skills were exercised in the article writing task - I am so proud of that piece."
What our MVF mentors said they enjoyed most...
"Everything. I can't pin one down. The students, once comfortable, were so engaging and very chatty. I enjoyed seeing them grow and understand their key skills!"
"Getting to know our mentees and helping them with a product they felt really passionate about."
"When the mentees would be super proud of the work that they did and you can see how excited they were to present it to you."
We’re collating the feedback from students and mentors to look at any improvements we can make. This was the first time we’ve delivered a programme like this so we want to make it even better next time.
We’re exploring how the mentoring relationships can continue remotely with the students and hopefully we’ll be able to hold these in person once it’s safe to do so.
Work experience is still something we think is really valuable so we’ll be considering how we can offer this in the future as well.
Part of LEEP’s mission is to guide and educate young people, who are also LEEPers, to increase the quality of prospective ‘active’ LEEP candidates for emerging roles at MVF. We also have the goal of increasing LEEP apprentices by 30% by 2025. Being able to offer this programme to such highly engaged students, all with great personalities and different skills, was a privilege and a clear demonstration of our LEEP Network’s mission.
Delivering this programme gave the students great insight into MVF and allowed us to informally assess how they performed as well as their strengths. All of them said they’d be interested in work experience and apprenticeship opportunities with us in the future.
If you want to find out more or talk about a programme you’re looking to run then please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.