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How do we make it work for you?
An insight from CEED’s Student Recruitment and Administration Officer


Clare Neal, CEED’s recruitment and administration officer is central to ensuring all parties involved in a CEED project – student, university and industry - are meeting their agreed obligations. 

CEED implements a project management process designed to keep projects on track and identify any issues before they may cause delays in the delivery of a project.  

Once a student is recruited for a workplace project, they are required to deliver a project plan within three weeks of starting the project.   As Clare explained, this is an effective way to see from the start if there are any ‘red flags’ for the project.

“By this I mean we can determine a student’s capabilities and also what level of engagement they are receiving from the company,” said Clare.  “Additionally we organise for a CEED representative to attend at least two meetings with all three parties – student, company supervisor, university supervisor - during the project.  This is to pre-empt any arising issues and limit troubleshooting later.”

CEED Program - Clare Neal, Student Recruitment 

 CEED's Student Recruitment and Administration Manager,
 Clare Neal, guides clients and students through the advertising,
 application, interview and selection process ... then helps to
 monitor the progress of each project thru to completion.  Clare
 had a long career in the recruitment industry before joining CEED
 over three years ago ... and is happy to share her tips with
 clients and students alike.

CEED is available for one-on-one support for students throughout their CEED project.  Clare said that some psychology has to be employed with the students.  “Although those students who apply for CEED projects are generally more driven and committed, there is a different skill set required when dealing with a student who has not yet had that real world experience in a workplace.”

Typical issues include basic communication skills, time-management and even reliability.  “Often students have only previously had to worry about turning up to lectures and getting assignments in on time.  Going into a workplace and delivering to real deadlines and commitments can be a big leap for some students,” said Clare.

When it comes to dealing with industry, CEED respects that businesses may not necessarily raise small concerns about a project.

“This is why we stay in close contact with the industry representative, as sometimes small concerns left unattended, have the potential to derail the project.  We want to assure the businesses we work with that it is our role to support the project where we can and step in early to iron out any problems,” said Clare.

Clare added that Academic Supervisors are just as important in the whole process, particularly when it comes to students achieving their academic outcomes.   The Academic Supervisors provide advice on theory and guide the students on how to apply that to a project and at the end of the day, mark the student’s final report about the project.

“A project may be a great success for the industry partner, but the student can still fail from an academic point of view.   We stay in touch with the Academic Supervisors to ensure they feel engaged in the project and are communicating information to the student,” said Clare.

Clare said that only a very small per cent of CEED projects have required some level of intervention by CEED.

“Some of the projects which have needed CEED to step in have been the most successful,” Clare said.

“One student achieved an academic distinction for their project and did an industry presentation on the project results, which resulted in permanent changes being made in the particular company they worked with.

“It can be a hugely rewarding experience – especially when you see the confidence the student has gained by the end of the project,” said Clare.

CEED also applies a detailed audit process at the end of a project involving all three parties.  Naturally, to streamline the audit process, CEED employed its own student with the project aim to build an automated database from an existing manual, excel-based system.  The database is linked to the CEED website and now tracks projects from the briefing and recruitment stage right through to completion. All correspondence is sent automatically from the database, with responses saved to individual project records, saving at least one day per week of administration time.

 

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