Alumni Careers Squared

Alumni Careers Squared
Online practical, tactical professional development and career management.

Michele Asbury
8th September 2021

The Learning Intervention – What is it?

Taking ownership of your career is critical in a changing world. Alumni Careers2 is a digital, on demand, career management platform for alumni. It provides insights and inspires action to take ownership at key and often challenging inflection points, such as making a career transition, accelerating your career, returning to work following a career break or navigating redundancy.

Alumni Careers2 brings together leading LBS faculty insights, proprietary LBS Alumni Career Centre content and practical activities to help the learner think strategically and act tactically. The resource leverages new digital technologies that connect the learner to the insights and expertise of the LBS Alumni Career Centre and fellow alumni, no matter where they are or when they need them.

The objective was to provide a relevant, tailored, and personalised learning experience for alumni. This objective was broken down into six goals which underpinned the success of the intervention:

  1. Provide set of online career/professional development resources for alumni to access when they need it
  2. Focus on topics of high lifetime value and maximum career impact as identified by the LBS alumni population
  3. Leverage the school’s world leading research and contextualising it through the lens of the core career inflection points
  4. Provide an experience that inspires action for wider alumni engagement and lifelong partnership
  5. Capture alumni data and insights on post-graduation pathway to enable to School to provide a highly personalised experience
  6. Leverage digital tools to increase usability, user experience and a much more effective learner experience

 

How was it achieved?

The aim was to avoid being just another career website or resource that ‘pushed’ generic information at the learner; our stake in the ground was all about action learning.

The journey started with the creation of personas and user stories, accompanied by recent alumni survey results, which gave insight into what the alumni community valued and wanted from a lifelong learning partnership with the School.

A prototype (MVP) of the Transition pathway was then built to test and challenge our assumptions around the level and presentation of the content, suitability of language and tone for the audience, user experience with the navigation and interface functionality as well as perceived usefulness of the resource and the impact of professional development activities generating wider curiosity and action.

From this, we learnt that alumni users valued:

  • Scene setting to understand and refresh their understanding of career management skills,
  • Insights from fellow alumni who have been through the same experience and most importantly,
  • Action driven exercises to help put their skills into practice in their own careers.

This formed our design strategy, explained here in three steps:

  • All content is structured around a particular pain point or pathway,
  • The use of rich media brings the activities to life – includes alumni videos and insights, animations, information, and advice from experts,
  • Creation of specific action-based activities with tangible learning outcomes and access to additional resources if required.

Pathway

  • Overview of Pathway
  • Scene-setting to describe relevance
  • Summary of steps and tools

Rich Media

  • Bespoke animations
  • Illustrative alumni stories
  • External expertise

Tool

  • Learning outcomes
  • Tasks
  • Immediate Action
  • Take it further (Do More)

A framework was then created to develop each career inflection pathway, to define what we wanted each one to deliver, and to provide clarity on how it would benefit the learners.

the Pathway framework is split in stages, these are: have a plan, take action, access learning, connect to alumni and data.

To create the interventions, a variety of different tools and widgets were used to make the exercises as varied and interactive as possible. Each step is accompanied with scene setting that often includes interactive graphics, animations, and rich media videos.

At the same time as addressing career inflection points, each pathway includes exercises that help alumni develop the critical career skills they need at a more granular level, for example, in the Acceleration pathway the focus is on helping the learner understand and articulate their leadership skills, build a career plan, understand their personal board of advisors, use a PEST framework to demonstrate their understanding of their market context, and understand how they are showing up in the workplace.

Image is an example of how each pathway is built. This depicts the Acceleration Pathway.

Alumni Careers2 is hosted on the Volute Platform. One of the key USPs of the Volute platform is its ability to support social and peer to peer learning. Alumni can connect with each other, ask questions and create discussions with the community. The platform also generates the a graphical representation of the learning community, showing the construction of the network and connections fellow alumni create around their shared career learning points.

This social learning component isn’t just at the resource level, Volute is designed to support alumni to build connections within the wider LBS community. The ‘Meet more’ functionality leverages the School’s broader offering, prioritising interoperability and integration with existing opportunities and enabling effective future engagement.

In addition, each pathway also has a ‘Learn More’ component, directing alumni towards LBS thought leadership in Think, and ‘Do More’ which directs them to additional resources and further professional development activities. The terminology used in all three areas ‘Do More’, ‘Know More’ and ‘Meet More’ is all action driven to reflect the purpose of Alumni Careers2

The soft launch took place in May 2021 following the Alumni Career Centre Summit and has been well received across the alumni community, with hundreds of registrations in the first week and many more since.

 

What is the impact?

Alumni Careers2 is the first deliverable learning intervention of a current project designed to provide support to alumni as they find themselves at a major inflection point in their careers. Anecdotal feedback has been extremely positive and many who have engaged with the resources have indicated firstly, that they have been able to apply their learnings to change their current circumstances and secondly, that it has enabled them to prepare for and experience more effective sessions with their career coaches.

“It’s a great way to get ‘match-fit’ and revisit the core skills you need to think about when developing your career”

LBS Alum

Alumni Career2 delivers on all fronts: from understanding your options, defining your plan, engaging with exercises that encourage self-reflection and deliver actionable outputs, encouraging an additional deep dive into resources and thought leadership, connecting with fellow alums and the school community as well as the generation of personal reflections that can be used in an individual’s career strategy.

Building on this success, and in our position as alumni partner of choice for lifelong learning, the next phase of this project will involve the development of learning assets to help alumni ‘future proof’ their skills and build leadership competencies for success in today’s world.