"To enable decision making, it is paramount for research to be undertaken such as, what is the state of the sector, trends, do you need to upskill, the gig economy etc. By being better informed, it supports the criteria for decisions."
How are you? I hope you are well during these times?
I must say, doing well, keeping busy working from home, the 9 to 5 role still carries on. I'm lucky to be in a busy household, so not a dull moment.
Always good to keep busy! How have you seen COVID influence society around you? Which is London right?
Covid-19 has had a massive impact regarding travel, meeting up, the social element of people's lives has been disrupted. With London being the most populated area, this crisis has hit us extremely hard! Of course, we had at the beginning people over buying and stock piling food, etc. which might seem like a chaotic scene from a movie, but this is how the crisis impacted behaviour and no doubt, mental well-being.
It is interesting to see how in times of such uncertainty, people are forced into making choices they may not have before. Have you seen or made any decisions which are a direct bi-product of COVID-19?
Oh, yes. I no longer travel into work, I'm not meeting friends for dinner or social activities, even going to the supermarket has changed. My level of caution has increased which directs how I approach things, for example, deliveries. Even though items are dropped off at home, I'm finding I clean all items coming into the house and this would have been viewed as unnecessary prior to covid-19.
On the note of work, maybe you could tell me a bit about Regent’s University? In particular what your role is there?
I'm having one of the best career journeys at Regent's University London. This university is highly international, drawing over 140 different nationalities. We are based on the crown estate, in the beautiful Regent's Park.
I am the senior lead on all career-related content and delivery, and I manage a team of three advisers.
I joined over 7 years ago and during this time I've been promoted and lead on teaching careers module. As a career practitioner, my passion is to provide optimal support to those who seek careers information, advice, and guidance. I've implemented a range of workshops, masterclasses and offer one to one consultation. I've had the opportunity to be involved in degree validations, designing modules to meeting curricular requirements and outcomes. Through my role, I've engaged with Lego Serious Play which is a hand-mind tool I use in career coaching. My highlight was working in partnership with four partner universities, collaborating on an Erasmus+ transnational careers support project which involved yearly summer schools on entrepreneurship. Through this, I was lucky to meet and work with Gordian.
You must be working with students making MANY decisions every day. Do you have any tips or tricks you use to get through tough choices?
As a basic tool, I get students to think about their likes and dislikes, one way of filtering ideas. There is a range of websites that have tests and quizzes, this again is useful for exploring sectors or industries that may align with their interests. This is a step for building on likes and dislikes, connected to industries. There is a range of tools I use in my consultations such as skills cards and Lego bricks to draw out ideas with the aim for action. Whether that's refining their CV content, their profile in preparation for a video interview, these are examples of some actions required for job searching. It's also useful to get students to reflect on themselves which enables them to target opportunities. Transitioning to the steps comes with options and in my experience at Regent's, the options are progression to master’s level, working for an Organization or taking the entrepreneurship route. To enable decision making, it is paramount for research to be undertaken such as, what is the state of the sector, trends, do you need to upskill, the gig economy etc. By being better informed, it supports the criteria for decisions.
We are currently in the process of putting together a curriculum which helps “unbox” decision making. What do you feel like are the big pain points which are shared by students, when they are going through typical decisions with you?
Typically, questions are around, are they suited / matched to the role they wish to go into, do they have the relevant work experience/internships, do they have the right grades for a master’s Program, is it the right time to start a business? It's an element of self-reflection, understanding the market, application of emotional intelligence and adaptability/adaptiveness to the changing needs that falls short when mapping out decision making points. It's the unknown.
Lack of research leads to uninformed decisions, therefore, I do stress the importance of undertaking this action for recognizing yourself and the market opportunities.
What do you find most useful about the idea of using the ODE app to get through decisions? Maybe it could help the students you work with 😁
It's the value of taking charge of your results and outcomes. By recognizing likes, dislikes, criteria for a job or working in teams, this tool offers students and graduates the ability to discuss the results produced, based on their requirements. It allows you to combine all the research undertaken to form criteria and based on your individual need; the results are unique to the user. This tool enables decisions to be affirmed, or be open to explore alternatives, and ultimately, the selection of the criteria will come from the individual for a bespoke career plan and mapping exercise with a career practitioner.
We really enjoyed this one with Veejay! As you can see in the interview, we are in the midst of building a curriculum. Of course, our app is a priority, but the word ODE means more than being the name for our app; it is about awareness & mindful self determination. Insights from people such as Veejay who kindly share their experience goes a long way. One theme that stuck out for us is the importance of taking time to reflect. Before you start a decision, you'll never get a great outcome if you don't put yourself in the right position to achieve one in the first place.
If anyone would like to connect with Veejay, you can find her here.
As always, all the best from Potsdam
The Team at ODE ❤️