Extra Academic Skills Certificate Multiplies Chances to Find a Good Job
How to simplify job placement? ITMO University experts initiated an extra academic skills certificate for the most active students, who constantly take part in social, volunteer and other extra activities. Thus apart from professional credentials a jobseeker will have a document, which proves his organizing and team work skills. Andrey Zlenko, head of Employees Trade Union Committee of ITMO University, and Anastasia Prichislenko, psychologist and head of Personal Development Center of ITMO University, commented on this novelty.
When did you initiate this project?
Mr. Zlenko: We launched it in 2014. During the whole spring term we were collecting information about students` activities. We learned what meetings, events and projects were organized by our students. However it was very hard to calculate how many skills they received because our knowledge assessment system was imperfect. Thanks to Anastasia Prichislenko we understood that appraisal by points was not impartial. Developing certificate`s structure we are going to include extensive information about all competences and skills that a student has.
How will you evaluate their skills?
Ms. Prichislenko: We will not evaluate skills using numbers and points. We are going to describe in what activities he or she was involved. Thus it will be easier for an employer to understand what a graduate can do. For example, public speech skill. The first step is to make a speech for a audience consisting of five and more people. It can be participation in a scientific conference or stand up performance. The next level is to prepare one`s own paper or speech and present it. And the most difficult is to organize public presentation and serve as a leader of a team of speakers being responsible for a whole event.
Do employers need this document?
Mr. Zlenko: We interviewed heads of partnering companies. They proved that it would be important for them. Moreover, some competences included into a certificate are offered by employers.
How to get a certificate and who will evaluate the students` skills?
Ms. Prichislenko: a student has to be interested in extra academic activities giving reports on accomplished work. To prove that he or she took part in a variety of activities a student has to formalize participation. For example, if a student designed a poster for an event he had to present a model of this poster.
How many students are going to receive this certificate?
Mr. Zlenko: ITMO University has a lot of active students who take part in a variety of extra academic activities such as sports competitions, innovative projects, and international meetings. Most of them are also outstanding students.
How this certificate can be useful for ITMO University?
Mr. Zlenko: It will be easier to develop a statistics of the most popular activities. It is also necessary to determine what way is the most effective: to take part in several short-term projects or to participate in one project for a long time.
Ms. Prichislenko: We give students an opportunity to make a portfolio. To get a good job one has to be better than others. Extra academic skills certificate aims to demonstrate how experienced you are and what you really can.
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