Determined to change this and to implement a support system that will ease the transition from university to work, Verena Batt and Domingo Valero (both from the Institute of Business and Regional Economics), have launched the "Give me your hand"-project. Together with partner universities they aim to establish an intervention programme that will support students in this period of transition.
At the end of September 2023 ten members from six universities in three continents met online for their kick-off meeting, initiated by the project leaders Verena and Domingo. During the meeting the team members from Switzerland, Poland, Croatia, Mauritius, and Uruguay had the opportunity to get to know each other, share their perspectives on the project and discuss their roles, participation as well as their expectations. The project team will collaborate over a period of two years until August 2025.
What is the “Give me your hand”-project about?
The programme consists of five steps (and appointments) and starts four months before graduation and ends four months afterwards. The idea is to show graduates that the university continues to offer support for them and thus extends a helping hand. The programme will be carried out for the first time in 2024. However, it is planned to institutionalize the intervention programme and to further strengthen the collaboration between the participating universities in the long run.
Career Construction Theory as a theoretical basis of the intervention programme
The intervention programme is based on Mark Savickas’ Career Construction Theory. This theory is primarily focused on assisting students in finding a career path which corresponds to their personal interests and acquired skills. Thus, this approach is far more than simply linking university degrees to matching jobs.
Why “Give me your hand” is different to existing intervention programmes
As it stands, there are indeed several student career intervention programmes in and around the world. This programme however differs in several ways:
First, the “Give me your hand”-project seems to be the first intervention with an international perspective. Students participating in the programme will be in contact with students from different countries resulting in their exposure to different approaches and perspectives. Furthermore, mindsets will be broadened, and language skills improved through interaction with foreign students.
Secondly, unlike most of the other interventions, “Give me your hand” is designed to support students beyond graduation. This is essential as the time period between graduation and finding a job often proves to be the most challenging.
Thirdly, the intervention programme integrates an interactive web-application (developed by the department of computer science at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts). This allows the programme to scale and will facilitate participation in online intervention appointments.
Besides the Lucerne School of Business, the following universities are involved in this project:
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