Senior business people across the island have shared their time and experience with local students this summer on the annual Institute of Directors (IoD) Management Shadowing scheme.
The programme, which has been running in Guernsey for more than 20 years, is headed up by Rob Jones (Aztec Group) and Linda Johnson (KPMG) and provides sixth-form students with the opportunity to gain key managerial skills and business insight by shadowing managers in several sectors.
Long-time sponsor KPMG provides the logistical support for placements, in addition to working closely with all the sixth form colleges on induction and communication.
The students spend two days with their allocated manager, observing their management style, identifying critical leadership skills and discussing career paths and opportunities. It is designed to be a two-way process; students are encouraged to ask questions about the manager’s work ethic and views on management, and it is acknowledged that feedback is essential for both students and employers to benefit fully.
At the end of the session, students are invited to present a review of their week in a bid to become the Management Shadowing Student of the Year. The awards evening, hosted in the KPMG office, will take place in the autumn when 10 shortlisted students will present to a judging panel in front of a large audience of host managers, parents, students and teachers.
David Bromley, Group Chief Risk Officer, SG Kleinwort Hambros, hosted 2018’s Student of the Year Ellie Coburn, and said: “As a host manager I found it enriching, it made me think about my approach to management as my actions and rationale were closely scrutinised in keeping with the nature of the programme.”
The 2018 winner, Ladies College student Ellie, said: “Management embraces many tasks including staff relations, dealing with clients and the public, administration, time management and organisational skills. Its breadth can only be fully appreciated when experienced first hand. The IoD Management Shadowing scheme gave me the opportunity to do this and provided me with a well-recognised addition to my CV.”
Hundreds of businesses have supported the scheme in the last 20 years. Neale Jehan, Managing Partner of current sponsor KPMG, said, “The scheme is a great example of collaboration between business and Guernsey schools. It is always impressive to see the level of access all of the businesses give to students. We are very grateful to everyone who gives their time to make it a success.”
Rob Jones commented: “The difference between this scheme and work experience is that it is targeted only at sixth-form students about to embark on making important decisions about their future careers; these experiences can feed directly into those decisions.
“It is an opportunity to observe management in action and for the students to develop their observation and communication skills. The students receive professional training in presentation skills, which provides invaluable groundwork for their future careers and personal development. Winning presentations tend to be from students who have been exposed to management theory and can give real-life insights into management, team dynamics and the workplace environment.
“It is also exposure to a business at the highest level; many students will encounter confidential situations and will only be matched to senior management.”
Linda Johnson added, “More than 50 students have taken part over the 2019 easter and summer vacations. We would be delighted to hear from any prospective students or businesses who want to take part next year; both parties benefit tremendously from the scheme.”
The process for the 2020 placements begins in early November and students should contact their careers department for more information.