Embrace the unknown! Handshake welcomes future university leaders to Careers2030

June 28, 2021

Handshake’s Careers2030 kicked off today, virtually welcoming representatives from more than 70 UK & Ireland universities to an intensive and collaborative CPD programme on the future of careers services. Over the three-day course, delegates will harness the power of design thinking to create strategies for a smooth and equitable transition from university to employment.

Dimitar Stanimiroff, Handshake’s General Manager for EMEA opened the session and welcomed participants to an “intense few days with lots of challenges ahead.” The best way to predict the future, he says, is to create it – and the course will provide delegates with precious time away from the day-to-day to do just that.

The collaborative sessions kicked off by introducing the primary tenet of design thinking: ‘empathy’, seeing delegates use an ‘empathy map’ structure to chart observations about both students and employers and begin to consider what they might need and want.

Expert panelists, including Greg Wade, policy manager at Universities UK and Debbie McVitty, editor of WonkHe, helped groups understand why it’s crucial to begin building future strategies by considering and reflecting on current challenges, or why understanding the here and now is vital to creating the future.

Handshake’s Head of University Success for the UK, Clare Adams highlighted a particularly pertinent issue right now – that of ‘netpotism’. Netpotism is a phrase which Handshake coined to explain that, particularly in an online environment, students from more affluent backgrounds, with personal connections into professional careers are still likely to be gaining an advantage over other candidates. It’s crucial, says Clare, that our post-Covid careers strategies seek to overcome this important obstacle to social mobility. 

As well as plenty of networking, collaboration and learning opportunities Careers2030 will introduce delegates to industry leading technology and software like Miro which can help them design strategies for the future. Importantly, the sessions will help participants create working solutions for real problems: the event will culminate in an awards ceremony where our expert judges pick a winning group to receive funding to put their plans into action.

We look forward to an exciting, challenging and rewarding few days ahead and are delighted to see the passion and commitment from all our participants. Here’s to the future!