In a previous blog we’ve talked about how our corporate partners are driving innovation during the pandemic. Since law firm Squire Patton Boggs pioneered taking the traditional work placement into the digital realm, another handful of our partners have followed suite.
Baringa Partners, a business and technology consultancy, have also hosted a one-week remote placement with their team in the London HQ. Yousif, a 21-year old from Hillingdon and aspiring engineer was successful in applying for the opportunity,
“I learnt how to act professionally in your work place or during a client visit… how to create a LinkenIn profile and use it… and I was able to develop my communication skills, develop my CV and learnt how to prepare for a three-stage interview.”
We spoke to Caroline Theodore, Manager at Baringa Partners, who set up and managed his placement.
Why did you decide to host a virtual placement?
At Baringa, we were in the progress of creating a one-week work placement programme with Drive Forward, and then came the COVID-19 crisis.
We reached out to Drive Forward to understand how we could help remotely, and subsequently set-up 1:1 employment readiness sessions with volunteers from our firm.
However, an aspiring engineer from Drive Forward was keen to start an actual work placement, so we put our heads together to make it happen.
How did you go about it?
We worked closely with the Team at Drive Forward to understand what programmes and activities had worked well in the past.
Together we crafted a programme to ensure the placement includes a mixture of employment readiness coaching, learning, research and casual conversations with Baringa employees.
What did you learn from the experience?
One week was probably not enough. We had a pretty packed schedule.
For our next round, we will most likely spread the placements across two weeks to ensure participants have more time to think and reflect.
Is this something that you’d be happy to repeat?
We would really love to do another round of work placements and are in the process of crafting a programme for our next round.
What would you say to other corporates thinking about hosting a virtual placement?
Get on board! Hosting a virtual placement requires little effort for very large returns.
Not only do the participants get significant personal value, but it is an extremely rewarding experience for all volunteers involved and Yousif made an impactful contribution to our research on the Energy Transition.