Flying tile imagery with Virtual Nottingham Consultancy Challenge text

June 5, 2020, by Leah Sharpe

How on earth can I get graduate level work experience during lockdown?

By Jill Bennett, Placements Projects and Systems Co-ordinator 

Got more time on your hands and wondering how to use that time productively?  Keen to get some work experience and develop your employability skills?  If so, then take a look at our new Virtual Nottingham Consultancy Challenge 

What is the Virtual Nottingham Consultancy Challenge?

We understand that during the COVID-19 lockdown it is far more difficult to secure work experience and placements. So, for the first time we have developed an online version of the Nottingham Consultancy Challenge (NCC).  The NCC is already a very successful programme that has run for a number of years. Small multi-discipline teams of students work on genuine projects and problems from real businesses. For anyone considering a career in consultancy or even just wanting to understand more about what a consultant does, this is perfect.  

For the Virtual Nottingham Consultancy Challenge you will be working with businesses and charities who will welcome your talent and enthusiasmprobably now more than everWhatever career path you are considering this is a great opportunity to develop skills in consultancy and project management. You’ll be building experience that’s directly applicable to many roles and sectors in the future world of work such as collaborating with colleagues or clients in geographically-remote locations, delivering remote presentations and working with people from other countries and time-zones.

This scheme will be open to both current students and 2020 graduates. It will run over six weeks during July and August, with the first four being active, where you will be expected to commit to approximately eight hours’ work per week. The last two weeks will be composed of presenting to and communicating with your client.  

I’m not sure this is for me…

Our spring NCC saw almost 200 students take part and many were really keen to tell us just how valuable the experience was in helping them develop the skills that employers look for in candidates.

I learned so much more than I thought I would and developed key skills that not only apply to my personal development, but also to my employability skills. I honestly believe that I went in with the attitude of ‘this won’t be interesting, seems like extra work’, but left with probably my favourite work experience” – NCC spring 2020 student 

Feedback also informs us that one of the best things about the NCC is meeting and working with students from different year groups, disciplines and nationalities. Everyone brings diverse abilities and ideas to the team and it’s an ideal way to learn from each other. Don’t worry if you haven’t had any experience before. The whole point of working in a team is that you support one another. You will soon see how the pieces fit together and how all these very different people, working towards the same goal, can come up with a great piece of work. You will also receive preparation training from our team and we will be on hand throughout the programme if you need us. 

My time on the project undoubtedly made me more confident. Initially, I was intimidated by the fact that I was the only first year student in my group. As time went by, that no longer bothered me and I truly felt like I belonged” –  NCC spring 2020 student 

I’m almost convinced, anything else?

Yes, you can elect to use your work with NCC to complete a module through the Nottingham Advantage Award (NAA).  Not only is this an excellent way to reflect on your learning experience, as well as useful for future job applications and interviews, but it will also give you 10 credits towards the full Award and will appear on your degree transcript. Please note that the NAA is not open to graduates. 

How do I apply?

We expect places on this programme to be very popular so don’t miss your chance! 

Express your interest and we will contact you when applications open in mid-June.   

Posted in Work experience