Laura Levy, careers and professional development manager at Cass Business School, signed up to be an Enterprise Adviser (EA) in April 2020.

As the education sector went into lockdown due to COVID-19, Laura was drawn to supporting the younger generation as they prepare for work. Rather than waiting for schools to reopen to start giving back, Laura took the opportunity to provide virtual support to a couple of schools in London, to ensure that careers education continued during the pandemic.

Laura designed two sessions for different schools, based on conversations with their Deputy Head and careers leaders. The first was a practical session called Kickstart Your Career: Creating an Impactful CV, helping students to understand the most relevant content to include and the most effective format for employers to digest.

A recording of the session was made available via the school’s student portal. Students can access this as part of their virtual work experience, which includes the task of completing their CVs. The response from Nower Hill school has been extremely positive: 'I just watched the Kickstart Your Career recorded session, I love it. It has great content and Laura has targeted it towards 16-18-year-old students. Thank you so much Laura for taking the time out of your busy schedule at work and home schooling to support us'.

The second session Laura designed, Preparing for the Future of Work, offers students an insight on the skills needed in the future workplace, and what employers are looking for from future talent. The session provides students with clear steps to start their career plan, including tips on developing their personal brand for engaging with employers.

Laura adopted a consultative approach when designing these sessions, to ensure they would provide the right support for students and meet each school’s required learning outcomes. Her advice to other Enterprise Advisers is to ensure you are asking the careers leader the right questions about what they want the session to achieve, to ensure it hits the mark.

Laura said: 'I really enjoyed delivering the sessions virtually, I’ve found participants are more engaged, the sessions are more accessible and can be recorded for students to access at another time. It’s also fun to learn how to use technology to deliver impactful sessions as it’s definitely something that’s going to be sticking around for some time!'

Laura will be the Enterprise Adviser for White Field School in London from the start of the 2020-21 academic year. She has found the work she’s already completed as part of the London EA Network very rewarding, particularly being able to support diverse groups of students who might not have had mentors in their lives. Through her virtual sessions, she has been able to help students to think broadly about their future and keep careers education alive during a difficult time.

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