Prepare to engage a student

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Preparation is vital for both you and your student. Our resources take you through questions that will help you define your objectives and make sure you've thought of the resources, time and information you'll need to provide.

The most important thing is for you to have a clear idea of what you want your student to do, and the logistics of how they are going to work within your organisation.

A well organised placement can help a student develop their professional skills, increase their confidence, and enable them to see your organisation at its best.

But a lack of preparation can create a negative experience for both you and your student, so to ensure the best experience for everyone there are several questions that you need to ask yourself.

Do you know what you want your student to do? Do you have defined objectives? Clarify what you need your student to do.

The length of time and the frequency with which you engage with your student is up to you. Some organisations may only require a student for a few days or weeks, whilst others may look to engage with a student for a whole semester.

Carefully consider which element of your organisation would best benefit from a student's contribution, and define what it is that you would like them to achieve. Use established objectives to build a time frame around their tasks.

Well defined objectives and time frames are essential in giving students the structure they need to perform their tasks effectively, whether in a project or operational environment.

Do you have available workspace for your student to work? If the student requires equipment to complete their tasks, is the equipment readily available and in working order?

Logistics matter

What may seem like a simple detail can become a large interruption if not properly prepared. Take the time to review what space or equipment is required for the student to work effectively, and ensure that access is prepared well in advance.

Working space and equipment

Do you have available workspace for your student to work from? If the student requires equipment to complete their tasks, is the equipment readily available and in working order?

Also, be mindful of the organisation of your work place and consider the impression you are making on new staff. They may be the future of your organisation.

Brief your student on company policies and OHS procedures. You must treat your student in the same way as any other new employee.

Take the time to ensure your student has been thoroughly briefed and understands all occupational health and safety procedures, and any other relevant policies that affect your organisation.

For more information and the Health and Safety in New Zealand's Employment Act please see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

Are you able to provide ample supervision and assistance for your student?

For a student, much of the benefit gained from an industry job is the contact with the other professionals who work there.

From an employer perspective, the key elements of any successful student engagement are induction, clear instructions and access to consult with management to achieve the best outcomes.

The amount of contact that a student requires will depend upon the task you assign them. Consider the complexity of the task, time frame, and if previous industry knowledge is required.

Have you prepared information on appropriate dress and presentation standards?

Details such as appropriate dress standards need to be addressed to ensure your student is able to match the level of professional presentation established by your organisation.

If you have particular dress requirements in regards to safety equipment or a uniform, make sure they are available to your student.

Careers consultants can offer further

advice and information