I wish I'd done that

As we plough forward with Arch Graduates (making exceptional headway now full update to come soon, promise) it felt like a great week to take a breath and reflect, too soon? I guess it's been that kind of week! 

As some of you know we’re building a two year programme for graduates that should really and truly set them up for a blistering career in the digital world. I say this not as someone who “would say that” I say this as someone who has seen the 12 week curriculum and knows the businesses that these graduates will be working and learning in. Inevitably at this early stage of putting something like this together you end up discussing it with tens (I’m bad at guessing this sort of thing, but I really want to say hundreds?) of people. By doing this you get a really good sense of how the proposition is received, thankfully the most common response after hearing how this works is “I wish I’d done something like that”.

Good news right? Yes, that is unequivocally good news, the subject that I want to talk about in this post is why. I say this because it’s at certain moments during my explanation that people’s eyes really light up. When I talk about some of the digital skills that an Arch Graduate learns, like PPC, SEO, HTML, UI/UX etc there’s a sense of “that’s clearly really useful”. When I tell people that an Arch Graduate will also be properly rock solid at using excel, that they’ll know how to run an proper (well organised) business meeting, that they’ll know how to manage projects or produce a proper report on large sets of data, that’s when people seem to really light up.

How come? What is it about some of these “business fundamentals” (Iet’s call them that for now) that makes people really excited?

I think there’s a couple of reasons, firstly it’s because doing it wrong is so unbelievably common, seriously just think how many meetings you’ve sat in that haven’t been worth you being in! But, I think more than that it’s that we all got this stuff wrong at the beginning right? How many times (and try to be as honest as possible) have you copied and pasted stuff from one spreadsheet into another?

So what would you change? What do you wish you’d known when you started out? Or even better than that if you could have had a week’s training on one skill/tool before you started your career what would it have been?

For me, totally candidly, there’s so many things that I wish I’d been told before I began my first day of work. The one that I just wish someone had told me was to always follow up every meeting you have with an e-mail. I can’t believe how much of a difference it made to my job when I started to do that. If I’m totally candid I feel like I could still benefit (massively) from a week’s intensive training on Excel!

I guess that’s the great thing about this business, apart from the fact that we’re huge fans of continuously improving what we’re doing, tweaking and (mainly) adding to the curriculum, we’re building something that is truly going to give these graduates an extraordinary start to their careers. Apart from the bleeding edge digital skills, the bullet proof excel skills they’re also going to get to learn from some of the brightest and best people’s biggest mistakes.

Another very exciting week, another update towards the end of the next one.

Happy weekends to you all.