In my school in DCU we spend an awful lot of time angsting about our students. We worry abut how much they study. We worry about their writing skills, their attention to detail and their numerical skills.
Today, I made two INTRA (work placement scheme) “visits” via Zoom. As expected, I got glowing reports from the employers. They thought our students were hard-working, independent, excellent communicators and, to my delight, very attentive to detail.
This happens every year – I’ve rarely received a bad report on my travels to companies. Occasionally you find that the employer is worried about the student because they are very introverted and are finding the need to connect with other employees very difficult. But most of the time, they are very complimentary about their overall ability and their work ethic.
What this tells me is that we don’t see the best of our students. It seems that when put to the test in the “real world”, they up their game and reveal a side of themselves that we don’t always see. It also suggests that despite everything, budget cuts and all, the quality of our graduates is being maintained.
Sometimes these INTRA visits are great therapy.
PS We need to do more of these remote visits in the future – for the sake of the climate if nothing else.