Pavel Kondov from the Politics Department spent the day with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith.

SSIS Students Shadow Senior Staff in Guild’s ‘Mirror’ Scheme

Throughout Term 2, students from the College and University staff have been shadowing each other as part of the Guild’s ‘Mirror’ scheme. The purpose of the scheme is to enable managers and students to gain an insight into each other’s daily working lives, helping to foster understanding and a deeper collaboration between professional services staff, academics and students.

Students from the College had the opportunity to shadow some senior members of staff in order to gain an exclusive insight into the workings of different departments and teams across the University. Jason Chang, a second year Sociology rep and leader of Global Exe, was paired with Professor Janice Kay, Provost. Jason and Professor Kay met to discuss how he could take his Students as Change Agents project, Global Exe, forward in future. He commented that, “The Mirror Scheme has given me new strategic outlooks that made me refine my Change Agents project to the next level. We have also made plans to shadow each other further throughout the year in order to understand how the work we are both involved in are developmental and require input that is reflective and proactive to ever evolving global changes.”

Alongside Jason, Johannes Neumann, Law Subject Chair, was paired with Nick Kaye, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education, and Amoe Mkwena - Guild Peer Support rep - teamed up with Mark Overton as Dean of Taught programmes. Amoe went to a Graduation Ceremony with Mark, where she met the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor before Mark attended one of Amoe’s Law lectures. Amoe is Peer Support Officer in the Guild and attended a meeting on the new HEAR transcript, which Mark was leading.  She said, “It helped me with my role in the Guild as I was working in conjunction with the EQE department to think of ways to recognise and award the work of peer mentors - the HEAR is a great way to sign post the value of peer support to future employers. We are hoping to have the roles included in next year’s HEAR transcripts.”

One lucky student had the chance to shadow the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Sir Steve Smith. Pavel Kondov from the Politics Department spent the day with the Vice-Chancellor, which included activities such as interviewing him for the regular Exposé ‘Desert Island Disks’ feature, meeting the Politics Society committee during their General Elections Campaign and introducing the Vice-Chancellor to Pavel’s work as an intern at the Strategy and Security Institute. Pavel then joined Sir Steve Smith for a business dinner in the evening, saying, “Shadowing Sir Steve Smith was a fantastic experience which gave me an insight into the complex and demanding job that is running such a large organisation. It was also great to show the Vice-Chancellor some of my extracurricular activities related to SSIS, such as interning at the Strategy and Security Institute and being on the Politics Society committee.”

James Smith, Students’ Guild Academic Representation Manager, said “The Mirror scheme is a rare opportunity for students to gain insight into the working life of senior university staff and also to reveal to staff what the daily life of a student is like. These exchanges are key in building understanding between staff and students and maintaining the university community on campus.”

Are you interested in taking part? Applications for 2015/16 will open in Week 6 of Term 1. Students and staff complete a short form and are matched as far as possible on their interests before shadowing each other for the equivalent of a full day. 

Date: 18 June 2015