Guy Maillison is Director of Strategy at the OU. Here he talks to us about when one of our students joined him for the day as part of the Student Shadowing Scheme.
It was great to have Laura shadow me for a day. Some of our time together was spent in what I call “regular” meetings with individual members of my team – discussing the approach to and progress with projects that we are working on. Many of these are informing the Students First Transformation Programme, including how we might make better use of data and insight to deliver a better service to students. Some of my time is spent reading and she sensibly opted to meet some of my other strategy colleagues when I had some preparation for some upcoming meetings towards the end of the day.
I found it really helpful to have a student in the room and Laura was interested and always willing to share her perspective on what we were doing.
I was really pleased that Laura could listen to a FutureLearn Board meeting. It helped me realise that many of our OU students are not aware of FutureLearn (a platform offering a range of free and low cost online courses with partner Universities around the world). Those that are – and Laura has used FutureLearn herself - may not know that it is a business that is wholly owned by The University.
We didn’t adjust the plan for the Monday she was here so she could see us as we are, but it was rather more based in my team’s office than would be the case on the average day for me. She was unfortunate to be involved in an accident on the way to the campus which meant we missed an early session with other senior colleagues, including the Vice Chancellor and acting University Secretary, on the major changes that we have underway at the University.
I found it really helpful to have a student in the room and Laura was interested and always willing to share her perspective on what we were doing. It made me more conscious of the student perspective in my interactions with colleagues. It also made me acutely aware of lots of the jargon that we use in leading and managing the University which may not always be that easy to understand. I’d love to do it again. We are also currently trying to find a way of turning it round so that I can shadow a student in their environment.
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