Online Get Together on Onboarding & Welcoming New Students
July 28, 2023

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Our members have gathered online to share knowledge and experience. In Get-Together #4 the topic was ‘Onboarding new students’ following the previous get-together ‘Selecting the best-fit students.’

What activities are used for new students joining programmes? How to support them through their transition from home to school? And what can be done in-between having selected new students and enrolling them? They were the key questions the participants aimed to answer.

Our guest speakers, Julia Berghs of An Re Mai Sen Restaurant and Bistro Training School, and Kiran Biswas of Know One Teach One, led the discussion with their own practice at their respective schools.

Students from Know One Teach One (KOTO)

ACTIVITIES

Pooling together our knowledge, participants shared activities that their schools organize to orientate and help students ease into their new surroundings.

  • The best way students can become comfortable when enrolling is via making friends through games and group activities, ice breakers and energisers.
  • Students’ families also need to be comfortable with this transition. Communicating with families and communities during the recruitment period and family visits can support this.
  • For students who may be experiencing urban life for the first time, activities that help them adjust are advisable, for example a city tour.
  • Another useful activity that many schools conduct during the orientation period is Employer/Partner visits. This can help students visualise what their future jobs and lifestyles would look like and motivate them to work with such partners.

 

Students from An Re Mai Sen

CHALLENGES

It would be remiss to discuss possible opportunities without discussing potential challenges that may arise during the onboarding process. Our participants offered some useful insights here:

  • Students dropping out during the programme is a very real possibility. To mitigate this, some schools over-recruit or have waiting lists in place.
  • Family visits were previously mentioned to help alleviate any worries from families. For families that may not be able to travel the distance virtual tours were suggested.
  • There is a fine line between making students feeling comfortable at school and ensuring they understand the boundaries because this is after all a training center, not their own house. To give students responsibility in this aspect, Some schools offered students the chance to set and implement their own ground rules.

 

ADDITIONAL PRACTICES

The dialogue shared in this Get Together was extremely enlightening and therefore very extensive. Here are some additional practices mentioned that we believe to be of high importance.

  • Our speaker from An Re Mai Sen Training Restaurant and Bistro, Julia Berghs, shared the practice of mixing the previous intakes with the new intake in the first few months. This allows the new class to socialise and orientate into the training facilities whilst also giving the previous intakes supervision experience.
  • Workshops during orientation help further prepare students to begin training and better understand school life whilst gaining soft skills for their future career.
  • A few schools brought up how they use feedback and surveys to assess how well new students are integrating. By taking note of the students’ feelings and concerns, schools can use this information to address any issues that might arise or to further develop their own practice.

Students from Sala Bai

CONCLUSION

To conclude this article of Get-Together #4 here’s a recap of some key takeaways.

  • Students’ comfort is a priority as well as their family. Technology can alleviate concerns.
  • Interaction with the students is also a priority. Schools should try to maintain connection with them, facilitate connection with their peers and continue to develop programmes based on feedback.
  • The first stage of the programme is for integration. Students need to settle into their new surroundings, understand the programme and meet all the people they will be interacting with over the programme before they can dive into the actual training.

 

Our next Get Together will be on August 16 and will focus on Fundraising. If you are interested in learning more about our previous discussions, you can find them here. For further details or resources, please contact our team: asset@iecd.org

Want to join us or become a partner to Get Together and grow together? Drop us a message.

 

Alone we go faster. Together we go further!

 

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