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Mike Grey, our Head of University Partnerships, won the Outstanding Contribution Award at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards 2016. It was presented to him by Levi Roots, of Reggae Reggae Sauce fame, at the awards event in London (February 2016) attended by 450 delegates from the world of placement and graduate recruitment.
This award was in recognition for his achievements across a decade working at Nottingham Trent University, Brunel University and Coventry University. The judges also recognised the significant contribution he has made to supporting the employability agenda in the UK through his work with PlaceNet and across Europe working with organisations such as EURASHE.
Before joining Gradconsult, most recently Mike launched and developed EC Futures at Coventry University. This specialist STEM employability unit won a range of awards including a Teaching Excellence Award for Employability and Best Placement Service in the UK 2015.
The judging panel were extremely impressed that there were over 30 testimonials from employers, colleagues and students, they felt this extract summed up why he was such a deserving winner of the award:
"Mike is results oriented; pro-active; understanding of the interests and priorities of business and academics, whilst also being strongly focused on the needs of students." Andrew Ward, Director of Corporate Relations, Brunel University
"I was convinced that we would come out of the process with a well-informed, well-written, innovative document to guide our work with employers over the next five years - which we have. What I didn't foresee was the huge impact this project would have on our whole careers team and our wider profile within the institution. As part of the process Mike worked with the careers advisers to identify and address areas of conflict with the employer engagement function. We are now able to articulate shared goals and approach our stakeholders as 'one team.’
Mike worked with senior stakeholders from across the institution. This achieved three things for us: helped to reinforce our position as the University's employability experts offering so much more than traditional advice and guidance; enabled us to get honest feedback on how we are currently performing; and helped us identify priority areas and key partners for future work.
Mike is constantly quoted in high level University meetings and the appetite from across the University to engage appropriately with Careers to deliver meaningful employability activities has never been higher."
Following Rebecca's inclusion on the shortlist for the Outstanding Entrepreneur category in 2016, this year we were delighted to find out that the Gradconsult team were shortlisted in the Small Organisation category this year.
The awards took place at the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester, and although we may not have been crowned the overall winner, a fantastic night was had by the team and our guests.
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“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Kylie on our Innovation Community Lab (an innovation management course for young professionals within SMEs). Kylie has a creative mind, is quick with solutions and brings bags of personality to everything she does.
In the workshops Kylie brings the case studies and exercises to life, she engages and tailors her approach with each delegate and the buy-in she receives is reflected in the success of her work. Kylie offers excellent service and brings such great energy to a room. Kylie, stay awesome!"
"Rebecca's experience of having worked in graduate recruitment, for AGR and with careers services means that her insights into how to improve a careers service employer strategy are invaluable.
Rebecca asked insightful questions of my team in a supportive environment leaving the team ready to tackle a new strategy. Looking forward to working with her in the future."
"Mike has worked with us on several occasions at De Montfort University over the past year. He has provided a level and quality of consultancy, in tune with the ethos of Gradconsult, that has been vastly superior to any previous consultancy I've experienced. Extremely knowledgeable, up to date, inspired by the subject matter and generous with information, Mike's sector insights and contextual awareness have taken us forward significantly in our thinking. Mike has also been an expert sounding board for me in relation to placements management, his advice really sitting on my mind and helping shape my approach to certain tricky institutional challenges.
As well as pure consultancy, Mike willingly supported us by addressing our Technology Faculty on the critical importance of placements for graduate outcomes and university business development, a message I was struggling to get across to this group. His presentation had the impact I'd hoped for, generating significant follow-up enquiries and suggestions for improved collaboration, as well as heartfelt thanks from the Faculty for putting on the event. Mike's delivery of this presentation was particularly deft considering the sensitivity of the situation and unpredictable audience, reflecting his consistent professionalism coupled with adaptability. In this regard, he has always readily adjusted his visits and his work around the pressures of our own day jobs, making the consultancy work best for us as clients. I couldn't recommend him more highly."
"Kylie has worked on several projects with us now and although the subject
and products fall outside her field of expertise she has shown total
professionalism in her returned documents, with the attention to detail far
exceeding our 'in-house' team."
“I take huge delight in writing this recommendation for Rebecca. At Sheffield Hallam we have asked Rebecca to be a guest lecturer on our Masters programme for a number of years. This year I asked Rebecca to design and deliver a two and a half hour masterclass (on her specialism of recruitment) to our part-time (professional) MSc in HRM. This request was at fairly short notice. Rebecca responded with great enthusiasm and flexibility which was incredibly helpful.
Rebecca's masterclass was engaging, entertaining, illuminating and fun. She was able to inspire these tired students (who were attending an evening session after a day at work). The real delight for me, and I know those in attendance, was Rebecca's pragmatism, ability to introduce theory (without the associated pain!) and most importantly talk with passion and expertise about her incredible portfolio of work.
I know that the students particularly benefited from Rebecca's counsel during the session, where she saw elements of practice that needed enhancing she was able to sensitively provide solutions within the group environment. The room was buzzing with energy during the discussion exercises that she introduced and it became a really safe space where these professionals were able to share their worries about their own practice.
I have to say from my personal point of view (as a Senior Lecturer in the subject), I learnt stuff! I was also delighted that Rebecca was able to respond with aplomb to my adhoc request for information on strengths based recruitment. She really knows her onions!
On behalf of myself and my class I can't thank Rebecca enough for creating an amazing learning experience that will stick in the memory.”
"Kylie worked with us at TeamStudio for three months on a fixed term project. From the outset she was highly efficient, a quick learner and very adaptable. She came up with solutions to problems without being prompted, saw ways to change things and executed the changes with accuracy. A pleasure to be around, a person that others gravitate towards, an asset to any team."
"I originally approached Gradconsult as I had been impressed by Rebecca’s knowledge of graduate recruitment at a recent AGR training event that I attended.
At Redington, we wanted to take a more robust approach to our graduate recruitment with the introduction of assessment centres, rather than relying on interviews alone. We were keen to ensure that our selection methods were able to help us measure capability as well as characteristics. We designed most of the assessment centre in house but decided to outsource the design of a group task to Gradconsult. Gradconsult responded very quickly to our request for help and were able to accommodate the work with our budget parameters. Following an initial conference call with the business, HR and some existing grads, Gradconsult came up with a great idea for a group task that was really relevant to our business, from there they developed the idea into a task which they tested with some local university undergraduates and then delivered to a us a packaged group task which we can run ourselves. We have found the team task easy to use, the candidates have enjoyed completing the task and more importantly it has enabled the business to observe behaviours and help with selection decisions. Mike was on hand to deal with any questions I had about the task. We are very pleased with what GradConsult has created for us."
‘’Mike is an excellent facilitator who speaks with real authority on employer engagement. His 'Introduction to Employer Engagement' for AGCAS offered a great insight into meeting the needs of recruiters and organisations of various scales, allowing an openness to learn from others in the group. The session sent me back to the office with new ideas, new contacts and new energy.’’
"We have recently worked with Kylie at Gradconsult on delivering a structured graduate training framework for our development team. It has been an absolute pleasure.
During the scoping exercise she very quickly understood our business, our ambitions and how she could help. The process has been incredibly easy, with surprisingly little time needed from myself and the team. Her knowledge and expertise is obvious, but how it was so easily applied to our business is impressive. The quality of the training framework delivered for this project was excellent and will have an incredibly positive impact. It’s something we can use instantly and also build upon, adapt and begin to roll out across other teams.
JH would certainly grab any opportunity to work with her again!"
The Association of Graduate Recruiters (now the Institute of Student Employers) recognised our work developing and delivering the RISE SCR programme by awarding us the prestigious Supplier Contribution to Business Award in 2014.
RISE is an economic growth scheme that connects the Sheffield City Region's SMEs with talented graduates. Gradconsult has led the delivery of the scheme since it's inception in 2013, providing over 300 local businesses with the support and funding to employ over 500 graduates.
"The University of Reading placements team had an exceptional experience working with Gradconsult from start to finish, from producing a focused proposal to suit our brief though to delivering engaging and interactive sessions in our Placement Bootcamp. Mike and Eloise are a dynamic duo and have excellent rapport which really inspired our student audience. The feedback was excellent and everyone was happy, we couldn’t have asked for better!"
"Kylie is creative and diligent, produces high quality work and is open to feedback from others. She contributes to any task with acuity and honesty.
She is emotionally intelligent, warm and highly socially adept, with a dynamic and positive presence."
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