Our goal at ESEI is to prepare our students for the real world of business, equipping them with practical skills that will help them succeed in their future jobs. At the same time, we want our students to enjoy themselves and stay engaged and motivated throughout their studies.
That’s why we’re proponents of project-based learning, an approach that enables students to learn by actively engaging in real-world projects that are meaningful to them. Instead of having to memorise information, students work together to reach a common goal.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the 3 main benefits of project-based learning. Then, we’ll provide an example of a project in action at our school: our students taking part in organising an upcoming school event.
1. Developing project management skills
One benefit of organising projects is learning the fundamental skills needed for successful project management. In fact, project management skills are recognised by businesses as a core competency needed in the workplace.
Most employees who work as part of a team have to use these skills at some point in their professional career. Whether it’s creating a presentation for your boss or working as part of a team to deliver information to a client, it will be a part of your working life.
Therefore, ESEI students who have had direct experience creating and managing projects have an advantage when speaking with future employers.
If you’d like to brush up on your project management skills, ESEI offers short courses around this topic.
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2. Collaboration with others
Collaboration with others is a key element of the project-based learning method. Any successful project requires effective collaboration and communication between team members. Whether it’s leading the team, delegating tasks or creating a presentation, collaboration is key.
Not only does collaboration improve communication, it builds confidence and helps develop long-lasting relationships. All of this is useful for the future world of work, when employees will need these skills to excel professionally.
Soft skills are high up on the list of 21st-century skills students need to develop. Collaboration is one of these and another reason why employers look to ESEI when scouting for their workforce.
3. Practising real-life experiences
Another benefit of project-based learning is that it offers the chance to conduct in-depth investigation into real-life issues. Students have the opportunity to experience first hand the time, effort and skills needed to manage a project.
We give our students as many opportunities as possible to practise organising projects. One example of this can be seen in professor Steve Mallon’s project management course. As a part of the course, he asks his students to create, organise and run an event.
Project-based learning in action at ESEI
This year, students have chosen to develop a career event called Career Kickoff. The event will take place on February 5th from 3pm to 6pm and is open to all of ESEI’s current and prospective students. The event will offer a series of workshops on the topic of preparing for a career after graduation.
Why did your group choose to specifically create a career event? How will it benefit those attending the event?
Arnau: The main premise from the school was to create a hybrid event about networking, job opportunities and career readiness. However, due to the restrictions it had to be moved fully online. We thought that it would be a great opportunity for students to have a series of workshops where they can learn how to boost their LinkedIn profiles, CVs and discover what HR teams are looking for right now. The main benefit is that it will provide the tools needed to stand out in the current market.
Diana: We have a range of speakers coming to talk at the event which will be very interesting for students. Some people are coming from businesses to tell us about personal branding and CV writing and we have one person who is an alumni of the school. After completing his studies at ESEI he returned to Sweden and began a successful startup. This mix of people should benefit students by giving them a range of experiences and ideas moving forward.
How have you found the process of organising your first career event through the school? What were your main challenges?
Arnau: One of the main challenges has been facing the Covid situation and its related uncertainty. It has been pretty difficult to find a way to collect speakers or guests that would like to join. However, after several meetings and a bit of “thinking out the box” we could find a programme that seems to make everyone happy.
Diana: For me, a major challenge has been the move online due to Covid. However, another difficulty has been that the students organising the event are online. So, trying to set up meetings and get everyone together with all the time differences has certainly been challenging. That being said, it’s all worked out and I’ve really enjoyed the process.
What are the main skills you’ve learnt from developing this project? Do you like project-based learning?
Arnau: I’d summarise it in two words: patience and adaptability. Due to the uncertainty because of Covid, we needed to adapt the plan week by week: hybrid to online, last-minute calls from guests that can’t come etc. Regarding patience, as a team leader together with Diana, you need patience to understand that things cannot be done immediately.
Diana: I’ve learnt how to work as part of a team, organisation, communication, marketing and social media skills and much more. It’s been great to put the theory learnt in class into practice. It has given me the chance to apply and implement the knowledge I’ve learnt.
If you’re a current or prospective student and would like to attend the careers event, register here to book your place . The programme includes these workshops:
Nivida Manicks – Effective Video CV Creation
Tim Cakir – Personal Branding and LinkedIn Tips
Anais JG – Professional Strategies and Interview Preparation
Placement International – Showcasing Internship and Placement Opportunities Abroad
Philipp Fransson – Esei Alumni’s Case of Success
Click here to Download the brochure