“Thank you so much for creating such an insightful programme! I truly learned so much about product development as well as life within Vodafone! I would never get to learn about this in such detail at school, so thank you for helping thousands of teens grow confident in their future!”
“I liked being able to use creativity to create something that I felt could benefit many people. The structure of the programme really helped me feel like I was in control of my own project too.”
“I liked designing my product story and learning about the different job aspects I could go into at Vodafone. In addition, learning what makes a good employee is definitely something I will take on board for the future.”
Vodafone is the largest mobile and fixed network provider in Europe, the provider of the largest 5G network, the leading global Internet of Things provider and the mobile payments leader in Africa - among many other claims to fame. They are also an ethical employer, one that has pledged to source 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and be net zero by 2040. A truly inclusive employer, they also seek to empower women and society at large and improving access to education and digita
Vodafone wanted a virtual work experience that would complete a circular journey. By engaging with the programme, students would learn about the telecommunications industry as a whole, Vodafone’s role in helping to innovate within the industry, and ultimately feel inspired to consider them as a future employer.
That final step had to draw students towards a natural conclusion. The programme, therefore, had to be engaging and inspiring while also building participants’ knowledge base.
Brand control was also important, and Vodafone outlined early that any content might have to be approved by multiple stakeholders. This is common with major brands and is a consideration we are well-versed in managing.
One non-negotiable was for the course to have a diverse cohort.
Vodafone’s aims of reaching a diverse cohort of students matched our standing practice to seek equality of placement. With a database full of students interested in telecommunications and product development roles from all backgrounds we could effectively promote the course accordingly.
The circular nature of Vodafone’s aims and the pre-existing material they shared with us made a suitable approach clear to our Employer Tribe.
The course was to take the form of product development from ideation, through to development and finally launch. Knowledge could be gained at every stage, much of this through videos and Q&As with experts, and with practical exercises such as coming up with product ideas to work on through the placement.
Vodafone’s approach was demonstrated organically through insight into how leaders in product development work rather than a hard sell of their virtues as an employer.
Only after these three modules was there a final section showcasing careers at Vodafone and the myriad entry routes. Had the programme been reversed - learn about Vodafone, and then launch into product design - completions would likely have been far lower.
The central message shone through - at Vodafone there is the chance to work on cutting-edge projects, launch entirely new services and be involved at every stage - You may get to help shape the future!
Vodafone’s desire for the course to be viewed by a diverse audience was realised. More than half of the cohort were female and non-white students accounted for 71% - therefore white and male - often an over-represented group - only accounted for around one in eight students.
On a programme best-suited to years 12 and 13, there were 1,055 enrolments.
Male/Female/other (ie chose not to say / trans) - 47%/51%/2%
Ethnicity: Asian: 43% White: 29%Black: 18%
The placement was well-liked, increasing industry knowledge and, on completion, students were more likely to consider working for Vodafone.
The average rating for both whether students enjoyed the placement and if they would recommend it was 8.7 out of 10 - indeed, many of those it was recommended to will be part of the second cohort.
Only 3% said they had ‘excellent’ knowledge of careers in the industry before the programme, which rose to 52% on completion.
It was heartening to see that students remained interested in careers in the industry, with 92% saying they would consider working in the sector, and 935 saying they’d consider Vodafone. Even these high figures rose after completing the programme.
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