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Bridging the gap between what we learn at university and what we are required to do at work

My personal experience after graduating 5 years ago was that I had little professional experience to put forward in my CV in order to prove that I'm competent for a job as well as little knowledge about what I wanted and therefore confidence in my abilities to succeed. At that time there were at least many job offers on the market, which is not the case today and there are more and more young competent people that can't find a job: they either cost too much or lack experience. I therefore interviewed some young graduates to understand what challenges they were facing.

Photo of Kalina Mihaylova
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My research was inspired by my personal story. Throughout my professional experience I have always looked for a purpose and a meaning in what I do and was penalised in many cases for not having a steady career in one field but rather than that going from one field to another. However, when I started looking for a job there were many opportunities on the labout market where as today there are very few job offers in my city. Therefore the fact that I had previously worked in a variety of fields and even as entrepreneur helped me find a job. I started talking to students about building careers and entrepreneurship two years ago and have many stories to share but most of them can be resumed by the interview I joined to my input: young graduates I have met find it difficut to bridge the gap between what they learn at university and what they are required to know and do in a professional environment, while they also lack personal understanding and purpose.


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Photo of Meena Kadri

Thanks for sharing this insightful post, Kalina. And we're digging your visualisation! Ahead of our upcoming Ideas phase, you and others here might want to start thinking about how we could turn these issues into opportunity areas. Often a good way to start is to start jotting down How Might We... questions to flip the issue into a search for opportunities.

eg. How might we reduce the gap between what is learnt at school and what is required at school? How might we help students reflect on, devise and communicate a sense of purpose?

As you look through other posts on our Research phase, you might start to find inspiration around these questions, seek & share some of your own and start to connect dots which are likely to surface fresh new thinking for our upcoming Ideas phase. We're excited to see where it all leads and are amped to have you onboard!

Photo of Kalina Mihaylova

Dear Meena, thank you very much for your feedback, ideas and guidance. I will indeed take the time to look through all the posts and think about reformulating my problem statement. Thank you!