Partnerships in the Community

We may be able to help you with our new programme for 2020.

We support organisations in Oxfordshire and beyond through our innovative learning and experience programmes for Oxford students and researchers. Every year around 550 Oxford students and researchers work on nearly 100 client projects across our team-based client experience programmes. We help businesses, charities, community organisations, Council departments, arts and cultural institutions.

Covid-19 disruption means that we have had to pause our regular programmes: The Student Consultancy (TSC), Researcher Strategy Consultancy (RSC) and The Agency. After a successful pilot we are pleased to offer an alternative remote working programme, The Oxford Strategy Challenge (TOSCA).

The students that worked on COCO’s project through TOSCA were extremely impressive. In a very short space of time, they researched extensively and produced recommendations that we would have expected from a charity consultant with many more years’ experience. The students demonstrated passion and enthusiasm, worked together as a team and used their skill sets and interests to ask difficult questions. The results produced tangible suggestions to assist COCO with the development of our social impact process. I would highly recommend this programme and hope to use it again in the future.

Lucy Kendall – Chief Executive Officer

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TOSCA is a team-based experiential learning event with participants working on real strategy-focused client challenges over a week. We will run TOSCA events each month through to December. Our aim is to provide opportunities for participants to boost and demonstrate key employment skills: team working, business awareness, communication, initiative, creativity, planning, leadership and self-management. We do not charge our clients. The students and researchers volunteer for our programmes and use the experience to boost and demonstrate their employability skills.

How TOSCA works

Every element of the delivery will present a learning opportunity for our participants. The Careers Service will run an assessment process with an online selection exercise before participants progress to training sessions to prepare them for their client project work.

The key programme details are:

  • The student and researcher participants work in teams of four
  • Two teams will be assigned to each client challenge. Although it is not a formal competition (everyone is a winner!) this format encourages participants to shine
  •  The client relationship will start with a pre-booked online briefing call on the Thursday and the teams will work through the weekend and present their work on the following Wednesday during a pre-booked online presentation call.

Prior to launching a project, we scope an outline of the challenge with the client. The teams will be provided with this and liaise directly with the client over the period of the project. We provide mentoring support to help the teams work through any general of technical queries that may arise.

We encourage our teams to present their work to their client formally as it provide a great opportunity to boost their communication and presentation skills.

 

We will run TOSCA at the start of the month and the activity dates to the end of 2020 are as follows:

Activity and dates – Summer 2020 August event September event October event November event
Projects scoped Project briefs from clients By Tuesday

 

21 July

By Tuesday

 

18 August

By Tuesday

 

15 September

By Tuesday

 

17 November

Project work ‘Meet the client’ online briefing call for teams Thursday

 

30 July

Thursday

 

3 September

Thursday

 

1 October

Thursday

 

26 November

Client available for ‘check-in’ calls/email queries Friday

 

31 July

Friday

 

4 September

Friday

 

2 October

Friday

 

27 November

Online call when teams make presentation to their client Wednesday

 

5 August

Wednesday

 

9 September

Wednesday

 

7 October

Wednesday

 

2 December

 

We are looking for client projects

Would you like to participate in our new remote-working experiential learning programme for Oxford students and researchers?

It is important that the scope of the challenge is realistic and their work doable in the time available. We will encourage each team to prepare a proposal letter after their first online meeting with their client to outline the work they will do and the deliverables that have been agreed.

Although the research that is possible is limited by the time available, the teams will be able to do desk research, some survey and interview work and explore good practice in other markets and sectors. We are confident that this, along with their thinking time together, will lead to useful findings and recommendations for you.

What does a good project look like? 

We run over 90 client projects a year and the service model is proven. A good project will have some element of research and a requirement for our team to make recommendations on the right strategy for you to take forward. It will have a defined scope, and can realistically be delivered in the time available. But most of all, it must be important to our client: we like our teams to make a real impact!

What does a good client look like? 

A good client is interested in nurturing talent for the future and providing our participants with a real-world experience. They are open to an external perspective on their challenge, are committed to the project and have time available to work with our team and provide direction when necessary.

To find out more

If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at courses@careers.ox.ac.uk.

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