Enhancing employability through leadership training
conference contributionposted on 14.12.2017 by Peter Willmot
Any type of content contributed to an academic conference, such as papers, presentations, lectures or proceedings.
Most university engineering degrees include elements of teamwork experience to a greater or lesser extent and students are frequently placed in positions of leadership. Few universities, however, actively develop leadership skills or provide targeted training as a primary objective within course modules. Leadership coaching is a competence that is outside the experience of most engineering academics and providing it offers a new challenge for them. This paper compares two models for teaching 'leadership', offered as options in the final-year of an undergraduate engineering programme. Both use methods far removed from the usual diet of lectures and examinations. One is focused around a semester-long activity where senior students take responsibility for a team of younger students undertaking an industrially-based project. It is supported by a series of activity-based workshops. The second has similar objectives but is very different in style; it encapsulates a three-day intensive outdoor management course that exemplifies team-work and leadership theory through hands-on activities and provides the main focus for precourse learning and post-course assignments. This paper describes the two variants and the philosophy that inspired them. A short survey reveals how a year-group of students responded to the different training methods and provides a comparison of the two educational models.
- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering