The Assessment Centre Experience (ACE) is an ISE award winning mock assessment centre simulation, run by the University of Hertfordshire in partnership with Smart Resourcing Solutions (SRS). ACE has been recognised as one of the largest mock assessment centre simulations in the UK and will be attended by over 3000 students of the University of Hertfordshire in 2020. The scheme is designed to prepare students for the competitive reality of the graduate assessment day and equip them with the skills and confidence to launch business enterprise, secure placements and graduate employment.
Funded by the University, the ACE scheme enhances student employability. It is particularly beneficial to students who may lack knowledge of the recruitment processes and how to present themselves to employers, such as those from widening participation backgrounds and those who are the first in their family to attend university, who account for around 42% of UH students.
Students practice interviews, group exercises and presentations, assessed by SRS associates and relevant employers, whose extensive experience in graduate recruitment provides students with individual written feedback that can be used for career planning, supported by the University’s Careers and Employment Service.
ACE linked with a University scheme to support student business start-ups and self-employment in 2019 and now offers students the chance to pitch their business idea and to be interviewed on the plans for their business, whilst receiving feedback which they can use to develop further.
After attending ACE, students reported an increase in confidence in applying for placements and graduate schemes. On average, 14% of students felt confident in these applications prior to ACE. Post ACE this increased to 58% of students feeling confident or very confident. The programme has been embedded into the majority of level 5 undergraduate courses.
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