Laureate International Universities Prepares Students for the Workplace

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic upended our thinking about career services and student job placements, it was clear that systemic pressures on employers have in turn pressured job seekers to polish and showcase the specific experience and skills that will be relevant as the workplace continues to experience rapid changes. Laureate International Universities is working to address this urgent need. The company, which operates universities around in mature and developing markets around the world, is building out robust career services functions supported by Symplicity’s CSM software solution in key markets. In the emerging economies of Brazil and Mexico, Laureate sees both the need and the opportunity to bolster its universities’ brands through scaffolding services for students and work-integrated learning partnerships with leading employers. Brazil and Mexico, for example, present unique challenges and opportunities.

A 2018 study by the McKinsey Global Institute observed that roughly half of current Brazilian labor could be automated with existing technology. The need for skills that can’t be automated, particularly skills that enable students to bring creativity, problem-solving, and innovation to their work—will be paramount. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way employers think about the way we work and therefore the skills that workers will need. Forbes points out that working from home is likely to be a holdover trend beyond the pandemic. With that shift will come an even greater need for workers to demonstrate their proficiency with collaboration technologies. However, the pandemic may have an upside for knowledge workers in emerging economies: increased access to job markets. A recent McKinsey whitepaper suggests that the rise of remote work will cause a rethinking of companies’ talent acquisition strategies. The shift could open up opportunities for jobseekers in emerging economies.

To better prepare graduates in Brazil for successful careers, Laureate Brazil began an implementation of Symplicity CSM across its eleven universities. “Symplicity’s consultants have helped us to realize our objective of creating a nationally coordinated community of practice for Career Services,” says Daniel Medeiros, National Manager of Careers and Entrepreneurship. “The CSM software has provided tools to help our students get good jobs. We’re very focused on the student experience across our universities and continuing to build their brand value. The early results have been promising.”

At Universidad del Valle de Mexico, another Laureate brand that operates 34 campuses throughout Mexico, Transformation Officer Leopoldo del Toro has undertaken a similar effort to re-make Career Services from the ground up. “We needed to create accountability for engaging both employers and students across all our campuses,” del Toro said. “The goals are simple: improve job placement outcomes to provide even more value for our students. As the toolset that enables the vision, our investment in CSM has been a key part of the strategy.”

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