Real World – Clients, Stakeholders and Mentors

Well and truly thrown it at the deep end on our first Monday back.  We were briefed on our first project, ‘Real World’, which as it says on the tin is a real life, real client, real outcomes project.  The brief from Wendy included telling us about what sorts of things past years have done, what the project would entail and sort of how to tackle it.  Our clients then came in at 11 to fully explain what it is they want.

Our client is the University itself which I think is quite different than how it’s been in past years – I don’t know if this will make it easier or harder…  We’ll see.  Essentially they University wants to implement a ‘Healthy University’ initiative, which needs to be a lot more three dimensional than perhaps typically expected.  We, the students, have been split up into several teams which are each responsible for a different aspect of the initiative.  My team have been given the Environment, and our target audience is other students.  There is a central premise to the idea of a ‘healthy’ university, and the idea is to promote well-being issues, environmental issues, equality/diversity, and create an atmosphere within the university of acceptance and ‘health’ (whatever that may be, as we are of course aware that this means different things to different people at different times, depending on their cultural backgrounds and lifestyle choices.  This is the first of many problems I feel we might encounter on this journey of finding a ‘healthy’ university).

The briefing from the client was exceptionally vague, with our team listening out for the environment team discussing their plans within the Healthy University scheme.  We got our turn, but were left wondering what was expected of us.  The environment slide had three bullet points on it, along with a vague explanation of what the University may or may not think would be useful.  We were told of some things already put in place by the University, for example that Cardiff Met sends no waste to landfill, which of course is positive, but that the students tend not to engage with this message, or in fact any environmental message from the University.  We, as students, are aware of this, and discussed with each other how there is a massive disconnect between the business-like university, and the student population.  The University runs green initiatives and hosts ‘green’ days, etc, but these are all very corporate feeling, and disseminating this information to students tends to be via email which inevitably gets lost in the sea of emails we receive each week.

It’s hard to see at this point where we’ll go, or what even is being asked of us.  I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

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