Brock students are building new communication techniques one block at a time.
A group of Goodman School of Business students took part in a career planning exercise on July 24 that saw them use Lego to prepare for upcoming job interviews and networking situations.
The first Lego® Serious Play® workshop specifically aimed at Brock students was led by Co-op, Career and Experiential Education’s Career Curriculum Specialist, Marisa Brown, who taught the students to use Lego to better remember their answer to the commonly asked interview question ‘tell me about yourself.’
The exercise lets students work with their hands to explore different ways of thinking, communicating and problem-solving while building Lego structures.
“This session was specifically focused on interviewing and networking,” said Brown. “We wanted participants to be able to answer a question and then extract that and reference it later. By working in a tactile way that promotes ‘hand knowledge,’ the students significantly increase their ability to harness their own long-term memory.”
To achieve the desired result, the students were asked to perform three separate building tasks that related to questions about their own lives.
“This technique helps students dive deeper and lets them think creatively by building something and formulating an answer in a different way,” said Brown. “In the interview, they will remember the model they built and that will help them more effectively answer the question about themselves.”
With interviews and recruiting events for Goodman students often taking place early in the Fall semester, the participants were happy to try out a new technique to help make a great first impression.
For Bachelor of Business Administration student Harry Chandrabalan, who will cross the stage at Fall Convocation, the exercise helped to clarify some key strengths that he hopes to include in his answers.
“I built a tower with a figurine on the top to show that I can be a leader,” he said. “I’ll remember the Lego and using my hands, and that will stick with me going forward when I’m asked to talk about myself in an interview.”
Master of Business Administration student Twinkle Dhawan said that she hopes to use the exercise to improve her confidence while talking to employers.
“I feel like I have relevant experience but it can be tougher for me to formally communicate that,” she said. “I can talk to my friends, but when I am trying to impress employers I get nervous. Now, I can think of the Lego model I made and that will make answering the questions much easier.”
Though it was Goodman students in the inaugural workshop, Brown hopes to use the technique for career planning with students from other Faculties as well as to promote hands-on learning in career-related courses throughout the University.
“It’s a way to actively engage students in a class and get them thinking in a different way,” she said. “We are trying to tap into all of the different types of learning and communication styles that will help our students to succeed in the workplace.”
As the exercise concluded and the students packed their blocks back into bags, Dhawan reflected on the new type of learning she had participated in and how simple exercises can be used to solve more complex questions students face.
“Before I arrived, I didn’t understand how a childhood game could help you with such an important part of your life,” she said. “But as the event went by, I understood that I could take parts of my personality and put them in the Lego structures. Your hands just help you and you don’t even have to think about what you want to make.”
In addition to the new Lego exercises, students looking for career preparation assistance can also visit the University’s Career Education team, which regularly helps with job searches, interview preparation, resumé review and more.
To learn more about Lego® Serious Play® exercises on campus, contact Brown at email@example.com or x5692.