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The Career Professionals Development Institute (CPDI) is a training program designed for Talent and Career professionals to acquire state-of-the-art competencies and stay up-to-date with the latest trends relevant to their work. The program, which was hosted April 19 -21 at Antwerp Management School (Belgium) and was led by EFMD Global Professional Development and Highered.

Participants of the program learned how to deploy learning resources and development tools to help students and alumni improve their career aspirations and manage their career trajectory. The Institute allowed participants to gain a better understanding of how to align the hiring needs of corporate partners with the profile of graduate cohorts.

An essential component of the program is peer-to-peer interactions with colleagues from leading academic institutions around the world. This enables participants to share best practices and build their own supportive network of peers.

The program was broken down into five modules, covering the most essential topics for career professionals:

  • Career Advising 
  • Career Education
  • Leadership in Careers
  • Recruiter Relations and Co-Creating Value with Recruiters 
  • HR Tech

This year’s program kicked it off with a group icebreaker with the theme of “Be Discovered” and featured the Careers Innovation Challenge. To ensure the learning experience is as relevant and practical as possible, participants will define and work on a Careers Innovation Challenge relevant to their own context. With the support of their peers and the program facilitators, they will formulate an action plan to be implemented in their institutions.

Icebreaker: Be Discovered

Maria Moragianis, Head of Career Development and Community Engagement at Highered set the scene by running an interactive Icebreaker activity to welcome all participants to the two day event and get to know each other a little better. 

Module 1: Career Advising

Rachel Power, Careers Consultant at London School of Economics, led this interactive session. Participants reflected on their professional experience of providing careers advice and coaching online and in person. They discussed the purpose of careers advice, current models used, how coaching and career advice build resilience and adaptability for students, and the impact of ideas concerning the future of work on careers advising. Additionally, they explored the professional skills needed to ensure career advice remains relevant for students.

Module 2: Career Education

Raf Cuyvers, Founder and CEO of MyCareerCompanion, provided participants with an ‘outside-in’ perspective on how to design and manage a learning and development journey for the current generation of talent. Participants learned about initiatives coming from career centers in Benelux focusing on hybrid (‘phygital’) approaches. Additionally, there was discussions and sharing of best practices.

Module 3: Leadership in Careers

Koen Marichal, Founder of Expertise Center Leadership at Antwerp Management School, led this workshop. Participants gained a deeper understanding of leadership, self-consciousness about themselves as leaders, and inspiration for further development.

Module 4: Recruiter Relations and Co-Creating Value with Recruiters

Aga Rogala, Global Talent Acquisition Program Manager at Aliaxis, designed a session to enhance collaboration with companies and develop key skills required in the role of career advisor. Participants came out with a better understanding of how to create an attractive collaboration with different companies, customize the approach based on real case scenarios, and improve their presentation, negotiation, and relationship-building skills.

Module 5: HR Tech

Dr. Amber Wigmore Alvarez, Chief Talent Officer at Highered EFMD, focused on the understanding of recruiters’ Application Tracking Systems (ATS) and their direct link with technology that aims to accelerate matching with the right candidates. Participants also had a chance to explore and discuss digital disruption and innovation in the HR tech landscape. A highlight of the session was the interactive breakout group work activity: ” Should I use ChatGPT for my Cover Letter?”

The program was designed to help participants strengthen their resources, develop ambitious strategies, and provide opportunities for knowledge exchange and brainstorming. All the learnings will be taken back to their Career Services Department and institutions to further support their students’ and alumni’s success in their career ambitions.