“Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” preparing students for networking through assessed work-based learning (WBL)


  • Wendy Johnston Faculty of Science
  • Danielle Anderson Student Futures




Shared ideas, opportunities, connections, profile raising, increased confidence - five of the benefits that networking brings. A powerfully important job-hunting skill, research reveals the importance of networking behaviours for career success (Jacobs et al, 2019). Therefore, networking has impact beyond the curriculum and can enhance future graduate job prospects.

In undergraduate Nutrition and Sport Nutrition, we work toward providing excellent student experiences within and beyond the curriculum to enhance graduate employment and actively engage students to diversify module delivery.

It is well documented that providing opportunities for students to learn experientially in authentic environments offers many benefits, whilst active learning allows students to engage with course material outside of the traditional classroom and take a greater responsibility for their learning. The WBL module offers authentic work placements; however, we aspired to help our students to develop effective networking skills within an authentic environment.

Therefore, an alternative experiential learning activity in the form of a bespoke networking event for students was designed and delivered as a pilot in October 2022. This event brought external providers, key LJMU student services and students together in a social space, offering active and engaging learning via WBL in curriculum, and provided a safe space for exposure to this key skill.

Linking the assessment for the module with the event encouraged engagement from students to take a greater responsibility for their learning, whilst the event overall provided insight into graduate employment opportunities; allowing students to make informed decisions relating to careers.

The pilot was considered successful, and this has now been adopted as good practice with further events planned in the School of Sports & Exercise Science. Both qualitative and quantitative findings from students and other internal/ external stakeholders will be presented.

“Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” preparing students for networking through assessed work-based learning (WBL) Powerpoint. Only LJMU staff and students have access to this resource.