Introducing the Connector Programme
By: Polly Wallace-Kruger
Last updated: Monday, 23 November 2020
The Connector Programme sees students and staff working as equal partners through co-creation; innovating, finding solutions and continuously improving the student experience at Sussex. Connectors inspire and actively make change at the University, developing leadership, teamwork and communication skills in their paid roles. Staff learn from Connectors and embrace student generated ideas which support the university to better reflect student needs and improve success and wellbeing. Across the university, the work of Connectors and the act of co-creation initiates positive change whilst creating a more connected community at Sussex.
Currently over 120 Connectors are working in their paid roles, partnering with staff to design and deliver student experience projects at the university. Connectors are advising on the improvement of academic skills resources for students, supporting the merger for the School of Media, Arts & Humanities, finding ways to improve the sense of community and belonging within the Schools, and in many more areas. In all Connector work, students have the opportunity to:
1. Co-create with staff to make meaningful change
As a Connector you are a part of projects and wider work that make meaningful change at Sussex. Connector projects are student-led which means that the student voice is at the forefront of development. Students are key to the success of projects as staff are able to hear what is really needed and wanted from students during their time at Sussex. Georgia Shakeshaft, an Academic Skills Connector, commented on working in a team of students and staff:
“I have loved working with staff in the Academic Skills team. They’ve always shown a real willingness to learn from us and for them to teach us. There is just a great acknowledgement of how valuable the student contribution can be – we really feel like part of the team . . . We watch our suggestions play out in real time – and we get to be a part of the whole process; it’s truly collaborative.”
2. Gain leadership, communication and problem-solving skills
Employers are looking for students and graduates with key skills and often with work experience; the Connector Programme gives students opportunities to develop these whilst studying. William Howlett spoke about the skills he developed as he worked on co-creating Welcome Week this year as a Lead Welcome Connector:
“Being a Student Connector has provided me with many skills. It allows you to be creative and work as part of a team and individually . . . It is a brilliant job for providing experience and skills for your CV. Any career or job you wish to move into in the future, the Connector role is able to provide experience and skills to take with you.”
3. Join a community
Through joining the Connector Programme you will be part of a community of welcoming, friendly and supportive network of students and staff who share a common interest of collaboration and innovation to make meaningful change. Hafsah Butt, a Student Experience Connector who also co-chairs the Connector Committee, said:
“One thing that I really value . . . are the friendships I have made with other Connectors. Since I started, I have had the opportunity to work in different teams on several projects which has allowed me to get to know so many people both individually and in groups. Although mostly online, I have still been able to form great relationships with fellow Connectors which has made my experience working as a Connector really a great experience.”
The Connector Programme team is keen to offer students and staff more opportunities to co-create and learn from one another, across all areas of the University. New opportunities to join the Connector team come up regularly, so search ‘Connector’ on CareerHub and follow our Instagram @studentconnectors_ to stay updated.
If you have any questions, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.