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Last week saw the first residential part of E-consultancy's Graduate Academy at Reading University and I can honestly say that it was both a pleasure and to some degree, a surprise.

We had three days of intensive teaching lined up for our successful 28 delegates with the aim of making sure they have a sound grounding in all things digital. Eight trainers, three client speakers and 30 hours of teaching later and we hope the process is well under way.

My biggest surprise was the level of insight and questioning that we experienced. Not only was the understanding of digital innate (being in their early 20’s, I guess they are some of the first ‘digital natives’ to graduate from university), but their understanding of it as a communication and marketing tool was also very high. I can honestly say that it was at least the match for the feedback and input we get from many of our MSc students.

For the delegates though, the really hard work starts now. Over the next three weeks, they will be putting together a digital strategy for a company of their choice and then presenting back to our assembled panel of tough digital dragons at the next residential part of the program.

To make it even more difficult, we have set up a social learning space on using the Ning network, where they have to show how their thinking and research is going. Those who just jump to the end presentation won’t get the same assessment, even if their presentation rocks. None of that internet plagiarism for this lot!

If anyone out there is looking for new digital talent and wants access to the Ning platform to see our students ‘digital C.Vs’ as they develop, then drop us a line on graduate@e-consultancy.com and we’ll arrange access.

Craig Hanna

Published 8 August, 2008 by Craig Hanna

Craig Hanna is a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter.

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