Sprint – A Ground-breaking Professional Development Programme for women undergraduates, post-graduates and researchers.
Sprint is the ground-breaking new professional development programme for undergraduate women with a special version available to address the issues for post-grad students and researchers.
Sprint at the University of Bath
Staff from the Careers Service, students and sponsors discuss the merits of the personal development plan, Sprint
The original Sprint programme has been researched and designed specifically to address the study and career issues faced by women at university. Originally developed in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, and more recently with the University of Oxford , both universities have contributed greatly to the new Sprint programme for women undergraduates, post-graduates and researchers.
Research at the University of Oxford shows that there is a shockingly large pay gap between men and women after graduating from Oxford University, even though they hold the same class degrees in the same subjects. As one example, 50% of Social Science male graduate leavers earn £27,000 or more on leaving university, while 70% of females with exactly the same degrees, earn £27,000 – OR LESS!
This corresponds with another survey, by the Higher Education Careers Unit, who measured the earnings of 17,000 recent graduates. They discovered that 70% of women graduates were earning less than £24,000, compared with 55% of men. And this applied even in subject areas where women’s participation was greater than men’s, such as law.
Sprint has been developed to help to put an end to the gender pay gap and end inequality and disparity between men and women’s pay.
What people say about the Sprint Professional Development Programme for women – 6 Video interviews
Who is it designed for ?
The Sprint programme is designed for undergraduate women of all ages, from all backgrounds, ages and stages in their professional lives and study. Regardless of subject, department or career aspirations, Sprint is designed to develop female students to their fullest potential.
A different edition of ‘Sprint’ is available for women post-graduate students and researchers, specifically designed to address those issues which differ to those of undergraduates.
What does the programme consist of?
Built on pioneering work carried out by University of Cambridge, Sprint has been further developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
Delivered in a flexible format, to accommodate academic terms, study pressures and research schedules, the Sprint programme consists of the following:
What results can I expect?
For universities, a Sprint development programme adds value to the overall student experience at for undergraduates, improves employability, and helps to ensure that each undergraduate has the best possible chance to develop to her full potential with a view to gaining employment.
For participants, the results will depend on the objectives that each woman sets for herself on the first workshop. They tend to fall under three headings:
Study: Many undergraduate women focus on their studies at university, achieving results such as improved visibility, concentration and effectiveness in tutorials, better time management for revision and essay writing, less study stress, and improved confidence and self-esteem.
Career: Many women use the Sprint Development Programme to sharpen their career goals, raise their aspirations, explore possibilities and to take advantage of the work shadowing and coaching opportunities that are often offered by corporate sponsors.
Personal: Other women look to achieve results in their personal lives, for example working through difficult relationships, improving fitness and gaining a better (and healthier) study/life balance.
In practice, most participants achieve a mixture of all three categories of results through their experience of Sprint.
Some Sprint programmes attract corporate sponsorship, providing participants with the rare opportunity to meet women from the corporate world, both as mentors and as inspiring guest speakers. Sprint helps to facilitate internships, work shadowing and professional work placements that are often offered by sponsors. Participants can also benefit from opportunities to receive career focussed coaching to help with interview techniques, CV writing and job applications.
Find out more about sponsorship.
- 70% of Sprint participants say the programme improved their effectiveness in studying
- 90% say that meeting and working with different women was extremely useful
- 75% say they are now better at setting realistic goals and action points
- 70% say they are managing their time better and therefore working more productively
- 65% say they have better personal, career and study goals
- 65% say they will approach challenges more positively and with much more confidence than they did prior to participating in Sprint.
- 60% feel better able to speak up and confidently voice their opinions
‘The ‘Sprint‘ programme will be a brilliant tool for undergraduate life and beyond. It has helped to understand myself – my values, strength and weaknesses – and with a full understanding of them to target key areas of my personal development and to set small achievable action points within my life. It teaches this in a practical, sustainable way and is not a short term fix. It instils a long ‘approach’ to life and for me will be an invaluable tool as I leave university and move to the world beyond.’
‘I found it useful meeting great new people and realising that we have some common worries but also our own values and goals. I’m taking away a more optimistic outlook – ready to say yes to opportunities and also to accept that it’s ok if things sometimes go wrong.’
‘One of the biggest differences is that I am now more confident that I can actually achieve ambitious goals. Before I started ‘Sprint’, I knew a lot of things I would like to do now or in the future, but I often assumed that I just don’t have the right skills or qualities to achieve them.’
‘A very worthwhile experience that has resulted in a mentor that recognises and helps me tackle my challenges!