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The Community Innovation Programme (CIP) gives students from our courses the chance to build their CV while driving positive change within the local community.

Jed Gorka, James Hickman, Hannah Murphy, Iesha Jackson and Andrew Bailey

We caught up with some of our graduates (above in order of appearance) to find out how they thought the CIP has helped them in their careers.

Jed Gorka

“The CIP was a crucial factor in developing my understanding of sport for social change programmes and issues around sport development practice.

"Through the CIP I acquired a range of transferable skills such as networking, taking minutes and project management - all great skills to have!” 

James Hickman

“It's funny - I was in a lecture about applying for teaching jobs the other day and a lot of the skills they were talking about made me think back to the CIP.

"Learning how to work with young people who have severe learning difficulties has prepared me more for working with SEND children in the classroom. Networking during the CIP has given me more confidence to work with my fellow colleagues in school. Monitoring and evaluation units have prepared me for assessing children's progress in school and looking to find out the how and why of mechanisms behind their learning.

"The CIP has definitely improved my employability in many areas and I have learnt a lot to take into my career from the experience.”

Hannah Murphy

“The CIP was the best thing that could have ever happened to enhance my employability. Without it, I really do not feel I would be where I am now. 

"The CIP programme led to me getting interviews. Employers are fully aware of the CIP programme and know the sort of skills that we are gaining. Working with partners, developing projects and networking are just a few examples.

"The CIP programme taught me how take responsibility and ownership for something. Taking ownership of a project and developing the project definitely taught me enterprise skills. As well as this, the CIP taught me how to communicate effectively with a wide range of people - academics, schools, teachers, partner organisations and children. My communication skills definitely improved.

"Everything I learnt on the CIP I use within my day-to-day life and work. One of the most important skills I use is probably project management. Taking on a project, developing it, delivering it and then evaluating it properly.

"I was lucky enough to be the CIP coordinator after graduating, helping to develop this programme for current students. It was a true honour to be part of this.

"I can honestly say that being a student on this programme and then being the CIP coordinator got me to where I am now. Thanks to Kevin Harris for developing this truly amazing project!”

Iesha Jackson

"CIP is one of the best things I had the opportunity to experience while at Solent, giving me a real insight into the way people and organisations develop partnerships. I feel like a lot of the skills I leant during this module are transferrable and have benefitted me in a variety of ways in my personal and professional life.

"Whenever I go to an interview and they ask me about the CIP they’re quite surprised by how much work goes into the module and are always interested to hear all about it. I believe the CIP has given me an edge over others as it has developed most of the necessary skills to be a successful practitioner, coach or employee in general.

"It showed me the importance of being passionate about your work to get the best out of yourself and has drastically improved my interpersonal skills. I am able to verbally and electronically get my points across in a clear and professional way. I think that working with the age groups we did (10 -12) has made me more understanding of the ways young people like to interact and be engaged, especially within my coaching roles.

"I am happy that out of all the course options available I chose sport coaching and development because without the CIP I don’t think I’d be where I am today.”

Andrew Bailey

"The Community Innovation Project has provided me with a number of experiences which I am still reflecting and learning from today.

"The experience of identifying a need, then planning and delivering a project to meet that need is proving to be a great asset at identifying and developing projects at work. Furthermore, the CIP provided me with a strong foundation in effectively monitoring and evaluating projects.

"Evidence of leading a team and taking the initiative to make the team successful also aided me in securing my employment and continues to benefit me in my employment.

"I could go on further, but I will finish by saying that even if you do not appreciate or realise all the benefits of the CIP during the process, it is certainly worth staying the course. You will soon start to see the benefits."

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