After a “students and companies speed dating” event last year, Visma Commerce has been matched with a team of five students from the Cognitive Science program at Linköping University. And now we are very happy to together enter a mentorship program that will last for two years.
Linn, Ellen, Rikard, Elin and Alice are all in their second year of the Cognitive Science Educational program and have chosen to enter the Company Mentorship Program. When I meet up with them on a cold and sunny January day in Linköping, they explain that Visma was the first hand choice for all of them during the matchmaking event. Their hope is to be able to deliver real value to Visma by applying their knowledge and creativity to existing challenges within the UX field.
And now it is up to us, the UX community within Visma to deliver assignments, projects and research questions that the students can apply their knowledge and skills to solve, and that they find inspiring, of course!
The mentorship program is connected to several courses in the educational program, with varying focus and challenges, with the common feature that they all focus on applying acquired knowledge on real life challenges. According to Mattias Arvola, originator of the Company Mentor Program, there are several gains for students who join the program:
“The students gather hands-on experience of handling a long term relationship with a company as well as insights into the practices, challenges and opportunities in working life.”
During the spring of 2016, the students will spend almost all their time in the course “Applied Cognitive Science”, where they will get the chance to try out practical work in the different phases of the User Centered Design process. This will be done in close collaboration with Visma Commerce, and include ethnographic field studies, qualitative analysis, concept development, interaction design, prototyping and of course, end user testing.
By participating in the Customer Mentor Program, Visma gets a unique opportunity to gather new ideas for improving the products, and also to get to know potential future employees in depth.