WiGROW Program Overview

WiGROW is an engagement initiative designed to support the learning of student-employees. Supervisors and student-employees engage in intentional, reflective conversations each semester, providing students an opportunity to consider connections between their on-campus employment, career goals, and college experience.

 

Three key features of WiGROW conversations:

  • WiGROW conversations are neutral and non-evaluative. Engaging in reflective conversations with their supervisors, separately from performance-related feedback, allows students to approach work as a learning opportunity.
  • WiGROW conversations identify transferable skills. Student-employees develop a broad range of skills in their on-campus jobs. In WiGROW conversations, students and supervisors name these skills and build upon them.
  • WiGROW conversations encourage reflection-in-action. Having these conversations can spark further reflection as students work, helping students to continue making connections between their on-campus job, their college experience, and their career goals.

Students participate in two to three WiGROW conversations per academic year. Within the first 45 days of hire, supervisors engage in an initial WiGROW conversation with the student-employee, sharing the concept of transferable skills and gaining an understanding of the student’s goals. Thereafter, supervisors conduct one WiGROW conversation per semester with the student-employee throughout their tenure.

Additionally, mini-conferences and workshop series provide training and support to both supervisors and students each semester.

WiGROW conversations are adaptable to a variety of contexts and workplaces. Participating units and departments choose a style according their workplace and the needs of students and supervisors. The three styles of WiGROW conversations are outlined below. In each style, the supervisor who facilitates the conversation may be either a professional staff member or a student who serves in a supervisory role.

WiGROW Conversation Style 1

  • One-to-one supervisor and student conversation
  • Away from daily work and students’ coworkers in an office, conference room, or other quiet space

WiGROW Conversation Style 2

  • One-to-one supervisor and student conversation
  • Within workspace, while working

WiGROW Conversation Style 3

  • Small group conversation facilitated by supervisor and involving 3-6 students
  • Away from daily work, in a quiet space

In all conversations, regardless of style, supervisors engage each student who is present in non-judgmental reflection. The conversation occurs at a dedicated time during which the students’ reflection is the supervisors’ main priority and focus.

In all WiGROW conversations this school year, spend extra time checking in as people to both overcome some of the awkwardness presented by screens and masks/distance, and to make sure students have a chance to share their experiences. Offer an opportunity for students to follow up with you after the conversation. For socially distant conversations, be sure to follow the latest safety protocols.

WiGROW Conversation Style 1 – One to one, away from work 

Virtual Work:

  • Opportunity to write down ideas first/use the chat
  • Suggest cameras on
  • Set your camera far enough away that student can see your body language
Socially Distant Work:

  • Masks on, distant
  • Take care with location because of volume/privacy
  • “I’m hearing you say…” Listen responsively and confirm understanding

WiGROW Conversation Style 2 – One to one, while working

Virtual Work:

  • It is unlikely that work done remotely will allow for productive conversations to take place as you work.
  • To get moving during the conversation, take a walk and call each other on the phone
Socially Distant Work:

  • Take care with location and volume
  • Listen responsively and confirm understanding
  • Be prepared to pause the work or pause the conversation and revisit

WiGROW Conversation Style 3 – In a group of 3-6

Virtual Work:

  • Use the chat function
  • Set guidelines for discussion
  • Suggest cameras on, introductions so folx know who is “in the room”
  • Have students opt into a group setting
Socially Distant Work:

  • Use a dedicated room that allows space for social distancing
  • Set guidelines and offer reminders of the importance of safety regulations

All WiGROW conversations provide space for students to reflect on work with the guidance of their supervisor. Supervisors will ask questions related to the following:

  1. Tell me what is new with you.
  2. What skills are you learning or practicing in your job?
  3. How  have you worked with and learned from others?
  4. How does your job impact your college experience?
  5. How is this job preparing you for your career?
  6. BONUS: Tell me about a situation that required you to grow?

Full list of questions: 2020-2021 WiGROW Questions & Resource Sheet

WiGROW workshops are offered in mini-conference format and independently. Supervisor workshops are designed to support supervisors in their role as educators of student-employees. Student workshops are designed to support students in developing transferable skills. All students and supervisors are welcome.

Upcoming trainings: Coming soon!