Posted November 30, 2017 by Mark Perna
The Career Tree ignites the motivation of your current students, but it’s also an amazing recruitment tool. Yes, it’s the students already in your classroom who are interacting with the Tree daily and envisioning their future careers and lifestyles, but when they do this, it attracts more of the right students to your program. This is because the Career Tree shows prospective students and parents the real-life, real-time aspirations of your current students on display at the heart of your program or pathway. And that’s compelling.
The Career Tree also creates an element of the best possible peer pressure. Prospective students will sit up and listen when current students talk about why they chose their branch of the Tree and how they’re planning to reach it. I’ve written before about why and how students should be program ambassadors to their peers. The Career Tree gives them a dynamic, visual tool to share their aspirations in a clear and easily relatable way. Prospective students will walk away thinking, “that person knows where she’s going in life and she’s excited to get there. I can do that, too.”
And don’t forget the power of the parents as influencers in the perspectives and decisions of the younger generations. This is where the visual impact of the Career Tree cannot be overestimated. Parents who truly see the many different pathways, opportunities, and competitive advantages displayed through your Career Tree will become allies in promoting your program to their child. While true motivation must come from the excitement of the student and cannot be created secondhand, students can benefit from parental guidance in discovering their career passion.
The Career Tree is an effectual tool to take prospective students and transform them into the right students, motivated to excel in the right programs, for all the right reasons. It isn’t just about finding more of the right students who already exist — it’s about helping any student become the right student when they discover their perfect intersection of career and lifestyle.
If you’re using the Career Tree to make a difference with the young people already in your classroom and organization, keep it up. That’s what it’s designed to do as a narrative-changing, paradigm-shifting, expectation-raising strategy. Integrating the Career Tree into everything you are already doing, rather than viewing it as just another thing to add to the to-do list, will make it the connective tissue that gives relevance to every aspect of your curriculum. But don’t stop there.
Start using the Tree with prospective students and parents to promote the dynamic narrative and competitive advantage they can experience through your pathway. The Career Tree can truly be the overarching, start-to-finish theme of your organization: showing prospects what’s possible, converting them to the right students, and motivating them to complete their studies for all the right reasons.