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Virtual and social: engaging new recruits through digital learning experiences

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Attracting and developing graduates has always been a top priority for global corporations. Graduates and interns are the future of a business. They bring a fresh, dynamic perspective, educated brains and a thirst for knowledge.

For the most recent set of graduates, moving into the world of work isn’t playing out perhaps quite as they expected. Despite growing up with technology, they may still have expected to physically meet their new employers, not be interviewed on Zoom. The traditional Graduate Assessment center has (at least for now) become a thing of the past, replaced by virtual hangouts and Zoom meetings.

This was a challenge our client CMS faced but they certainly rose to the occasion. The CMS Annual Academy is a key part of their early talent acquisition scheme and the main route towards a training contract at CMS. It usually consists of one week of training on the business of law and a two-week internship. Because of COVID-19, CMS had to completely redesign the Academy in 2020 to deliver it entirely virtually.

For many years we facilitated one of our simulation sessions as part of the programme. There is always such a buzz in the air, with a large room full of enthusiastic, talented young people, all keen to impress their potential employer. In the virtual Academy, we facilitated a customised version of our stakeholder management simulation with 126 participants from across the UK and beyond (with several joining from Africa) in a synchronous session that still made a huge impact. Participants rated the simulation as one of the best sessions in the entire week-long Academy:

99% of participants rated the simulation experience as very good or outstanding

“This was the most challenging, yet rewarding part of the Academy” – Participant

“This was such a unique learning experience; I gained skills I will take forward in my career” – Participant

CMS was delighted with how the simulation went and felt it worked just as well virtually as it had done in previous years when delivered face-to-face.

“It was fab to watch the simulation virtually, I strongly feel that the participants lost nothing in terms of experience by adapting the approach and I was really impressed with how smoothly everything went.” – Becky Lowe, Head of Talent Acquisition, CMS

The programme attracted widespread praise as CMS won ‘Best Virtual Internship’ at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards (NUE) 2021 for the future-facing CMS Academy programme. We were delighted to be part of this amazing experience and salute the incredible people at CMS Careers UK and Mind³, led by Ali Tisdall, who made it happen.

Ososim is a global learning technology company that helps organisations to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Working in over 85 countries with major global companies, as well as government institutions, leading business schools and non-profit organisations, our digital learning experiences enable individuals, teams and companies to perform at their best.

To find out more about our virtual business simulations please contact us on +44 (0)1223 421 034 or email