Although graduating from University is an amazing experience, the reality of work and the beginning of your career suddenly hits you and you realise that this is the time where you have to decide your next steps. For me these steps involved joining the Assessment Design team at Penna as a Junior Assessment Consultant.
The Assessment Design team at Penna provide a range of candidate assessment solutions for a variety of clients and for many different job roles. These solutions range from recommending psychometric tests, conducting job analysis, assessment centre validation to designing bespoke exercises. Our services promote best practice approaches to assessment for selection, in addition to enhancing the candidate experience and ensuring assessments are role relevant, engaging and innovative.
I have been fortunate enough to see all of these solutions come to life, as I have shadowed Ann Hartley, Principal Assessment Consultant at Penna from day one. They say the best way of learning about anything is by doing, and this is definitely true for my experience at Penna so far. In my first few weeks I was able to observe job analysis focus groups, assessment centres, attend client meetings and assist with design work, such as competency frameworks and interviews. This was not only very valuable for my learning and understanding of assessment design, but also made my introduction to Penna so exciting and hands on.
In addition to this great work introduction, I was instantly welcomed into the Penna family, a unique culture which is at the heart of the business. In my first week I met with the Directors at Penna, which I believe is so valuable at a junior level, being able to get to know the leaders in the business and learn from them first-hand what Penna has to offer.
Another key part of Penna is collaborative working, which is aided by our open-plan office where we can easily share knowledge with different parts of the business when needed. Our assessment design team frequently works with other departments within the organisation, such as the creative and digital teams, who help our assessment solutions come to life. For example, current client projects we are working on involve the use of technology at assessment centres, including virtual reality!
There have been so many additional factors and available resources that have aided my learning process and journey at Penna. These include attending events held by Penna, networking with associates and discussing current industry topics and being fortunate enough to join the Penna Academy team which assists with the recruitment of apprentices and interns. Penna also has a great system for personal development called ‘Learning Academy’ which is easily accessible via iPads in the office, where you can sign up to courses free of charge. I took full advantage of this and completed excel training, which is very beneficial for conducting adverse impact analysis – a key part of my role.
I can’t believe how the time has flown and looking back 5 months later, I can see how much my knowledge of assessment design has grown. I can’t wait to become more involved and learn even more.
Frankie Jenkins, Junior Assessment Consultant