My Pearson Experience: Representing the Student Voice

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Erick Jenkins
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I am honored and humbled by the experiences Pearson has provided me. As a Pearson Campus Ambassador (PCA), I have had the privilege to deliver the student voice to Pearson executives and attend conferences across the nation. Pearson Insiders and PCA’s are frequently given the chance to tell their story and how they feel about Pearson – and what’s truly remarkable is that Pearson listens. In my travels, I have learned about this multinational company and the true emphasis it puts on student perspective. I can say after interning and working for several companies, Pearson has the kindest and most accessible employees and executives I have met.

Representing the student voice

Recently I was part of a group of PCA’s invited to Boston to bring the student voice directly to the Board of Directors of Pearson. This was a very eye-opening experience. We were all nervous going in and did not quite know what to expect. We thought we would be around “big shots” who wouldn’t really care what we had to say. However, we were very wrong. The board members were very interested in our perspective. 

What does the millennial learner want?

We sat on a panel as the board of directors asked us questions. Some were challenging and really allowed me to think. Questions such as ‘What does the millennial learner want?’ don’t come up in conversations frequently. We had the high honor of representing a whole generation of students so had to construct solid reasoning before answering. After we gave our answers one board member stated that millennials are unpredictable because “we don’t know what we want”. I agree with this statement and I also believe that we want learning to come cheap and easy. I questioned whether I should make this statement to the Board of Directors. The answer is yes, if given the chance everyone should speak truth to power. People with influence breathe too, they’re humans and can learn from others. Students are customers, learners, and beneficiaries of Pearson’s products. I don’t think anyone would disagree that students want products that are affordable and easy to use. None of us on that panel articulated this thought directly, but we all spoke to the diverse struggles of students.

Seize the opportunity to say what you think

We all also had the chance to speak individually to the board afterwards and I can say that I was heard by them.The Board really showed their appreciation of our insights. Each of us shared our stories and they had words of wisdom for us on how to pursue our dreams. They understood that each of us had to give up something to be in that room since we are all full time students. What I got out of this experience is that everyone’s background is important. You never know how similar they may be to you. Seize opportunities to share your thoughts and also to give people the opportunity to speak regardless of your assumptions. You never know what position you’ll be in when you are done with school, just remember to be accepting.


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