Hear From the Expert:

A Q&A with Prof. William Donald

By IGI Global on Dec 20, 2023
0 With a career spanning over 15 years across both industry and academia, Professor Donald possesses a wealth of experience that bolsters his authority on the book's coverage. He recently answered our questions on what went behind his inspiration behind his timely research in his recent publication, Strategic Opportunities for Bridging the University-Employer Divide (ISBN:9781668498279).

Strategic Opportunities for Bridging the University-Employer Divide
Prof. William E. Donald
©2024 | 300 pgs. | ISBN: 9781668498279
  • Suitable for Educational Professionals, Business Owners, Students & More
  • Covers Topics such as Career Advisors, Job Market, & Modern Workplace
  • An Excellent Addition to your Library
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Prof. William Donald Answers Our Questions

What was the driving force or motivation for starting this book project?

Prof. Donald: While working on the Handbook of Research on Sustainable Career Ecosystems for University Students and Graduates (ISBN:9781668474426), I uncovered another significant gap in the existing literature. In January 2023, I searched Google Scholar using the phrase “career advisors and graduate recruiters”. Surprisingly, the top 10 results revealed that I was listed as an author in positions 1 (2022), 2 (2022), 3 (2022), 6 (2019), and 10 (2022). The remaining works in positions 4 (1989), 5 (1984), 7 (2006), 8 (2006), and 9 (2011) were all published over a decade ago. Yet, significant changes have occurred in the higher education landscape during that time. We have witnessed the introduction and substantial increases in student tuition fees, leading to higher student loans and associated debt. The number of students pursuing higher education has also dramatically risen, resulting in heightened competition for graduate jobs and ongoing debates regarding student and graduate visas. Furthermore, various global events such as recessions, pandemics, wars, and rising inflation have significantly impacted the labor market and the recruitment of early career talent. Moving forward, climate change will likely take center stage alongside the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation. Consequently, the motivation for the book was to offer a contemporary resource capturing the current state of the landscape and making suggestions for what opportunities and challenges exist for greater collaboration between university career advisors and graduate recruiters.
What specific problems does the book address?
Prof. Donald: The book addresses the problem of a lack of collaboration between university career advisors and graduate recruiters to ensure that graduates are prepared to undertake the university-to-work transition. The sustainability of the career ecosystem relies on greater collaboration since career advisors and graduate recruiters each lack the necessary resources to achieve optimal outcomes when operating independently.

How does the book provide a solution to these problems?

Prof. Donald: The book is structured into four sections. Section one sets the scene and provides an overview of universities, employers, and early career talent. Section two looks at the university career advisor perspective covering topics of employability capital, student engagement, and signaling employability. Section three considers the graduate recruiter perspective, addressing topics of attracting early career talent, preparing students for the university-to-work transition, and assessing person-organization fit. The final section sets out the challenges and opportunities for greater collaboration between actors and concludes with thoughts on future workplace trends and implications.

What do you think publishing this book changed about this field of study?

Prof. Donald: The book impacts current research by providing a consolidated view of how university career advisors and graduate recruiters can prepare university students for sustainable graduate careers, providing an essential reference text for these actors with associated benefits for universities, employers, and broader society.

How unique is this book in its topic coverage?

Prof. Donald: The book differs from others like it because of the focus on career advisors and graduate recruiters as agents for fostering sustainable graduate careers. The book draws together theoretical and practitioner insights, presenting them in an integrated and accessible way to a broader audience.

How diverse were the experts behind the research that went into this book or which regions involved?

Prof. Donald: The book draws heavily on my own research conducted with diverse collaborators from across the globe. The book also incorporates the lived experience insights of 36 scholars and career professionals across the higher education and early career talent spaces from 7 countries and 4 continents.

How does your professional background support your ability to be an authority on this book's coverage?

Prof. Donald: My professional background strongly supports my ability to be an authority on this book's coverage. I started my career as a Graduate Recruiter for an Investment Bank in London, giving me firsthand experience in the field of graduate employment and career development. In 2014, I transitioned into academia and completed my PhD in 2017, specializing in graduate employability under the guidance of esteemed professors, Professor Yehuda Baruch and Associate Professor Melanie Ashleigh.

In 2022, I achieved the rank of Associate Professor of Sustainable Careers and Human Resource Management. My expertise in this domain is further evidenced by my impressive ScholarGPS Ranking Analytics for 2023, which place me in the top 9.45% of scholars across all fields, the top 3.68% for Career Development, and the top 7.06% for Higher Education, based on an evaluation of the last five years' productivity, impact, and quality of research.

I have accumulated a total of 15 years of experience, both in industry and academia, making me well-versed in the topics covered by this book. Additionally, my involvement in various professional organizations, such as being a Retired Lifetime Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Retired Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute, a Non-Practicing Member of the National Council of Integrative Psychotherapists, a Retired Lifetime Affiliate of the Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and a Retired Member of the Career Development Institute, reflects my commitment to staying current and engaged in the areas relevant to this book's coverage.

Have you been recognized for academic excellence or other related achievements in this field of study? If so, please detail the three most relevant awards you have received.

Prof. Donald: One particularly noteworthy recognition is the "Best Paper Award for Human Resource Management Special Interest Group" that I received at the British Academy of Management Conference in 2023. This award was a collaborative effort, shared with co-authors Dame Professor Beatrice Van der Heijden and Associate Professor Graham Manville. It not only acknowledges our significant contribution to the field of Human Resource Management but also highlights the depth and quality of our research in this area, further enhancing my credibility as an authority on the book's coverage.

About the Editor
William E. Donald is an Associate Professor in Sustainable Careers and Human Resource Management at the Ronin Institute (USA) and a Visitor at the University of Southampton (UK) as a guest of Professor Yehuda Baruch. Will’s research interests include graduate employability, career development, and sustainable career ecosystems. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed works (journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers)–which have been read nearly 30,000 times (ResearchGate) and cited over 825 times (GoogleScholar). Will was the sole Editor of the ‘Handbook of Research on Sustainable Career Ecosystems for University Students and Graduates’, published by IGI Global in 2023. He is an international member of various Editorial Boards and Steering Groups and was previously the Managing Editor of the GiLE Journal of Skills Development. Will is a qualified Life and Performance Coach, a Fellow of the ‘Learning and Performance Institute’ (FLPI), an Associate Fellow of the ‘Higher Education Academy’ (AFHEA), and a Member of the ‘National Council of Psychotherapists’ (MNCP NP).

About IGI Global – Publishing Tomorrow’s Research Today
Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA with a subsidiary office (IGI Science and Technology, Ltd.) operating out of Beijing, China, IGI Global is a leading medium-sized independent international academic publisher of cutting-edge, high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarly reference publications in the three major academic subject areas of Business & Management, Scientific, Technical, & Medical (STM), and Education. With a commitment to facilitating the discovery of pioneering scientific research, this publishing house has empowered over 200,000+ expert researchers from leading institutions globally to bring advanced research books from conceptualization to completion in an impressive 6-9 months from proposal acceptance to publication. IGI Global journal articles have a rapid turnaround, on average taking 2-4 weeks, and are then added to a significant portfolio of nearly 200 journals within IGI Global’s Open Access Journal Program. Through traditional and open access publishing workflows, this unique proprietary process makes tomorrow’s research, which enhances and expands the body of knowledge, available to the research community today.

Learn more about IGI Global here.

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