A Pears Partner Perspective: Professional development at JHub

Francis Wight, Student Hubs CEO writes about professional development opportunities.

26th March 2018

JHub has been running a professional development programme for some time and we have recently opened it up for all Pears Partners as part of our funder plus model. Our guest blogger this month is Francis Wight, Student Hubs CEO, writing about Student Hubs’ experience of professional development at JHub. 

Visit the Training page on the JHub website for further information and the full calendar of opportunities. 


Over the last few months, Student Hubs have been fortunate to benefit from two fantastic training sessions, run by Shoshana at JHub. These in depth sessions gave our staff insight into strategic tools and techniques through which to consider their work. Partnering with JHub and the Pears Foundation allowed us to access expertise that we don’t have within the organisation, and use it to enhance the personal and professional development of staff.

The first session we worked with JHub on was focused on polarity management, attended by all Student Hubs managers. This is a concept that was entirely new to the majority of the team, but it is something we have already begun to integrate into a variety of different strategic decision making processes over the past couple of months. We were introduced to the theory behind polarity management, and given examples of how we manage polarities in our personal lives.

We then got stuck into an example polarity that we manage at Student Hubs – focusing on the interplay between our local Hubs and the national organisation. Having the space and opportunity to discuss this, in a very well facilitated environment and using a clear framework, was really valuable. It allowed the team to come together and challenge assumptions that had been made.

Staff said: ‘’The training was really well-delivered, interesting, and enjoyable! It was great to go somewhere different and hear an outside perspective on our organisation. I also liked the opportunity to learn a new framework, and it was useful to work through an example relating to Student Hubs.’

A few weeks later, Shoshana ran training for the whole staff team (24 staff members), looking at Myers Briggs personality types. We all participated in an online survey beforehand, and during the session were able to explore the results, and consider how our own personality types might affect our working style. Once again, Shoshana facilitated a very interesting and useful session, and we were also able to utilise a host of physical resources, including personalised reports outlining our MBTI results.

Staff said: ‘I loved the MBTI session, it was very well paced and went into enough detail that I felt I learned a lot of useful information.’

I would thoroughly recommend other Pears grantees take advantage of this opportunity to access expertise and enhance the personal and professional development of your staff team.