Attending AMOSSHE is always a great learning experience for us. Not only do we get to catch up with our partners, but also discover and learn about the latest trends, challenges and objectives. This year’s AMOSSHE Winter Conference theme was ‘Engaging Communities’ so we wanted to add our two-pence to the mix by sharing some ideas about engaging students with financial education.

Get them where they are

Whether on social media or in the bar there are places, on and off line, where students are – this is where you need to be. We have heard stories of our clients marketing Blackbullion in the gym, in high footfall corridors and even stickers stuck to tables in the café.

Plus, you would be surprised how effective a bathroom cubicle poster can be! By creating, or using, spaces where our students feel comfortable, engaging them can feel more organic and less forced.

Experiential activities, in which students can participate and create will (almost) always be more effective than those moments in which they just consume. However, technology also has massive power to engage. Learning online is a native and expected way for students to discover, and absorb, new knowledge.

But remember, don’t just ‘throw technology at the problem’. Make a plan that fits your objectives, try a few things, see what works, and then do more of that.

Amplify your message through others

Peer reviews have become big business. Whether for a hairdresser, hotel, the latest app, or a university, we seek the approval and thoughts of others (even strangers) before making a decision.

Working with other departments on campus, engaging with the student union and student ambassadors can ensure your message is amplified – not just in volume but in quality.

Different students will respond in different ways to different messages delivered by different people. One size fits all isn’t true of socks, its certainly not true of people.

Empower them

For the current generation engagement is a fine tension between carrot and stick. People act out of fear or inspiration and both are effective but when students are empowered, they are more likely to want to engage rather than engage from a place fear. Digital resources enable students to take control of their learning, especially as they are able to replay and repeat matters that are unclear without feeling embarrassed.

Every day is an opportunity to connect with more students.

Communicating with students and encouraging them to engage, even in painfully small increments, will help them make better decisions or consider a new approach. And who knows which of those decisions will make their life immeasurably better…