I’m a Graduate…Get Me Into There!

Posted on November 29, 2013 by


I'm A Grad

Yes – the time is here, when many of us lose our evenings to the appeal of reality TV as we settle down to watch…

I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!  (Dumdum dum-dum dum-dum dum dum!!)

Each year ITV desperately tries to aid the British public, seeking to rid us of a range of Z-list pop stars and TV personalities by abandoning them in the Australian outback.

…Sadly each year they still manage to find their way back to the UK!

Ah, only kidding!

Now in its 13th year, another host of celebrities have been dropped off into the jungle, where they can expect to stay in camp for up to 3 weeks. And as much as we enjoy watching the stars bicker over who gets more rice and beans for tea, I’m sure you’ll agree that the really interesting bit is watching the Bushtucker Trials.

Taking the format of either physical, mental or eating trials, viewers can watch the contestants eat various jungle delicacies, solve problems by getting up close and personal with creepy crawlies or put their muscles to the test as they find themselves suspended nervously over a great abyss…

** cough, cough, cough – much like their careers… **


The aim of the trials being to collect as many star-shaped food tokens as possible to try to ensure that their camp has enough food to eat for that evening.

Despite my disdain for many of the celebs, 13 years in, what amazes me is the production team’s ability to come up with different trials.  Creating a range of activities each year which are interesting, engaging, enjoyable and challenging is surely no mean feat!

“How would we know?”, you ask.

Well, because each year we are tasked with something similar ourselves – creating new and unique assessment centre group exercises for graduates!

As we discussed in our Great British Bake Off Blog, Assessment Centres (Graduate or otherwise) are created to assess multiple capacities – using role and organisation specific competencies to evaluate candidates. A range of activities related to the role, together with ability and psychometric testing, combine to test candidates rigorously and fairly and can include interviews, presentations, case studies, role plays, ability tests and group exercises.

We work with a range of different companies helping them to attract, screen and interview prospective graduate candidates before developing and running graduate Assessment Centres for them and part of this includes designing new exercises for a new year of graduates.

Creativity and inventiveness are key to ensure the activities are engaging, effective and interesting; both to take part in and assess! In addition we need continually come up with new and innovative ideas to keep our range of activities fresh and up to date.

And whilst creativity does sometimes run wild here at UP HQ, thankfully, none of our assessments involve eating Witchetty Grubs or sharing your personal space with spiders. Instead, graduates could find themselves working with precious gems, treacle or even designing and building special structures…with a twist of course!

Some of these tasks might sound peculiar, but each situation is carefully designed to measure a range of abilities including problem solving, communication, team working etc.

Depending on a client’s needs, we can develop bespoke Assessment Centre formats in line with the competencies employers wish to measure or we can even draw upon exercises we’ve already designed and develop these to ensure they are in line with the company’s competencies and organisational style.

So whilst our approach is to run a professional and well-managed Assessment Centre, it is the inclusion of unique and interesting activities like these that allow us to do it in a fun, relaxed, informal manner; this allows for candidates to feel at ease, focus on the activities and to be themselves – which is what the assessors are really interested in…

And funnily enough, is what the public want to see of the celebrities too.