Step Ahead Research

"Experiences such as World Challenge shape the foundations of careers, broaden horizons and make people more open-minded and aware. Often the curriculum shows young people what they can’t do – for instance if they don’t get the grades – however extra-curricular experiences help them realise what they can do, learn more about who they are and increase their confidence." Sangeetha Srinivasan


Read our interview with Sangeetha Srinivasan who went on a World Challenge in 2002 and currently works as an Organisational Design Specialist for the BBC.

What are employers looking for when recruiting graduates and school leavers?

Last year we conducted research into how important extra-curricular activities are in the university admissions process. The results of Giving You the Edge were overwhelming: 97% of universities surveyed said that evidence of extra-curricular activities is an important part of the application process.

This new research looks at the next step for school leavers and graduates: the world of work. It asks businesses what they think makes job applicants stand out from the crowd, and what skills they value in their employees.


Key report findings include:

  • 70% of businesses say that evidence of participation in extra-curricular activities makes candidates stand out from the crowd.
  • Over half of businesses are of the opinion that candidates who have experience of extra-curricular activities progress faster in their jobs than those who do not.
  • Nearly two-thirds of businesses say that candidates with extra-curricular experience tend to be more successful employees.

You can download the full report below.

We hope you find the research valuable. If you wish to discuss the findings further, or discover more about how a World Challenge expedition can help you, then please don’t hesitate to contact our Global Communications Manager Jon Dale: [email protected]

Evidence of a Better Future

An insight into how businesses view extra-curricular activities when recruiting school leavers and recent graduates.


"I would actively encourage anyone to take on a World Challenge. From fundraising to get your finances together, meeting new cultures and learning the most you will ever learn in one year, it is sure to be one of the best experiences in anyone’s life. World Challenge provides any young person with a toolkit for their future lives; it enables people to explore new worlds whilst learning new skills." Lewis Bowen

Read our interview with former Challenger Lewis Bowen who set up his own bio fuel company, Geco Industries, in 2011 and has been named by Virgin as one of the top four entrepreneurs to watch out for in 2016.