MyCareer Chatbot: Alexander Jones

Bringing AI technology to the University of Plymouth’s Career Service

The University of Plymouth’s careers team has recently introduced AI technology to the MyCareer app in order to increase the interactivity of their student support services. In order to promote this AI and its ‘chatbot’ feature, the careers team turned to final year Media Arts student Alexander Jones.

The project revolved around Alex following a series of briefs and outlines in order to create an engaging video, demonstrating the bot’s features to the University’s students.

“The career service came and pitched making an animation for the new AI they were launching and that sounded interesting to me. I thought it would be something I could use to improve my skills as an animator.” – Alexander Jones, University of Plymouth student.

Through the ‘chatbot’ feature, students and graduates can access interactive assistance 24/7 via the University of Plymouth app

The chatbot can answer an abundance of questions and queries and offers a unique, quick response feature for all careers-based concerns. 

Not only has the chatbot helped to answer students’ questions, its development as an interactive program has also provided a valuable professional experience for Alex.

What is a chatbot?

  • An interactive online service designed to offer help and advice to its users
  • A convenient yet personable feature that allows for millions of users to receive assistance at the same time
  • It allows for a business/organisation to reach out and assist their customers 24/7 without need for a real person on the other side
  • Simply type your query into the textbox to receive an instant answer from the bot in response

What did the project involve?

The project consisted of Alex creating an engaging video to demonstrate the bot’s abilities, with support and guidance from Mark Beresford (Student Engagement and Careers Operations Manager) and the rest of the Careers Service team.

“As a careers service we have to practice what we preach and we’re very passionate about making sure students have as many opportunities as possible.” – Mark Beresford, Student Engagement and Careers Operations Manager

The process involved Alex following a clear project brief of criteria for the development of the video, including, for example, the inclusion of a “screencast” of the bot, demonstrating the bot’s innovative working features. 

To engage the attention of students and graduates, Alex was encouraged to include dynamic graphics throughout the video.

“If I wanted to get feedback they were really supportive and offering suggestions. It was like a collaborative process between myself and the careers service.”

Alexander Jones, University of Plymouth student

It was important that the video was able to demonstrate how straightforward and accessible the bot is as a feature, whilst ensuring the content is engaging and accessible. One highlighted feature within the video was the mobile phone, demonstrating that the chatbot is portable and readily available at all times on the University of Plymouth app. As an important tool for the modern student, Alex felt it was important to highlight the usage of the mobile phone as part of the chatbot’s appeal.

“I wanted to see what students could get from it because at my age I don’t really use AI bots, I’m more likely to pick up the phone and speak to someone. Alex came up with good ideas, we were really open with what we wanted him to do.” – Mark Beresford, Student Engagement and Careers Operations Manager.

What did the project achieve?

The project was hugely successful for both Alex and the careers service team. As a passionate creative, working on the video gave Alex a platform to apply his artistic skills to a professional project which he can use to expand his portfolio. 

The experience has also enabled him to build key skills, such as working to a brief and communicating with project leads. Alex has now been able to apply this experience to further projects with his work having been selected for display on Cornwall Street as part of the IGNITE Festival of Creativity.

Knowledge Exchange projects like these provide students, such as Alex, the opportunity to apply skills learned through their degrees into a professional environment and are a fantastic method of supporting students’ holistic development whilst at university.

The Bridge – driving knowledge exchange initiatives for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business

The Bridge team works as the interface between the faculty and the outside world, and focuses on maximising the value and outcomes from interactions.

We help businesses and organisations develop new products, services and experiences and gain access to skills, talent and resources. 

We help academics increase the visibility, profile and impact of their research, enhance the student experience, and increase student employability and graduate outcomes.

Discover opportunities for collaboration with the The Bridge team