Dr. Hans Rudolf Keller
Human Resources Executive
Senior Executive in Healthcare and Life Sciences
Faculty of Management Sciences
Namibia University of Science and Technology
Januar 30 – February 10, 2017
Nur in Englisch verfügbar.
Career Starter Week Pilot course
‘Engaged and ready for a job’
That was our vision for the ‘Career Starter Week’ pilot. We developed the workshop jointly, combining leadership and HR competence and went on a mission to outline a program that supports students to develop a convincing profile and to prepare them for the job market. Our objective was to take a comprehensive approach including themes such as self-branding and interview preparation, but also to help the students understand how an organization is set up and provide them with first insights on what it takes to be successful at work.
In close cooperation with the Cooperative Education Centre and the Human Resources Management Section of the Faculty of Management Sciences, the first pilot group of mainly third year Human Resources students was invited to participate. They were probably as curious to find out about the workshop as we were on how this would work out.
55 students experienced snap shots out of the business world
During the 5-day workshop with 7½ hours of work per day, the students were confronted with new situations and experiences, which also required an unusually active participation. We worked through a practical business case, enriched with some business management theory. Our approach was hands-on with exercises ranging from writing a job description, applying and interviewing for the position to forecasting the financial development of a small business. Students developed their ideas in teams, discussed business concepts and plans that were later presented in class. Working on an extensive case study and being ‘grilled’ in interview situations were novel experiences for the students, just as being exposed to different business world perspectives by taking a candidate, employee and employer view.
Piloting an interdisciplinary workshop…
… with a common objective was a fabulous experience. While it required more alignment and preparation than needed for a single facilitator, it was also more fun and mutually enriching. After the ‘test pilot’ in the first week, where the number of participants was slightly below our expectations, we were overrun by far too many students in the second week. The word had spread that the workshop was really helpful and exciting; and we unfortunately had to turn down many applicants.
The students resonated extremely well and enjoyed to have two experts with different backgrounds share their experience. They appreciated the hands-on approach and that at the end of the workshop they had a proper candidate profile and felt more comfortable to approach the tough job market in Namibia.
For us it was hugely rewarding to see the tremendous engagement and eagerness of the students and observe the steep learning curves during the week, especially when it came to self-presentation and gaining confidence in speaking in front of an audience. Witnessing the pride of the students when they received the certificate from Dr Andrew Nikondo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, at the closing of the workshop was another highlight; especially as not all participants received the certificate, which required a high-performance standard.
Both of us felt that this assignment was more intense than the previous ones - partly because of the significant interest of the students in the workshop, the rather big groups and the compact program. Nevertheless, we both ‘would do it again’.
The success of the workshop would not have been possible without the support of the B360 team, Nico Smit, Martha Namutuwa and Enzy Kaura. A big ‘thank you’ to all of you for your wonderful help.