Global HR Business Partner PT
Senior International Health Policy Leader, Oncology
Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences
Namibia University of Science and Technology
February 18 – March 1, 2019
Career Starter Week (CSW)
Cooperation with university staff
From the point of arrival at NUST, we were warmly welcomed by Nico Smit of the International Relations department. He expertly saw to our arrival transportation, our accommodations and information regarding our stay at NUST. Mr Smit was an excellent ambassador for the university and his attentiveness to our comfort and needs was clearly a priority for him. Our cooperation with EHS lecturer Charmaine Jansen started via email several weeks prior to our arrival in Windhoek. Once onsite, we had the opportunity to meet with Ms Jansen one-to-one to set and agree to course expectations, lecturing content & approach as well as the current level of knowledge of the class. Additionally, a department introductory meeting was organised to introduce us to additional department staff and to ensure the appropriate class schedule and timing.
In addition, support from the department assistant, Ms Felicitas Tjendaro was greatly appreciated. Ms Tjendaro supported needed adjustments to the schedule as well as material printing. She was always accessible and supportive to our requests and needs. Overall, we felt greatly supported and appreciated by all NUST staff and found their attentiveness to our needs valuable during our time at the University.
Cooperation with students
Our cooperation with the students started on day one of the Project Management class; with advice and knowledge sharing from our Roche counterparts who taught at NUST before us, we aimed to make an early and engaging connection with the students using ice breakers and activities. These approaches did appear to ensure a connection with the students and kept their attention in the morning and also in the late afternoon sessions.
The students welcomed us warmly; they added us to their What’s App group as well as class email in order that we could maintain contact while outside of class; sharing information, reminders and materials as needed. Many of the students, particularly those applying for B360 internships, took advantage of our time onsite to schedule one-to-one meetings and to seek our guidance and advice on interview planning and preparation.
Impact and win-win
According to students’ feedback, they took a lot out of our blended approach of theoretical input on concepts & topics as well as dynamic group work and peer coaching. Some students mentioned the value they gained from working in groups and in learning how to debate, compromise and depend on each other for their success. Additionally, group work and class presentations were considered extremely helpful to increase their communication skills and help the students to present themselves and their topics with more self-esteem. The progress made in team presentations from week one to week two was incredible to see. We were both inspired by the willingness to learn and the students growing abilities to “connect the dots” and apply critical thinking skills and other learned methods in different contexts. In terms of providing the students with an advantage as they graduate university and seek employment or graduate school opportunities, we feel confident that the two-week course has accomplished its objectives.
Martina Hross: I can only thank b360 for this great opportunity – providing students with some insights on what I do and what experience my personal and professional life so far gave me and seeing how they take it in and use it to grow is such a gratifying experience. The way they embraced the group work and grew closer together as a team over the course of the two weeks was amazing to see. The degree of mutual support of class mates was touching and encouraging at the same time.
Kelly Butterworth: The opportunity to guest lecture in the EHS department at NUST was fulfilling and valuable both personally and professionally. From a professional point of view, applying my expertise to a new audience with a different cultural history and expectations allowed me to consider the importance of different mindsets and experiences in the workplace – and also how to apply diverse approaches and techniques to uncovering insights from a diverse workforce. It also challenge me to examine internal biases I hold and to open my mind to new and different ways of communicating and working.
Personally, the opportunity was one that made a great impact on me and my worldview. It was genuinely moving to see first-hand the commitment, dedication and inspired thinking of what are certainly our future leaders. The student’s openness to learning in new ways and applying critical thinking skills to new concepts was gratifying as well. A hallmark of the 4th year students was their camaraderie and their support for each other. There is much I have taken away from them in terms of how they amplify each other’s voices and push each other to be the best versions of themselves.