Four trainees help students with tips for applying
Taking the first step on a career path is no easy task; for many students, applying for a job is new territory. “In many cases, schools convey this knowledge in the form of a rough outline only,” says Nico Kiesel. He is part of the ebm-papst project “Trainees help students,” which is intended to close this knowledge gap. The four-person project team also includes his colleagues Anja Herterich, Myriam Wagner and Simone Amann. Since September 2010 the four trainees have volunteered their services, offering job application training sessions in secondary schools, business schools and college preparatory schools. Already 200 students in towns from Künzelsau to Schrozberg have gotten valuable application tips from this training.
The three training steps are geared towards helping “young people address their professional future independently and actively,” says Bernd Ludwig, Training Manager in Mulfingen, of the objective of the project – and he hopes that this support will bring in more applications. Part one of the training: to write a good application, to score highly on the applicant test and to be convincing in the job interview – with some practise, the teenagers are quickly able to do much better. The minimal age difference with the supporting trainees promotes easy dialogue: “We have tried to make this as casual as possible,” says Amann, trainee for Industrial Business Management with the additional qualification of International Business Management, reporting on the applicants’ training at the secondary school in Krautheim. At the start of the job application training, her colleague Herterich advises young people to leave behind a good first impression: “The application portfolio is your sales brochure –use it to show that you are the right person for the training position.” Therefore the project team gave the 36 students valuable tips for how they could commend themselves with their cover letter and CV. Once this hurdle is past, the applicant test is next. Using a test they composed themselves, the trainees quizzed students at the secondary school in Niederstetten about typical problems dealing with general education, ability to think spatially, German and mathematics. The last step: the job interview. “We talked about what we ourselves experienced,” relates Myriam Wagner. Of course there were also good tips: “Simply be yourself; don’t act” and “Present yourself positively.” The students were able to put this into practise right away by role-playing. They also practised keeping eye contact and the right strength in a handshake when greeting. Then just add the right clothing and the application will be a success. With that, the afternoon in Krautheim drew to a close, and all were excited.
Really quite practical
The students also make intensive use of the second part of the project: During an afternoon at ebm-papst they get to know the company, experience vocational training programs of their choice in real-world applications and thereby gather their first work experience. Now that they are equipped with good tips for applying, that could soon become an exciting part of their everyday life.