The second last workshop on “Writing Applications” was organized and held by Birgit, who is part of the YEA core team as well as works full time as Partner Manager at whatchado. The session was hosted at the headquarters of the local startup whatchado and took place on 14th March 2017 from 6pm to 7:45pm. The workshop aimed at preparing the students for the upcoming internship application process. Seven students were present and the YEA team was represented by Fiona, Jessica and Birgit.
The event started off with a short inspiring presentation about the importance of gathering professional experience through internships by Fiona and Jessica. After a short round of questions, it was handed over to Birgit and whatchado.
whatchado is a career orientation platform that combines storytelling and video format. Professionals tell about their jobs, careers and educational path in short 5-8 minutes. Additionally, each of the interviewees is answering 14 questions about its interests, skills and aptitudes. Young people who don’t really know yet what to do, can answer these questions too and get matched with them. The platform’s mission is to help people finding a job, that makes them happy as well as to provide inspiration and transparency on the continually complex job market.
After the company presentation, the students were introduced to a tool called “elevator pitch”. Students pitched themselves according to following questions: Who they are, what they do and what they are looking for (in terms of internships). Interestingly the students already had some very clear ideas and preferences as to their internships – from tutoring English and teaching German to refugee children to engaging in organizations that promote women in the science and tech industry.
After this short warm up it was continued with the topics of a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and cover letter. The YEA-participants got insights as to the key elements as well as format and structure. Some of the students also brought their CVs along while others worked on theirs during the session. Next up was to cross-check their neighbor’s CV. Special support was received by whatchado’s HR manager Leonie who gave students valuable feedback as to their CVs.
The last part constituted an interview simulation activity. The job ad said “ Seeking an English Program Assistant in Guatemala” . The participants eagerly and actively put themselves into their respective roles of interviewer and applicant – and genuinely absorbed what they have heard and learned before. Fiona, Leonie and Birgit were observing and gave feedback when necessary.
The workshop ended with a brief wrap up and Q&A. The workshop closed with emphasizing once again that internships were a valuable experience for the students’ future curriculums as well as their personal development . Students were dismissed by following one simple advice: Think about WHY you would like to do a certain internship (and how it could benefit your future)?
Workshop report by Birgit Hartl