by Jeffrey Troyer
During a two-week span of time in February, all of the Grade 9 students from both the German and International sections participated in the yearly “Orientation Weeks” where they were placed in a real-world work environment. This OJT is a concept followed in the German School system and therefore, an important facet of our program as a German International School abroad.
Some of the different jobs the students were placed in included: banking, legal assistant, hotel management, software retail and vacation/leisure services.
The students took away many lasting impressions and memories from this experience. As Emme (9I) put it, “I really liked it. I learned a lot about marketing. The atmosphere and people were nice. I would go back”. Cass (9I) remarked about his two weeks this way, “I learned a lot of different jobs as they switched my departments often. I really liked the experience”.
On the whole, this was an opportunity for students to grow personally and for GESM to continue our mission to work with local organizations and broaden the students’ perspectives.
A Student's Presentation
by Thomas Decker
I was honored to be able to join the student’s final presentation before his colleagues. Many of the staff he worked with were present, even the General Manager took time to listen to his impressions.
He began reflecting on his expectations and how quickly they were corrected – Size and scope of the company, for instance. Not only did the student have the chance to learn technical details about the production process, but he also had a chance to join daily line meetings and learned important concepts of quality assurance. Personally, it struck me that whenever he was talking about his everyday experience, the student referred to the underlying core concept, showing a high degree of reflexivity.
The student included in his presentations some vivid examples of the company’s quality assurance process, some of which could be applied almost universally, regardless of profession: Take breaks to eat good food. Frequently reflect, as a team, on Lessons Learned. Try to learn from your mistakes: Do not try to cover them up, but treat them as a learning opportunity for everybody. Always have a sample of a good outcome, and – equally important – a bad outcome, so you can calibrate your expectations. If you don’t have these, you have no measure of achievement. Make friends at work, and enjoy yourself.
This teacher was very impressed with the life lessons that OJT was able to instill into the mind of one of our students. It appears to have made a lasting impression.
The students' own reflection on their OJTs will be published on the newsletter. Here are photos of some of the other students: