From craftsmen and managers to environmental politicians and artists
by René Reiter
GESM's Vocational Impulse Days 2022 for Class 10D took place this year from Nov. 10 to Nov. 24, 2022, on Thursdays during cooperative and club hours.
They are a slightly different type of career guidance. There is no counseling about professions or studies, but rather the young people should be shown ways to think outside the box. The goal is for them to focus on their talents and strengths in order to flexibly find their own path in professional life that does not necessarily correspond to the classic, rigid career path.
This year, we were able to attract speakers who, on the one hand, have followed their passion or have taken an unconventional career path in order to be successful.
The first speaker was Eva Ferdinand, who manages the human resources of the French company Guerbet from Hong Kong. The pharmaceutical company manufactures medical contrast agents and has branches in many countries in the Asian region. Ms. Ferdinand reported on hiring, managing and also releasing employees. It is difficult to find employees in the Asian region who have internalized the mindset of a European company. The best prerequisite is an apprenticeship or an internship with a European company.
The students were interested in what it is like to have to release employees, but also whether the medical products are tested on animals and what the company's ethical stance is. The students had so many questions that Ms. Ferdinand almost didn't finish her presentation. Unfortunately, we had to end the exciting discussion because the next speaker was already following.
Dagmar Schumacher, has been working for 30 years at the German-French Villeroy&Boch in the marketing department. The students were interested in the difference between a large corporation and a family business. Ms. Schumacher reported that she had first worked at Thyssen Krupp for a year and then deliberately chose a family business because it is more personal, the internal channels are short and she can talk to Mr. Boch at any time to make suggestions or discuss problems. Personal contacts and information are also exchanged quickly and easily in between. Finally, she advised the students that a good school education and interest in a field of work are good prerequisites for being successful in professional life.
A few years ago, Michael Wiesner from Oceanic was at home on all the world's oceans. In our school he told us what it is like to work on board an ocean liner. The range of jobs on a ship is very diverse. Not only dishwasher or captain are possible - also all kinds of crafts are needed on a ship. In addition, social professions such as kindergarten teachers, doctors, but also administrative professions are necessary to keep the business running. The great thing about it is that the workplace travels around the world and you can experience a lot.
Professor Dr. Klaus Töpfer, former German Minister of the Environment and Director of the United Nations Environment Program, explained that with a world population of 8 billion people, food has to be grown on land areas that are becoming smaller and smaller.
In the future, the environment will play a major role in every profession. Every activity and every product must be questioned in terms of environmental impact. The youth must find solutions to keep everything in a cycle so that there is no waste.
Frank Buchs told us how he got from being a cable worker to becoming a film producer. With a lot of commitment and comfort - coupled with good contacts - he was able to build up a network that reaches from Berlin to Hollywood. Productions of films and series like "Wetten das?", "Das Traumschiff", "Berlin-Babylon" and "Das Boot", feature films like "Love, Wedding & Other Disasters" with Diane Keaton, "Pay the Ghost" with Nicolas Cage, and "Reasonable Doubt" with Samuel L. Jackson he could realize in the last years. As a film producer, one is less concerned with the artistic design, but more with the financial factor of a production. Own projects are also possible, Mr. Buchs reported that he found a newspaper story so interesting that he produced a film from it.
Hanna Werth is passionate about acting. Almost everything in her life revolves around the stage. If you persevere and burn with passion for your dream, success comes naturally. But this also means having a seven-day week, as most theater performances take place on weekends. A lot of time is also required for rehearsals, individual preparation and learning lines. An intriguing question from the students* was, "What is it like to have stage fright?" "Yes there is, sometimes more and sometimes less." For a staged reading with an orchestra and an audience of 6000, stage fright was already very high. "Why?" "Everything has to fit - you can't make any mistakes in theater. You can't improve on mistakes. Perfection is therefore also part of acting.
The reward is not only the applause, but also the success, which thus also opens up new paths for an actor.
Many thanks to all the speakers who were there and who got up early in the morning in Germany, to the 10D and to Mr. Gabel, who integrated the Beruf-Impuls-Tage into his vocational preparation with the 10D.