From professional aspirations to starting a career – the Career Preparation Programme at IUBH
You learn a lot while studying, but what about starting a career after graduation. To be well prepared for this, Max took part in the Career Preparation Programme (CPP) at IUBH. His report.
Last year as an IUBH student, I had the opportunity to participate in the Career Preparation Programme (CPP). The programme is spread out over an entire semester during which the other participants and I attended workshops and had individual consultations that focused on all the important aspects of applying for a job and starting a career. Ms Dusel, Head of Career Office at IUBH, led the programme.
What do I do well? What not so well?
The first workshop started with the absolute fundamentals: What is a career? How can you plan it? We discussed these questions and answered them at a very personal level. We completed a self-analysis to identify our needs and personal goals. Ultimately, the workshop was about getting to know yourself and becoming aware your own strengths, weaknesses and potentials. Afterwards the results became concrete: we found out which professions and employers match our preferences, and discussed the respective job prospects and potential positions. When it was clear to each participant, which employer and which position would be the right fit, we developed a plan for how to reach this goal.
How to conduct yourself in front of the boss – a question of company culture
The second workshop was about company culture. The CPP team taught us about the various value systems in German business life, and explained how to act in a professional manner. This was very interesting and – I am convinced – very helpful for starting my career. From this workshop I was able to develop a proper behavioural code, a guide to the dos and don’ts which I can follow when I meet new colleagues or my future boss after graduation.
Look for a job, but where?
Since the mere idea of a dream job is not enough – you have to be able to find it – the third workshop focused on useful tools for finding a job. The team introduced us to monster, LinkedIn and JobTeaser and explained how they can best be used to get the right results.
We also talked about the importance of networking and learned how to build a sustainable and strong network. I now know that a well-developed network of contacts is extremely important at the beginning of your career. I learned how to integrate people into my network and how to make sure that others want to stay in contact.
How to apply
The next workshop dealt with the application process. We talked about the correct structure of a resume, how to write a strong application and which documents should and should not be submitted.
The team also showed us how to structure the entire application process so you don’t lose the overall view. An additional topic of interest was salary negotiations. We discussed how to do this effectively and how to prepare for the situation.
Assessment Centre Training
At the end of the programme, we completed an Assessment Centre Training. In the role as applicants, we had to work on different tasks while being evaluated by the team. A group task and presentation was also a part of the exercise. At the end of the exercise, we given an assessment of our performance and targeted feedback. Observers from external partner companies were also present, in my case, a consultant from Detecon was present.
The training gave me a good sense of how an Assessment Centre can work and the kinds of tasks I might have to deal with. Thanks to this experience, I was less nervous at my first Assessment Centre because I knew what to expect.
During my studies I learned a lot about finance and various business strategies but in this programme I learned what is important for getting started in the professional world: from writing an excellent application to salary negotiations, all critical points were covered. I liked the two individual consultations the best. In these personal counselling sessions everyone is given individual tips on the next steps to finding a job as well as assistance in writing an application.
Overall, it was a great programme and I am glad that I was able to participate. Thanks to the CPP team of the Career Office in Bad Honnef for your support!