How do teachers prepare their students for working life when they themselves have little to no experience working for companies? A new project at the University of Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) aims to find a solution. ‘Working internships’ allow students to experience working at various companies and compile their experience in their own magazine.
Teachers often find themselves in positions that allow them to influence what kids and young people want to do when they grow up. However, one problem that has been presenting itself is that teachers themselves have little to no knowledge about the kinds of jobs they are preparing their students for. They went to school to learn how to teach, but they lack the experience to be able to guide students in their career choices.
Working Internships to the rescue
In order to solve this problem, the teacher program at the University of Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) has started a project called ‘working internships’. These are internships for students studying to become teachers that allow them to do internships at companies. The project enables these ‘teachers-to-be’ to experience the inner workings of various local businesses. At the end of the project, all their experience and findings are compiled in a magazine they make themselves.
Magazines vs Regular Written Papers
This magazines are printed and a copy is given to the each of the participating businesses and students. This way,the students produce informative magazines, instead of regular written papers that will no doubt end up in the paper recycling bin before long. These magazines provide insight into the students experiences as well as information about the companies. This is useful for current (as well as future) students and the companies they interned at.
One of the students, Lisa, shares her experience creating her magazine:
“Creating a magazine is fun, because you’re creating a real, tangible product, not just a regular paper. You also need to think about the design in order to appeal to the reader.”
From a future teacher’s point of view
If the project is successful, other teaching programs may also pick up the project.
“These working internships allow me to see where my students will end up and how I can best help them prepare for their careers”, says Lisa.
When asked if she was now reconsidering her teaching career because of these working internships, Lisa chuckles:
“Not at all. Quite the opposite in fact, because it has solidified my dream to become a teacher. After a day at a company I look forward to seeing my students. I enjoy telling them about my experience at the companies. It makes it easier to inspire my students.”