10th grade students explore career passions as part of their 2-week Praktikum
Since 2005, ISD has offered a unique opportunity for our grade 10 students, called a “Praktikum”. In local German schools, a Praktikum is a required part of the traditional curriculum (berufsvorbereitendes Praktikum) and is intended to provide students with insights into the business world by giving them the chance to work with local employers.
We believe this is an important experience for our students as they form their personal identities and begin to explore their professional choices.
At the end of grade 10, students participate in a two-week Praktikum. Their objectives are to:
- grow awareness and knowledge about future career possibilities,
- develop the social skills necessary for a professional environment, and
- network and connect with potential future business contacts.
To prepare for the Praktikum, Birke Thielmann (Praktikum Coordinator – Academics) and Dorina Cox (Praktikum Coordinator – Administrative), help connect students with contacts in fields of interest and provide supervision during the Praktikum itself. During their language classes, students receive instruction on CV and application letter writing. All of this helps to ensure a positive learning experience and provides support when questions or concerns arise.
ISD is fortunate to have connections with more than 90 companies and businesses in Düsseldorf and its surroundings. Because of this, we are able to provide students with many placement choices in both national and international businesses. We have even seen instances where students are invited back by the company to start their careers with them after completion of the IB.
In 2019, students are experiencing work environments as diverse as paediatric medicine, teaching, orthodontics, logistics, physiotherapy, law, and so much more. In order to get a more in-depth look into their Praktikum experience, three grade 10 students have provided a snapshot of what they’ve been doing.
Mark, who is interested in engineering, chose a Praktikum with MAN Energy Solutions. His first week was focused on engineering and during the second week, Mark had a chance to learn about the financial office of the company. Mark isn’t certain if his future career path will include engineering or architecture. He’s already had a chance to work in an architectural firm after his time at MAN Energy Solutions, he will be able to make a more informed decision on his future path.
Luke chose a Praktikum in an orthodontic practice. His work included greeting patients as well as tackling a considerable amount of work. His work primarily focused on setting up appointments for patients and filing patient records. Luke thought the Praktikum was challenging and he enjoyed learning Excel as part of his duties.
Oliver was able to spend his Praktikum at DB Schenker, an import and export arm of Deutsche Bahn. In addition to learning about the structure of the company and the important projects that the teams in Düsseldorf are working on, Oliver was also able to gain considerable Excel skills as part of his role. He is glad to be learning this tool as he knows it will be important as he completes grades 11 and 12, as well as in university.
Oliver enjoyed the chance to better understand the business model for DB Schenker. He has a better understanding of the challenging math that is required for a role in a company like DB Schenker and has an appreciation for the complex projects that companies tackle on a daily basis.