Namibia University of Science and Technology Internship
The Centre for Cooperative Education at the Polytechnic of Namibia hosted a very important workshop to prepare the English students for Internships.
These students aim to gain work experience at various organisations through Work Integrated Leaning as per requirement of their programme’s curriculum. The two-hour workshop took place in one of the language laboratories on 27 January 2011, under the facilitation of Renschie Grobler, the project coordinator at the Centre for Cooperative Education.
The overall purpose of the ‘Job Readiness’ Programme is to prepare students for their Work Integrated Learning; the CCE will roll out a series of workshops for all concerned. Mr Carva Pop, founding Director of the CCE started in 2010 with workshops for all HODs who needed to develop a Work Integrated Learning curriculum. Currently, students who register for a WIL semester attend workshops on ‘Job Readiness’ and in the near future industry mentors will be involved in workshops to give them the competency needed to guide, mentor and assess students in internships at various organisations. The ‘Job Readiness’ programme specifically prepares students for interview situations, Office Etiquette and Ethics in the workplace. A CV writing component has been added too.
According to Grobler, students should always strive to create a good impression at the workplace or in an interview by dressing professionally. She warns students to be careful not to ‘under-dress’ or ‘over-dress’ when going for an interview.
“The CCE plays a supportive and coordinating role between departments and the industry and would thus directly and indirectly get involved in finding internships for students as well as formalise memoranda of agreements between companies and the Polytechnic to take in the interns. Since the inception of CCE in July 2010, Pop has coordinated the placement of students from many departments. Although some of the students who registered in 2011 for semester 5 for WIL have not been placed yet, it is our firm intention to assist them in this endeavour as soon as possible,” Grobler concluded.
Students enthusiastically engaged in direct interaction with the facilitator sharing their weaknesses and expectations in the interview and at the workplace. “I think the dress code contributes highly to one’s success or failure in the interview,” said Linus Kamati, a third year Bachelor of Communication student and a potential intern. The majority of the students pointed out ‘nervousness’ as one of the barriers to one’s success in the interview, and they did some ‘breathing’ exercises on how one can let go of the ‘nervousness’ situation. The majority of the students intend to undertake their work integrated learning course in the fields of Teaching, Public Relations, Editing and Journalism. “Work Integrated Learning forms part of most qualifications at the Polytechnic of Namibia. The Polytechnic, through the Centre for Cooperative Education, would like to assist students applying for internships. The workshop has been designed to help the first time job applicant with the necessary skills to navigate through a job interview and the work environment,” reads the manual for the programme.
Upon completion of the Job Readiness Programme students will be able to:
- Feel confident about entering an interview
- Know what might be expected of them in an interview
- Anticipate some of the questions they can encounter in an interview
- Prepare themselves for an interview
- Handle some workplace situations better
- Act appropriately in the workplace