What do I want to be later? This question is omnipresent for students. An internship during school is therefore a good opportunity to give them orientation for their choice of training or study. At present, creative solutions for internships have to be developed. An example from Cologne.
More than 70 students in grade 9 of a Cologne high school were looking forward to such an internship. Unfortunately, due to the corona pandemic, many of the young people were not accepted or subsequently rejected for an internship at a company.
But this did not stop the school from offering young people the opportunity for careers orientation even during the pandemic. Because the first contact with professional life is a formative experience for many students. It was therefore important for both the teachers and the school management to give them practical, authentic and motivating insights into the professional world - and this can also be done digitally!
zdi center supports the digital internship week
The zdi center in Cologne was brought on board as an excellently networked partner. Thanks to the professional support of the women from Cologne, a digital internship week could be implemented at short notice, which took place in the week before the Easter holidays. The self-employed, companies, student laboratories and other partners of the zdi center in Cologne offered the young people practical and authentic insights into the MINT professional world. The offer ranged from lectures with question and answer sessions to practical insights lasting several days, in which the young people could independently carry out work steps from the professional field. A total of 13 offers were organized for the students this week.
The young people received practical insights, organized as part of the state-funded zdi-BSO-MINT program, into the professional activities of biologists, media technicians, media designers, electrical engineers, computer scientists and many more. As part of the pilot funding measure "Pact for IT", the students were also able to gain insights into the professional world of programming, software development and digitization. In addition, speakers from IT companies reported on how their way into this working world went and what their everyday work looks like.
The team at the zdi center in Cologne has been strongly committed to promoting girls in the STEM field for years. Therefore, two sessions were offered specifically for this purpose. Among other things, the successful Cologne MINT scholarship for schoolgirls "girls for innovation" from the ERDF-zdi-III program was presented, in which MINT-enthusiastic girls are individually supported for a year.
Not so long ago, the digital internship week was already a successful concept. The Cologne zdi center is already preparing for another digital week of study and career orientation at a Cologne comprehensive school before the summer holidays.