Written by Rima-Maria Rahal
be.boosted is bridging the gap between formal education and employment.
In young people’s lives, formal education plays an enormously important role. Listening carefully in class, interpreting exam questions correctly, and satisfying the examiner’s expectations, all to get a good grade, and thus a good starting point for job hunting. However, it has often been argued that formal education doesn’t really get you ready for your job. Will you need to remember the details of photosynthesis for your management position at a software company? Probably not, yet we all thoroughly familiarized ourselves with the topic in high school. It would be besides the point to argue that formal education should not teach contents such as photosynthesis anymore. However, there is a clear need to let the teaching of formalized knowledge be supplemented by training young people’s skill sets – one of the many reasons why we founded be.boosted.
At the Mind the Gap! conference in Istanbul, be.boosted founder Rima-Maria Rahal joined a diverse group from youth workers to corporate recruiters in discussing how to get young people ready for their jobs. Initialized by the European Commission’s focal point on youth training, the conference saw lively exchange of best practice in teaching youth the skills they need for success in their jobs. Besides visiting talks and workshops from theatre interventions with youth with rocky career paths to corporate pre-recruitment training programs, Rima shared be.boosted’s best practice on training leadership skills in online trainings and on-the-simulated job. The idea that trainings could take place online was immediately well received, as this offers the opportunity to cut costs substantively, and to dramatically expand the reach of a program. How else would be.boosted continuously offer weekly training meetings with talents from across Germany and beyond? For us, working online is more than just an opportunity to increase efficiency. With the ever-increasing need to be flexible beyond one’s geographical location in our rapidly growing networks across the globe, developing the skill to collaborate online, and to do so just as effectively, efficiently and with strong personal ties as offline, is crucial to stay in the loop. Best of all, it works: many of our first-generation eMUN-fellows have wholeheartedly embraced online collaboration into their everyday lives, and stay connected from wherever they are. From conducting interviews from Panama to flat-hunting in Great Britain, to participating in online skill-building seminars from wherever they are, they find online solutions for problems that would otherwise require a great amount of travel. Among the many skills that talents learn at be.boosted, flexibility and online literacy certainly also play a big role.
Surprisingly, there was an air of suspicion from the established youth workers when the discussion moved to cooperation with corporate actors. Many practitioners seemed to foster the worry that working with a company would mean selling themselves out and loosing integrity. At be.boosted, we build true partnerships based on acting together for the benefit of aspiring leaders of tomorrow. Grounded on this principle, we at be.boosted are glad that our cooperations with our corporate partners does not have a bitter aftertaste. On the contrary! While the cooperation with our partners is a central building block of our project, our partnerships are truly partnerships. Brought together by our goal to support future global leaders on their personal journey to success, we preserve our independence and integrity, and the freedom to teach the skills we deem important in the way we find most appropriate. For us, cooperation also means mutual learning and continued improvement. Indeed, we have found our partnerships inspiring, and already learnt many invaluable lessons from our partnerships: from project management advice to finding out about our partners' perspectives on training and recruiting. Together, we make a stronger impact on shaping the leaders of tomorrow.
If there's one thought that Rima brought back from Istanbul, it is that be.boosted is at the vanguard of a European movement to bridge the gap between formal education and the job, both with regard to our methods and to our operations. A rewarding thought, that surely supports our mission of shaping future global leaders, and spurs us forward to continue implementing our vision with ambitious projects and ambitious partners.
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