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GEMS + iX LaunchPad: Making the most of our partnership

One of the amazing things about working with our school partners is when we are able to support them and their students to reach their goals.

Written by

Sigrid Kenmuir

In term one, GEMS World Academy was presented with the problem of capacity. As part of their ongoing Week Without Walls real-world experience project, they were faced with students who were unable to find placements in local or international businesses. This is a common challenge in schools all over the world as they try to give students real-world work experience.

What is the "Week Without Walls"?

Each year, GEMS World Academy shepherds its Grades 6 to 12 students through a week of real-world work experience. Students are encouraged to find placements in industries they are interested in working one day, or volunteer their time work shadowing in various charities and non-profits, using their time to give back to communities. All this is intended to give them a real taste of what life is like working in different industries. 

However, this year there were some students in the Grade 11 class who were unable to find suitable placements. Thanks to our partnership with GEMS For Life and GEMS Education, we were able to mobilise and present these students with an iX LaunchPad programme.

Which career did the World Academy Students explore?

In order to give these students a unique experience, we formulated the Business Development for Entrepreneurs course. Ten students spent two hours per day in online classes learning about the business development industry, learning tips, tricks and tools used in this business, and gaining real-world work experience.

As part of their iX LaunchPad Week Without Walls programme, they took part in a micro-internship group project, this time with Caleo Capital. Our students used their newly acquired skills to tackle a real business problem faced by Caleo Capital. 

“My biggest takeaway from this micro-internship was learning about the Business Model Canvas and the elements of the model and how it is an important tool for a business to have.” – Sonali Gosai

What was the impact of this week?

GEMS World Academy gives their students a week to dedicate their time to learning about the world of work. That means no other classes, no other school work, and no other commitments. Our students were able to devote two hours per day of that week to their online classes, plus extra time each day to work on their micro-internship projects. 

The result? These students gave the experience an outstanding 80 NPS, stating: “It was the micro-internship which enabled me to understand the key elements of business development. Moreover, this is a form of career exploration which can support me in identifying which field I would like to work in and study.” (Yassin Saad)

Some students even indicated that taking this course helped them decide that Business Development was aligned with their career aspirations: “My experience was wonderful, filled with a lot of useful learning. The teachers are very good and very helpful, they know what they are talking about. I feel like IX LaunchPad has set me on a stronger path to where I want to be in the future.” – Pepijn Kolkman

What’s next for the GEMS For Life + iX LaunchPad partnership?

After several successful programmes with the GEMS network of schools – and especially this Week Without Walls collaboration with GEMS World Academy – we’re excited about our next two programmes.

During the upcoming holidays, we’ll be hosting the Winter Programme where ambitious students can make the most of their break by exploring careers in Investment Finance as well as an Introduction to Software Engineering. These will be bootcamp-style courses, with classes held daily over the course of one week (12 to 16 December 2022).

In Term Two, we’ll offer students the chance to explore careers in Data Analytics and the Psychology of Design. These will be in our after-school, extracurricular style, where students meet online weekly over the course of four weeks (21 February to 16 March 2023).

If you or your child would like to explore any one of these exciting, future-forward careers, you can find out more and apply here. GEMS students are automatically accepted to the programme and, thanks to our partnership with GEMS For Life, these courses are significantly subsidised.

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