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The Warsaw Voice » Other » March 27, 2003
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A Chance for Change
March 27, 2003   
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If you are a college graduate and have tried to find a job, you know what it means to get one with the Marriott Hotel, ABB or to organize fashion shows for r.a. Productions, for example. Several participants of the Manager Shadowing program have already achieved that.

Manager Shadowing is the story of people who do not want to remain passive in the challenging labor market. It is a story of managers who want to be responsible and share their know-how. It is about volunteers who organize projects, and about students who are looking for a chance for a better future.

"Poles are people who will reach out for help rather than work for success on their own," says psychologist Józef Kozielecki. An attitude like that makes it impossible to act efficiently, take responsibility for one's own fate and change a difficult situation. This also applies to the labor market. However, it is an acquired attitude and as such, it can be changed. This is the goal of the Manager Shadowing program, the fourth edition being organized by the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF).

Beneficiaries of the project are primarily university-level students. Yet the project would not exist without support from volunteers who organize it in over a dozen Polish cities. Manager Shadowing also involves the work of managers from various large and small companies.

Thanks to participation in the project, the volunteers can see that it is not difficult to arrange profitable affairs, even though they have many commitments as part of the project. They have to conduct promotional campaigns among students, publish information in the media and organize job interviews, usually in cooperation with people from Commercial Union, which supports the project. It is easy to imagine how many contacts that means. The volunteers are not left to their own devices, though. Era GSM trains them in recruitment and selection, Tesco shows them how to work with the media, and the Business Centre Club supports them with its contacts and reputation. Additionally, the coordinators get their own business cards and personal access to the Jobpilot employee recruitment system.

The key issue in Manager Shadowing is the training, which is exceptional. While it lasts for only two weeks, managers are fully aware that they have to teach the students using many methods. Everyone who knows what time means to a manager will be able to appreciate the effort of becoming a mentor.

Fortunately, there are more people like this every year. Last year, around 30 managers responsible for the future of students agreed to be shadowed.

Arek from Augustów is unemployed, but he has been persuaded that it is better to work as a volunteer and help others than to stay at home and worry. Arek has prepared a presentation of the project at a local TV station, providing it with good coverage in the local press. He thus acquired many organizational skills.

Ania from Katowice helped present the project during the Job Fair in D±browa Górnicza. She was interviewed on TV and stood behind a counter in front of a crowd of people searching for a job.
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