This month our WEXHE partner University of Ljubljana introduces us one of the WBL best practices implemented at the Slovenian universities: The Sample Company.
We wish you a pleasant reading!
The sample company is a limited liability company organised in Ljubljana as a part of a big multinational services corporation – one of the largest professional services networks in the world. It is active in the fields of auditing, tax advisory, financial consulting and other professional services.
Type of WBL implemented
Young people still in the study process (students in the process of finishing their studies, but also other individuals with no prior experience in the job) can enter the company via internship. The placements mostly target the positions of auditor or tax consultant. Therefore, most interns come from the field of economics, namely financial studies (banking, financial management, accounting) and other economics related studies such as international relations or business studies. In the area of tax consultancy, the interns can also come from law studies. The flow of students from the faculty of economics and the faculty of law is extensive and of a relatively high quality. There are however individual cases of employees from other fields, such as IT.
The internship is not only aimed at testing new employees but also at giving them the opportunity to test the job and see if it fits their long-term career prospects. The company accepts approximately 10 to 15 interns every year. Due to its specific nature, the audit sector does not expand, so the number of internship positions is directly related to the number of people leaving. In tax consultancy, new positions are more often available due to the sector’s growth.
Competencies/ Learning outcomes
The intern typically works together with another employee that has been with the company already for a few years. The process of knowledge transfer is not strictly determined but is implied in the work process. Low difficulty tasks are gradually handed down to beginners as new increasingly advanced tasks are given to the employees. The main added value of internship lies in the personal development of interns. For students this is the first real contact with the working environment. The interns receive normal pay for their work, seen that they perform regular work tasks for the company. They are integrated into the work process as much as possible.
The company has some competencies determined in a written form. The three key points in the competency framework are:
- Quality of work (accuracy, quality control, “self-evaluation”, quality of the process (e.g. taking notes), concentration, motivation etc.;
- Customer relations (although beginners have little customer contact);
- Internal relations (cooperation, communication, active questioning, team relations, etc.).
Some of the important generic competences include the ability for abstract and analytical thinking, and synthesis of ideas (critical thinking and reflection); ability to apply knowledge in practical situations and capacity to learn and stay up-to-date with learning (learning-to-learn).
Important are all other “WEXHE” competencies:
- ability to apply knowledge in practical situations,
- ability to identify, pose and resolve problems (problem solving),
- capacity to generate new ideas (creativity),
- ability to motivate people and move toward common goals (leadership),
- ability to design and manage projects (project management),
- ability to work in a team (teamwork),
- ability to communicate both orally and through the written word in first language (oral and written communication),
- ability to make reasoned decisions (decision making),
- ability to take the initiative and to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship and intellectual curiosity (entrepreneurship)
All in all, an internship at the “sample company” is a great way to apply what students learn at the university, experience the professional world and build a strong foundation for achieving their career goals.