Headquartered in Slovenia, Cosylab, d. d., Control System Laboratory is a multiple award winning company best known for giving skilled and motivated students the opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge in to practice. Particularly, by offering selected students a well-designed traineeship that includes working opportunity in the area of control system integration, and software and hardware development Cosylab attracts, and develops talent.
Work based learning at Cosylab
Cosylab provides students/graduates of physics, computer engineering and electrical engineering a series of work based learning (WBL) opportunities that build on each other: Cosy academy, project based learning, and part time/ full time employment.
The first phase in which students/graduates get acquainted with Cosylab is through Cosy Academy, which is a training program that lasts for about 3 weeks. With a maximum of 12 tasks, the program is estimated to take 80 hours in total. Although candidates are organized into groups of 3-4, attention is also given to independent work. As such, candidates are expected to develop an individual plan that fits with their respective schedules. Each group is paired with a mentor who provides the necessary guidance. Phase 2 involves project based learning, where candidates work on one of the ongoing projects of Cosylab for about one month. Once again, candidates receive ongoing guidance from their mentors and other team members, which is instrumental for their professional development. With the recommendation of their mentors, some of the candidates get an internship offer in one of the departments.
Two aspects stand out in the work based learning opportunity provided by Cosylab. The first is that there is guidance and feedback every step in the way, which clearly contributes to students’ personal and professional development. Secondly, not only the students are given the opportunity to use their classroom knowledge into the practical works of the organization but also can use the data from the projects to complete their course work at the university, allowing a reciprocal pathway of learning between the organization and the university.
Impact of the Cosylab WBL model on student development
The most immediate beneficiaries of the program are students and the company itself. Students not only develop transversal competences such as teamwork, interpersonal communication, and leadership but also deepen their technical knowledge and skill. Moreover, they clearly boost their employability, with Cosylab being one of the main employers of the trainees. In that, not only Cosylab is able to retain some of the best candidates but also benefits from a range fresh ideas candidates bring during their training and internship.
This article is based on a case study originally written by Assistant Miha Zimšek and Associate Professor Dr. Samo Pavlin developed as part of the WEXHE Project. For more information on WEXHE, please visit www.wexhe.eu
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