“Socially engaged & career minded”
Ms. Wollmann, Teach For All recruits highly qualified young university graduates to essentially put off their careers and first work for two years as teachers in schools in disadvantaged communities. Why do these young people sacrifice two years of their career?
Annette Wollmann: Because it’s not a sacrifice, it’s a career opportunity. Many young people go away for a few years after university to get a better feel for themselves. While some head off to the other side of the world, others discover an unknown world at a school in a disadvantaged community on the other side of town. Teach For All teaching participants can document some very valuable skills and qualities when they apply for jobs later on – things like assertiveness, will power, communication skills, the ability to motivate others, strong work ethic and the ambition to change the world for the better.
So a tried and tested teaching participant would be an ideal match for Deutsche Post DHL?
Annette Wollmann: We don’t target the teaching participants for recruitment as such, but they certainly do have an advantage. An outstanding teacher has skills and competencies very much in demand in the business world and the teaching participants are a good match for us in terms of their leadership qualifications. As defined by our Corporate Strategy, leadership for us means Respect & Results, i.e. we treat customers, colleagues and service providers with respect without compromising our commitment to results. Over the course of their two-year assignment, teaching participants practice Respect & Results on daily a basis in the schools.
In 2013 you added Teach for the Philippines to your list of Teach For All partners, bringing the number of partnerships with Teach For All country organizations to seven. What’s the next step?
Annette Wollmann: We want to continue to build on our existing partnerships. Today we can look back on a good deal of experience and we want to put this experience to good use. One of the things we do is to meet regularly to share insights and learn from the activities that have proven most successful. This is a very fruitful dialogue, which never fails to demonstrate how much can still be done, and achieved, within the existing partnerships. We’ll also be launching a new cooperation with yet another Teach For All partner organization in 2014: Enseña Ecuador. We’re really looking forward to this. The organization has been part of the Teach For All network since 2013.
Annette Wollmann is Program Manager for Deutsche Post DHL’s partnership with Teach For All.