ISD Secondary: Careers Guidance Programme

Contribution by Ms Patricia Brugman and Ms Mirjam de Bruin

This year ISD Secondary is launching a careers guidance programme. The 4-year programme, starting with our MYP 4 students until our future DP 2 students,  is aimed at working together to guide students and parents in the decision-making process for their future careers and higher education plans. 
A new programme starts with two new careers counsellors: Ms Patricia Brugman and Ms Mirjam de Bruin.

Introduction of the Careers Guidance Team
My name is Patricia Brugman. I started working for International School Delft in January this year, next to my teaching job at the International School of The Hague. Since the start of this academic year, I am fully devoted to ISD which I like very much. You might already know me because I teach your child Dutch language acquisition or Dutch language literature! Additionally, I am the subject area leader of the language acquisition department at ISD.  
My name is Mirjam de Bruin and I currently work as the communications officer for ISD. With a background in Business Administration and Marketing Communications, I have previously worked within various companies in the Netherlands and abroad. This has allowed me to see a diverse landscape of companies and jobs and to know first-hand what it is like to pursue different interests and change careers paths. 
Starting as careers counsellors at ISD is something, we are both very enthusiastic about. Since the school does not have an IB Diploma Program yet, there is still a lot to develop and to make sure to get in place. Over the last months, we have been working hard on developing a rigid program that does more than just finding the right university. We believe that careers counselling starts with making students aware of who they are as young adults and where their strengths and preferences lie. From there on, we take them further in a step by step process, in which we encourage the students to take the lead. The aim is to help students develop a ‘work identity’ by focusing on five career competencies: 

  • Quality / strengths reflectionwho am I and what are my strengths?
  • Motivational reflection: what are my preferences and motivation?
  • Careers/higher education exploration: what possibilities and options are available?
  • Career self-management: what is needed, how can I pursue what I want?
  • Networking: who can help me, provide me with what I need?

The careers guidance lessons will initially take place during the mentor periods, but we will meet individually with students as well. Students and parents will receive the added benefit of having access to BridgeU, a careers and university platform that ISD is using to support and inform students in choosing a career path, finding the best-fit university, building a CV, and creating a personal statement, amongst other things. Here, students and parents can access the latest university admissions criteria and find country/region specific tips for gaining admission.   
Of course, in this whole process, it is vital that we, as careers counsellors, work together with the parents as well, so we are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration.  If you have any questions in the meantime, we are available to help.