Over two days, Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th January 2017, four volunteers from the Excellence Centre ran a workshop on Business Skills for local Palestinian university students from Hebron University and Polytechnic University Hebron. The workshop covered how to write an informal article, a cover letter and a CV for job applications, formal business emails, and general writing tips.
Because of the number of students who attended, the students were split into two groups. Half were placed in a class with Lucie and Xavier, and the other half were placed in a class with Stephanie and Haesoo. On the last day of the workshop, Stephanie and Haesoo were joined by the new volunteer, Sharon. The workshops ran for two hours each day, a total of four hours.
For the first day of the workshop, each class went through the basics of each of the four topics. For each of the topics, general information was given about what each of the topics is, how they should be presented in written form, and examples were given. Following each of these steps, the students were required to complete an exercise to demonstrate their understanding of the topic.
For example, to demonstrate their understanding of how an informal article should be written, each of the students was required to write an article of 3 or 4 paragraphs describing either life in Hebron or what country they would like to visit. For this, the student had to use the formula for constructing paragraphs that had been presented to them.
On the second day of the workshop, the students were required to put the skills they had learnt the day before to use. Firstly, the students were shown a silent short film that illustrated the evolution of cinema in animated form. From this, they were required to write a short article describing their thoughts about the video, and what themes they thought were being presented. We then had a brief class discussion about the video. Second, one of the volunteers wrote an example of a bad resume on the board. The students were then asked to point out the issues in it and to rewrite the problem areas. Thirdly, the students were required to write a resume based on a prescribed job application. They could either apply for the job of a sports manager of a major football club, or for the job of a teacher at Hogwarts. And finally, the class was shown a second short film, about a poor man making a doll for his daughter out of his shoe, even though it was winter and snowing. Following this, the class was placed into groups to have a discussion about the film and how they would write an article about it, and what themes they would discuss in their article.
Overall, the workshops were a great success, with the university students learning how to present themselves in a professional manner in their writing. Each of the volunteers who participated in running the workshop said that they had a great time, and felt that the students had been engaged and attentive through the workshops.