ESMT Berlin begins Industry Immersion Program in Africa to foster graduate employability


ESMT Berlin has launched an innovative program designed specifically to strengthen the employability of mathematics and science graduates across Africa.

Thirty graduates from ten African countries have started the first academic module of the Industry Immersion Program (IIP) in Cape Town, South Africa. Launched by ESMT Berlin and the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), the IIP is a six-month program that prepares mathematically and technically trained students to transition from an academic environment to an applied industry setting.

The program includes two academic modules as well as a 12-week internship with industry partners across Africa. The academic aspect includes topics such as business etiquette and presentation skills, corporate strategy, finance and accounting, data analytics, and organizational behavior. Top ESMT faculty are teaching pro bono.

The first class will graduate on December 1, 2017. The initiators of the program, ESMT Founding Dean Wulff Plinke and Associate Dean of Degree Programs Nick Barniville, presented the program during the G20 Africa Partnership conference, a part of the German G20 activities.

Nick Barniville says,

“The Industry Immersion Program seeks to strengthen the employability of mathematically and scientifically excellent graduates from six AIMS campuses across Africa (Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Tanzania, South Africa and Rwanda) by providing a practically oriented and sustainable supplementary curriculum to those who seek a career in industry or in business.

Currently, AIMS provides a world class postgraduate program in Mathematical Sciences to top graduates from across Africa. However, not all participants are suitable or desire to take the academic path to PhD level. So currently there is considerable wastage as participants who do not follow PhD level academic training return to their home countries without sufficient training to enter into the workforce or the ability to use their world-class quantitative training in business. The ESMT AIMS Industry Immersion Program aims to bridge this gap.”

Specifically, the AIMS – ESMT Industry Immersion program (IIP) has the following aims:

To enable highly intelligent, scientifically trained African graduates to contribute to the economic transformation of Africa by immersing them in a practical, skills-based employability program
To develop basic managerial and organizational skills in the cohort
To facilitate potential entrepreneurs to succeed with their ideas by imparting an understanding of business and entrepreneurial principles
To foster behavioural competences in participants that are demanded by employers globally
To develop business linkages between African graduates and German business operating in Africa through internship and post-graduate employment