Great experience on OUTDOC Project

by dr. Martina Horvat

Great experience on OUTDOC Project

A little bit about me

I am a Career centre counselor with a university degree and PhD in psychology. I am working in the Career Centre of the University of Maribor since 2014. I have years of experiences in career counselling,  coaching and preparing workshops in the field of career guidance, career planning, motivation, setting goals, job seeking and project management. I also organise events, like career fairs, workshops, and company presentations.

My roles in OUTDOC project on-line activities

My role in the OUTDOC project started in October 2021, when I was invited to prepare a streaming session for PhD students concerning self-motivation and initiative. I was flattered to be involved in such an interesting project. The streaming session was a great experience for me. I was lecturing about motivation and motives, self-motivation, personal initiative, goals, and plans. It was supported by quizzes, videos, and examples. Students asked me about my personal experiences concerning motivation during my PhD study, and I was happy to share them with them. With some of these students, I am still connected via LinkedIn.

I also conducted two 30-minutes coaching sessions for doctoral students in Slovenia, where we talked about career development, career opportunities, resume, and cover letter. I made suggestions for upgrading their resume and cover letter. We discussed it and considered her and my opinion, thus upgrading the documents. It makes sense to have these documents updated regularly, as you can respond quickly to career opportunities that come your way. The student assessed that “The performance of coaching sessions was great.”, so I believe it was a valuable experience for her.

My next role in the project was to conduct an on-line face-to-face session for doctoral students in Slovenia. I asked students which competencies they would like to strengthen. They decided on oral communication, written communication, and problem-solving. I prepared face-to-face meetings about these topics, where I presented theoretical starting points, followed by a discussion, exchange of experiences, and practical knowledge. My favorite response from the student: “I think the face-to-face was done perfectly, it definitely exceeded my expectations.”

Importance of main mission of OUTDOC project

I believe that individuals in different developmental periods need support in strengthening competencies and monitoring the development of their careers. PhD students are mostly young adults with a desire to acquire new knowledge, strengthen competencies and advance in their careers. In the OUTDOC project, they have opportunities to strengthen the soft skills that are important for their career development. These can be strengthened through prepared material, on-line individual and group activities, as well as through collaboration with potential work environments. I believe that all of this can contribute to the career and personal well-being of young educated adults.

dr. Martina Horvat

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