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New Programme prepares Students for the Workplace
Bob Sugden, Career-related Programmes Coordinator and Amanda Shaw, CP Business BTEC and Individual Societies

For students wishing to pursue a career in business following their graduation, ISZL has developed the Career-related Programme. Students can elect to study subjects, which incorporate the values of the International Baccalaureate whilst also offering an essential skill set for the workplace.  

The ISZL Career-related Programme offers select elements from multiple diploma programmes. ISZL students can combine the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) Diploma in Business, with other International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma subjects, or Advanced Placement (AP) and ISZL courses in Grades 11 and 12. 

The BTEC Diploma, which forms one element of the Career-related Programme, is a hands-on course grounded in the real world of work. It is developed in consultation with employers and higher education experts and valued highly as a professional qualification. Students undertake a series of assignments, set in real-life scenarios, developing the practical knowledge and skills employers and universities are seeking.

The Career-related Programme is proud to have developed partnerships with businesses with operations in our vicinity. ISZL students have gained practical experience with Thomson Reuters as well as the Bürgenstock Hotel and Spa. We also involve our students in projects within the ISZL Business Office. This real business experience defines the quality of the programme and ISZL is grateful to our partners.

At the Thomson Reuters headquarters, our BTEC students conducted a systems analysis, evaluating the use of business resources. ISZL students interviewed executives and, at a second visit, presented recommendations to improve the performance of the organisation. This presentation formed the culmination of their unit assignments on Business Resources. 

ISZL students were asked to conduct market research for the newly opened Bürgenstock Hotel and Alpine Spa in Luzern. Students met with the Managing Director of Bürgenstock Selection at their headquarters in Zug where they learned about the development and marketing of the Resort. Students also met with the Director of Spa and Recreation and the Spa Manager and were given a brief to investigate the emotional connection of customers with the spa experience. 

In response, students created a psychographic survey which they carried out with a strategic sample of the population. They met with a focus group of businesses in Luzern to identify values and attitudes, personalities and lifestyles to help the Spa better understand their clients. Students delivered their findings at the Burgenstock Hotel and Spa as the final assignment in their Market Research unit.  The Managing Director of the Bürgenstock Selection says that “the experience the students gain in real workplaces is a valuable part of their programme, as the insight from a real business context adds to their understanding of marketing and customers’ expectations. This experience, combined with the worldview that they develop through their international upbringing and the International Baccalaureate education, prepares them well to succeed in their future business endeavours.” 

In a further project, students developed their Curriculum Vitae and interview skills in a simulated recruitment process for an internship. They were interviewed by Human Resources Managers and evaluated their performance as the outcome of their unit on Recruitment and Selection in Business. ISZL teachers received training and advice from our partner Element Consulting in Luzern.  The Director of Element Consulting adds that “we believe the Career-related Programme will give ISZL students the 'Winning Edge’ when it comes to working in the real world. Congratulations on developing a curriculum that is leading the way in equipping ISZL students with the values and skills that workplaces of the future will demand.”

Feedback from our students:

The workload is challenging and so is the pace! We have to look at a range of concepts and apply them directly to a business which makes it difficult but I feel it is realistic - it is what you would do in the real world. The BTEC course is very practical, it is going to help me in life and in hospitality and business management school. I will have the understanding to ace that course and go on to get a great job.
Alexis, Grade 12

As a teenager, you do not realise what is behind the website image of a company. I was curious to see how a company works, and it was exciting to learn by experiencing it first hand.
Lonneke, Grade 12

The BTEC course has been really awesome, because it is more practical and relevant to our future. We went to Thomson Reuters and gave a presentation to executives and went through an interview. This got me used to the business environment and the tension of it. This gets you ready for pressure situations. The BTEC gives me a qualification that will get me started on a career and helps me get into universities, so I feel like it is a win-win.
Sean, Grade 12

I want to create my own business and the course trains my presentation skills - I am going to be using these - it is going to help me in the future. In the beginning I was extremely nervous, but I gained experience. Anyone who wants to go into business should do it. It is hard. Finance and economic concepts are hard, but I find it fun. The workload is challenging. BTEC is a lot more hands-on. What is cool is that we are able to go to different businesses and show our skills.
Thomas,  Grade 11


  • Career-related Programme
  • Curriculum
  • High School

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