The Industry Immersion Program (IIP) launched in 2017 by ESMT Berlin and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Cape Town, South Africa, has exceeded expectations and will expand to several new locations in the coming years. The pilot project, which now enters its fourth year, prepares African graduates to transition from an academic environment to an applied industrial setting.
The first three IIP cohorts have seen 78 students, 47 percent of them female, from 19 countries. Of the total participants, 80 percent gained employment in industry after program completion and 10 percent returned to academia. For the first time, the IIP will host a second and concurrent cohort in Ghana this year, seeking to graduate 50 students in total. The classes will start in the summer.
“The IIP has already enjoyed an impressive start,” says Nick Barniville, associate dean of degree programs at ESMT Berlin. “Working with our global partners, we will now scale the program to reach other African nations where we believe it can have meaningful impact on industrial development and opportunity. Soon, the IIP will graduate 125 students annually across its multinational African program.”
The six-month IIP includes an academic module to build business readiness skills as well as a 12-week internship with industry partners across Africa. Professors from ESMT faculty teach pro bono in areas such as organizational behavior, corporate strategy, finance, and accounting. The program received initial support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
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