And Negin’s hidden ambition still came true by teaching at NOVI university
LINKIT already had knowledge sharing as one of its core values; we do an annual boot camp in which we train data engineers ourselves. But when our OutSystems Developer Negin Nafassi received a unique message on LinkedIn a few months ago, a third pillar was brought into being: education. The message in question was from the NOVI university of applied sciences in Utrecht. They wanted to know whether she was interested in teaching Java freelance to their students.
Teaching to learn.
“You don’t get a message like that every day,” says Negin. “But on the other hand, it does fit for me. In high school I tutored for four years. After that, when I was at the University of Leiden, I had also taught there, as a sophomore student to the freshmen. I really enjoyed it. Since I had to explain things to a student, it was easier for me to learn them myself.”
After completing her studies, she even considered taking a minor in education, but nevertheless decided to choose the “normal” work field. She took up an opening at LINKIT and forgot about her teaching ambitions. Until she got that message.
Please have a woman in front of the class
The request came from teacher Nick Stuivenberg. “LINKIT was a coincidence at first,” he says. “I mainly had Negin in my sights. Firstly, because we were looking for a Java teacher and she possesses those skills. Secondly, although it might be said in a whisper, it’s also because ICT is still predominately a man’s world. That is precisely why we really want to have women in the classroom. As an additional advantage, she already had experience in teaching. ”
When Negin later came for an interview, that list was expanded even further, Nick explains. “I noticed she has a ‘can-do’ mentality. Shrugs off and goes ahead, and always with great enthusiasm. If she has the same enthusiasm for the class, I expect our students to have an interesting lesson. ”
LINKIT also supports Negin and therefore by extension Novi, by “lending out” Negin. The contract is therefore between NOVI and LINKIT, so perhaps in future we offer more IT experts from LINKIT a teaching career.
Nick: “This is important to Novi. We are not a “normal” college. In addition to regular education, we also offer bootcamps, where we train people from start to finish in six months. In fact, at NOVI you can sometimes write a thesis immediately based on prior knowledge and experience, after which you will receive an HBO diploma. We are the only one in the Netherlands to do that. ”
Benefits of lessons & practice
“We use freelance teachers from the business world for two reasons. On the one hand, to relieve our two permanent teachers. From time to time, they also need to focus on other things, such as writing lesson materials. Besides, I think it is important that as a student you should also get to see people from the field who tell their story. That also has two advantages: The person teaching encounters potential new employees, and the students in turn have a reference in the field.”
Nevertheless, finding good teachers is a challenge. “We pay a limited amount per hour for the lesson, but it does not include preparation. Unfortunately, many experienced ICT-professionals do not teach for that amount, so it is difficult to find good people. Fortunately, we will soon get a system that contains the entire curriculum, including slides, a lesson plan and homework assignments. What we especially want is for the teacher to contribute his or her own story into the material, using their own knowledge and experience. ”
If it’s up to Negin, that will be smooth sailing. “I am very happy with this new challenge,” she says enthusiastically. “This week I get a tour of the online platform and then I get to work. Because everything is still online now, they are video lectures, and everything is recorded for reuse during the period. I find it very special that I have the opportunity to teach at LINKIT. I’m excited!”