Newspaper Frankfurter Neue Presse dated: 12.04.2006
Dirk Menzel takes a look at Fatima Ailli's CV and immediately finds something that should be improved. “Languages: German and Arabic” the Human Resource Consultant reads out loud and gives her some sound advice: “You need to explain that better because you speak both languages fluently.” Usually Menzel provides expert advice to major corporations when they are looking to fill managerial posts. For General Manager Menzel of the Human Resource and Management Consultancy CONusio, it is quite a new experience to deal with such young “clients”. For the last six weeks Menzel has visited the Bockenheimer girls’ advice bureau and helps the teenagers with compiling their job applications.
His efforts and input are a stroke of luck for the girls and their caretakers. “It’s like winning the lottery” says social worker Maneesorn Koldehofe form the institute of the neighbourhood association Bockenheim. Only in the last weeks the girls’ advice bureau received a generous donation from the Lions Club Palmengarten which provided six computers to the institution. This donation was one of the reasons for club member Menzel to consider providing his assistance. “When the decision was taken in December I became curious and interested in the girls advice bureau” commented Menzel.
For around ten years now the girls’ advice bureau is to be found am Rohmerplatz which at present helps 29 girls from migrant families aged between 11 and 16 with their homework and their search to find an apprenticeship. In 2005 the work of this institute was recognised with the Integration Prize of the City of Frankfurt. The human resource consultant was very much concerned with the issue of job prospects that these girls would have in the future. His offer to provide application coaching was received enthusiastically by all parties Menzel recalls.
Every Tuesday at 4.00 p.m. he visits the girls. Eight of them are going to be looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship. Menzel has set the objective that all will find a placement. “This will represent a first benchmark!” The mission though of the human resource consultant is not going to end here. “I have not thought about giving up this position. I shall continue as long as I am needed.”
Social worker Koldehofe is full of praise for the assistance the businessman provides. “That such a commanding and reputable person is able to converse in such a simple manner with the girls helps remove all apprehensions they may have.” Fatima who aspires to be a nurse one day feels much better prepared for the future. “At school we merely received application drafts and we just had to fill in our names. Here we had to think about what our actual strengths are and what we want to achieve. This enabled us to create a personalised CV and covering sheet that also related to one another.” It costs around 200 to 300 € an hour for a professional application coaching with this consultant but this service is provided at the bureau free of charge and Menzel has given the girls his phone number in case of an emergency.
Menzel knows that the creation of a personalised application can be the decisive factor between success and failure. Many experienced managers were unaware of this fact. “Most of them wrote their last applications thirty years ago and that presents a massive problem for them.” The girls though have a considerable advantage in regards to new technologies, though. It is no problem for them to send their application via email. After that the next step can be quite small to receive an invitation to a job interview. Next on the agenda for Menzel is interview coaching. “Then they will probably start to hate me”, Menzel smiles. His enthusiasm has infected others. A further consultant from CONusio intends to lend her support to the girls' advice bureau in the near future.