Interview to Anna Lewicka as part of the “Bridging the Gap” project

Anna Lewicka

A psychologist by education, she has been working closely with business for over 14 years, providing coaching, mentoring and training in the area of personal development and professional competence. She works for companies and organizations as a trainer, psychologist, psychotherapist, consultant, analyst, professional advisor, coach, academic teacher. She implements projects in the field of professional and interpersonal competence development in a group and individual process. Anna Lewicka, the founder of the Academy of Human Development and Transformation, supports the development of another human being by means of her own personal and professional development programs.

You conduct career counseling, for example at the art school in Gliwice – secondary vocational school providing education in artistic professions. How does your work with this art school’s students look like?

The classes are held as part of school activities and are lead in two modes: individual and group. The curriculum and the topics are customized to the students’ needs individually: each class has different needs, mainly because of the variety of educational stages.

How does the process of career counselling and work with a student look like?

Again, each class has different needs. Personally, I always start my work by building a relationship, which makes opening up and further work easier. I’m also very focused on developing soft skills such as getting to know yourself and mindfulness, building self-worth. Then I work on hard competences: how to create a CV, where to find job offers or projects, how to define professional predispositions.

Do you see any differences between young people educated in artistic faculties and educated in general?

Well, it’s hard to categorize in this case. At art schools young people surely already are more targeted, in general classes however not everyone has a precise vision of themselves yet. But I think this is always individual matter and this is the way I approach working with students.

In that case, what kind of support do the art school’s students need, according to your experience?

There is one harmful myth in our society that art work is not work at all, not some job that will let you be sustainable. I try to talk about it with students and raise issues related to the possibility of treating the artist’s profession as gainful employment. Also, the field of competences, gaining, identifying, naming them and define, which ones are ‘must have’ competences is very important.

And which are the ‘must have’ competences, in your opinion?

Above all, those are the competences connected with organization. Also, other important competences are persistence, self-confidence, self-presentation – as a psychologist and psychotherapist I pay attention to the cultivation of these skills. The next in line would be hard skills, typically professional.

How do you see professional development perspectives, job opportunities?

Nowadays there are lots, lots of chances, but again – this is a very individual matter. When a man has vison and passions, there are the basics for achieving success. There is a whole lot of different factors that can influence those chances. It is also important that the job market has a growing tendency to combine different fields, which opens, in a way, more opportunities to take a job.

Were you dealing with internship tutors? What qualities should such tutor have?

Yes, I do have a contact with internship teachers and tutors at schools. Their most important quality, in my opinion, should be openness and willingness to learn. Such person should also be very attentive to the student: giving a direction, thinking with perspectives but not restricting them.

Thank you very much for the conversation!

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