Personal Development (ON CAMPUS)

ESS Course thumbnail for Personal Development

Do you feel that you have good ideas, but struggle to get them realized? Are you looking for more insight in yourself, your goals and your (maybe still hidden) talents? Are you looking to better understand different people and become a better presenter/public speaker? Then this course is just for you! In this course you will work on your personal effectiveness, under the guidance of an experienced tutor in this matter.

Acquired skills

  • Become a more self-aware and flexible person and professional
  • Learn how to communicate in a more effective way, which will improve results, performance and career
  • Become aware of your personal and professional skills, and therefore more confident
  • Be present and focused
  • Become a better listener and a more curious person

General information

Course term: 209.08. - 20.08.

Free seats: 7

Price: 800 €

Category: Personal Development & Communication Skills

Status: Available

Deadline: 30.04.2021


The objective of this course is to help you to fully realize your own potential, by focusing on improving your personal competences. This course is divided in four different aspects of personal effectiveness: The first part is about the topic “Who am I?”, the second part about “What are my goals?”, the third part is “What is my strategy to get there?” and the fourth part is “How to effectively communicate”. One of the issues that will be discussed here is how the current coronavirus crisis will impact professional communication in the work environment. Another issue is about how to deal with moral choices and dilemmas.

The goal of the course is not to teach you all kind of theoretical concepts related to these four subjects, but instead provide you with different kind of tools that can help you to better understand yourself, as well as help you to make more firm decisions about your personal actions and feel more confident. Just like a carpenter, who has a toolbox full of tools to help him in his work, this course provides you with tools to analyse yourself and help you to make better use of your knowledge and skills in your work or study, so that you can be more proactive and goal-oriented.

Just in a few lines a bit more on the contents of the different parts of the course:

The 1st part about discovering oneself, about norms and values, dreams and actions, in order to answer the question for oneself: What am I talented in? What is my priority in professional goals? What kind of soft and hard skills are important? What will change after the global Corona-virus quarantine? How to know to be ready for a new “virtual” global market and have proper knowledge and skills, and not old-fashioned ones from the past? To discover these issues, self-tests can be used, like for example discovering one’s learning style, as well as group discussions to share and learn from each other. Also, interactive sessions (games) and exercises will be used to illustrate and explain some of the issues at hand, by placing oneself in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective.

The 2nd part is about discovering and formulating personal and professional goals. Special attention is paid to the consequences of the global recession due to the Corona-virus pandemic, in terms of changes in needed hard and soft skills in professional life. In this part, short term and long term goals are discussed, as well as realistic and unrealistic goals. By understanding and discussing models like for example ”the circle of concern” and “the circle of control”, an outlook can be given on how to formulate goals for yourself.

The 3rd part is about the personal strategy to reach one’s goals, both in the short and long term. This involves making effective planning in the current unsustainable condition of the world. This part consists of exercises and tools to help you to focus on the strategy to reach your goals. One of the important issues is to learn to say “no”, in order to concentrate on those things that are necessary to help you reach the goals you have set for yourself. Another part of this section is to develop your critical thinking skills, in order to better understand when someone is trying to manipulate you. Recognizing fake news and other manipulative propaganda is a very important personal and professional skill.

The 4th final part of the course is about communication in different forms. Clearly this is a very important part of personal effectiveness: to be able to have effective oral and written communication is key for successful cooperation with others. It also includes a small introduction and some exercises in intercultural communications. In the course, you will be trained in argumentation, debating, presenting and writing.


Jacques Bazen


Saxion University of Applied Sciences


Jacques Bazen is senior lecturer Entrepreneurship & International Economics at the department for Industrial Engineering & Management and research fellow at the research group on Regional Economic Development at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Enschede, the Netherlands. He also works as visiting lecturer at the Higher School of Business at Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia and the Hochschule Osnabrück in Germany. Jacques has worked in business, as a teacher in secondary education and as trainer/consultant in economic and/or society development programs (mainly in Central and Eastern Europe), before and during his work in higher education. Besides teaching, he regularly develops international (applied science) study modules aimed at entrepreneurship and university-business cooperation. In this course, he will share with you his experience in mentoring and coaching politicians and students towards reaching their full potential, and hopefully help you with discovering some hidden talents that you may have!


  • Day 1Part I “Who am I?” - Introduction and getting to know each other - Discovering yourself – personal strengths and weaknesses. - Discovering your favourite learning style - Analysing your personality in relation to others: Rose of Leary. - Discussion & brainstorming on different perspectives and visions - Importance of hard and soft skills: challenge for the mind
  • Day 2Part I “Who am I?” - Further elaboration on personal strengths and weaknesses: usefulness of self-tests - Discussion and practice with the DiSC framework - Thinking about your favourite role in a team: Theory of Belbin - Guest lecture: Harrison assessments as a tool for self-discovery
  • Day 3Part II “What are my goals?” - Discovering what are my goals, both for the short and long term - About motivation, action and proactiveness: discussion about some of Stephen Covey’s 7 habits/principles - Discussion on Steve Jobs’ video about new challenges in 21 century
  • Day 4Part III “Strategies for personal development” - How to focus on your goals? “First things first!” - Don’t follow the beaten path: Levitt & Dubner’s ideas of “Think like a freak” - Exercises and discussions on personal strategy.
  • Day 5Part III “Strategies for personal development” - Critical thinking: Learning to develop solid argumentation, analysing and assessing arguments - Discussions and exercises about recognizing manipulation, fake news and misleading statistics
  • Day 6Part IV “How do I communicate?” - Introduction on communicatio0n and commication strategies - Writing clear texts, discussion and exercises about writing a “30-second message” - Pitfalls: Understanding your target group and cultural norms in written texts
  • Day 7Part IV “How do I communicate?” - Argumentation and persuasion: Learning and practicing to debate - Verbal and non-verbal communication - Pitfalls: Understanding cultural norms in personal communication
  • Day 8Part IV “How do I communicate?” - Bringing your message across in presentations, lessons from the ancients: Aristotle and Cicero - Practice presentations, learning to speak in public
  • Day 9Practical work on assignments - Working sessions on the personal and team assignments, with tutoring available
  • Day 10Presentations, Exam and wrapping up the course - Team presentations on the chosen subject - Handing in the written personal assignment - Closing session & reflection on the course & assignments

Course is running: Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 14:00

Course outline

The course is finalized with writing an individual essay about your personal goals and strategy to reach your goals, as well as a team presentation on a subject of your choice, in which the style, clarity and team cooperation is going to be assessed.

Course Gallery


There are no compulsory books for this course, however, a reader with articles and abstracts will be handed out for studying and reference purposes Some recommended materials to read:

  • Collins, J. (2001), Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't, New York: HarperCollins
  • Covey S.R. (1990), The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Fireside Book
  • Fleming, N.D & C.E. Mills (1992), Not Another Inventory, Rather a Catalyst for Reflection, To Improve the Academy, p. 246. Can be downloaded from:
  • Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experimental/earning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  • Levitin, D. (2016), A field guide to lies and statistics: A neuroscientist on how to make sense of a complex world, London: Viking
  • Levitt, S.D. & Dubner, S.J. (2014), Think like a freak. London: Penguin UK


You will receive an official Certificate of Attendance upon completion of your course. Please inform the organizing staff if you require any extra supplements, such as Transcript of Records. The student is eligible to receive up to 5 ECTS credits, however please follow the instructions here and consult the acknowledgment process with your university in advance.


  • attendance in class 15%
  • team assignment 40%
  • individual assignment 35%
  • exam 10% (optional, if required by home University)

Course time total 125 hours

  1. Total time of in-class work = 50hours
  2. Preliminary assignment = 10hours
  3. Preparation = 65hours


Course fee includes the course itself, application fee, study materials, Prague public transportation ticket for 2 weeks, afternoon/evening social activities and events, welcome drink and goodbye graduation party. Other expenses, such as meals, accommodation, insurance, personal expenses, extra activities (such as trips outside of town over the weekend and entrance fees), and required equipment (i.e. pencils, paper for illustrations) are not included in the price.

Please note, after the 30th of April 2021 there will be a late enrollment fee charged in the amount of 50EUR on top of the course fee.

COVID-19 Tests upon arrival to Prague you might be asked to take a COVID test to avoid quarantine or you will have to take the test before your departure to Prague at the airport. In that case, we have decided to contribute to the testing and reimburse you in the amount of 100,- EUR. More info here .

COVID-19 Cancellation fee - in case a particular course will be cancelled without an alternative course or the Summer school program will not be happening even in an ONLINE version due to Coronavirus in your country or in the Czech Republic, we will be refunding all amount so cancellation fee is 0,- EUR.

Terms and Conditions - Cancellation fees

Costs of living in Prague


For accommodation options, please visit the dedicated page


  • Intermediate level of English (at least B1/B2)
  • Openess to the difference and change, to be curious and eager to question yourself, and to develop new ways of thinking.


"Really cool experience. Visited two SummerSchools this summer and this one was by far the better one. Beside some really cool courses the two weeks are filled with leisure activities, which ensure that there is no stodgy minute. You get some views of prag, that a normal tourist wouldn't get so fast. Furthermore, you will meet new people from all over the world, which will make it an unforgettable trip for you. 10/10 ??"