Career Service: Career coaching at the university
Is there nothing you desire more than trading those lectures and cafeteria food for a "real" job with a regular income? Then take advantage of the career services offered at your university! Their goal is to ensure that the good education their graduates receive also leads to a good job. The services range from personal advising sessions to large fairs which bring alumni and companies together.
by Fabian Köhler
It couldn't be that hard, thought Magali as she glanced over four pages she had crammed with every detail of her life. Her CV included experience that ranged from "supervisor of a toddler swimming group" at age 14 to "mulled-wine vendor" at the Christmas market during her last winter breaks. "I thought the more you put in, the better," she explains, grinning.
The French student from Le Havre studies Business Communication. Or to be exact, used to study it. The 25-year-old completed her degree two months ago and is now looking for a job. "The first time I noticed that something wasn't right with my CV was when my flatmate ran through the apartment with it, laughing hysterically," she recalls, somewhat embarrassed.
Advising sessions and job fairs - A wide range of services
She received help from the "Career Service" at her university. Most universities in Germany now offer such services to their students. The goal is to ensure that the good education their graduates receive also leads to a good job. The services range from personal advising sessions to large fairs which bring alumni and companies together.
"We offer everything that makes it easier for our students to enter the workforce," says Dr. Katja Zitzmann from the University of Applied Sciences in Jena. As a one-man career service, she advises students who are job hunting and reviews their application documents with a critical eye. Advice in English and French is also possible.
Preparing for the German labour market
The career services at the TU Munich are much larger in scope. During a five-day "Career Week", future graduates have the chance to visit job and internship exchanges, participate in applicant training seminars tailored to certain branches and attend country-specific lectures. There are also presentations and personal advising sessions available to foreign students to prepare them for the special conditions of the German labour market.
The University of Applied Sciences in Lausitz offers a programme which, though less extravagant, is all the more creative. At so-called "Fireside Chats", students, lecturers and business representatives discuss the best ways to secure a regular income.
As for Magali, she decided to return to her university for a few hours and let an expert critique her CV. The first thing she wants do with the money she earns in her future job is to afford her own apartment. "Then I'll finally be rid of my annoying flatmates," she laughs.