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Successful Career Start Thanks to Transfer to Chemnitz

Hannah Gerold from Frankfurt (M.) is a graduate of Chemnitz University of Technology and works on the Respect Coaches project in Chemnitz - How she found the right job

"I grew up in a small town on the outskirts of Frankfurt. My desire to do something with languages finally brought me to Chemnitz in 2015," says Hannah Gerold. She studied Intercultural Communication at the Chemnitz University of Technology, where she earned her Bachelor's degree. She particularly liked the diversity of the course and the opportunity to set her own priorities depending on her interests. "I decided to study in Chemnitz because the course was more to my liking than my interrupted business education studies in Frankfurt. Chemnitz is also small and manageable, people know each other. I also like the fact that the university is big enough to be able to freely decide what suits you. And yet so small that there is a personal relationship to many people on campus," Gerold sums up.

Intercultural commitment on campus

Besides her studies, Hannah had enough time to learn different languages and to use them directly on campus in conversation with the numerous international students. Her volunteer work was not neglected either: right at the beginning of her studies Hannah became part of the student initiative "kulturcampus" In 2018 she herself founded the initiative "F.R.I.E.N.D.S. of TU Chemnitz" (Facebook page) together with other students. "The Friends have made it their goal to improve the social life on campus, bringing together students from different countries. Our first event was a complete success with 110 participants. The city still offers a lot of breeding ground for ideas and doers, there is little competition and many supporters. I see this as a big advantage for Chemnitz."

But Hannah was not only on the road a lot as a volunteer. She tried out various part-time jobs, spent a semester abroad in Cyprus in 2017/2018 and then completed an internship with an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) that promotes international youth work. "The internship experience was very important for me because I realized that youth work inspires me. I realized that I see my future work in the educational field," she says.

Help with getting a job - Career Service programs very valuable

In early 2019, Hannah successfully completed her bachelor's degree and went looking for a job. "After my studies, I was told from many people that with a Bachelor's degree in Intercultural Communication you will have little success in finding a job. Nevertheless, it was clear to me that I wanted to find a job after graduation. That's why I applied for different jobs parallel to the final phase of my bachelor thesis." The Career Service at the university supported her in her career entry: "I find the programs from the Career Service particularly valuable for all students. This starts with the free application photos at the TUCconnect career fair and ends not least with the extensive workshop offerings. At the career fairs I was also able to gain initial experience in conducting interviews with human resources managers and expand my network."

Career entry in the local labour market accomplished

Since July 2019, Hannah has been working for the Youth Migration Service (JMD) of AWO Soziale Dienste Chemnitz und Umgebung gGmbH in the project "JMD Respekt Coaches." A friend from the "kulturcampus" made Gerold aware of the position. As a respect coach, she coordinates projects, workshops and project weeks with external providers of political education. She also carries out projects herself on topics such as democracy, discrimination, social interaction and bullying. "The job combines everything that was important to me for my future job. I can coordinate projects and implement them myself. In addition, the project stands and works for values that are essential for me and for which I also stand as a private person. This is one of the most important factors for me."

In the future Hannah would like to establish many more exciting projects at her school. At the moment she is working on opening up the school to students, for example as a teacher of an afternoon course. This networking should also bring added value for the city of Chemnitz. In addition, she continues to be committed to the "F.R.I.E.N.D.S. of TU Chemnitz."

Hannah Gerold also has an important tip for all future graduates: "The things that enriched my studies the most were the part-time jobs and volunteer work in which I could also apply what I had learned. That makes learning more fun. I can recommend that to everyone." Commitment pays off and helps you get a job.

(Author: Maria Hauschild / Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes

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