Studying is one of the most exciting stages of life. You are acquiring new knowledge, developing new skills, and hopefully feeling accomplished with what you are learning (and if not, hey, look into it, because you chose the wrong studies for yourself!). But during the whole process, it’s inevitable to have that thought in the back of your mind, “ so what now?”. Finding a good job and developing your professional career are definitely two of the reasons you decided to study in the first place. KLU knows this, and we won’t leave you alone in the journey of moving your career forward.
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We believe it is fair to start defining what would be called a “good job”. This concept is intrinsically connected to your own values, and it will differ from person to person. A good job doesn’t necessarily mean a job that pays tons of money, because, at the end of the day, what’s the point of making tons of money if you wake up every day feeling miserable because you dislike what you do? At KLU, our Career Services will help you with strategies to look way deeper into yourself and find the career path that makes you feel happy and fulfilled. We know that the motives for this can change several times over the course of your life, so we aim to prepare you to face those changes and redirect your life.
A career path can’t be defined only while you’re studying and getting ready to dive in the job market (either for the first time, or maybe “again” after a change of direction in your career), but it will be constantly developing over time. That’s why at KLU we follow the “not giving you a fish, but teaching you how to fish” concept, providing you with tools that you can (and will) use again in the future. Countless times our alumni have mentioned how they went back to their notes from the career development plan to redirect their professional path.
It all starts with you: the self-assessment
How easy it was to respond to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” when we were five! Now we have grown up, and everything is blurry. Some lucky ones get to university having very clear ideas about what they want to do with their lives, and their career development will focus on how to get there and how to become the best at it. But many others, let’s be honest, have no idea where they want to head yet. That’s why the first step in this journey is a self-assessment. How are you supposed to know what to work at, if you don’t even know what you are good at? And if you know, is your concept of yourself realistic? Where’s the hidden flaw? The hidden strength? What makes you feel good? What is most important for you? And what truly piques your interest?
This self-reflection is key in defining the next steps in your career development, and at KLU we do it in the very first semester of your studies, so you don’t waste any time, and you can start right off choosing the subjects that will be most convenient for you to forge your life’s progress. Several sessions during the fall semester with our experienced staff give you the resources to look into yourself and become better acquainted with your values, interests, skills, and experiences. This leads then into a final 1-on-1 session with an external career expert who you can discuss the results of your assessment with and who can help you dive in deeper on how to work from there to choose the right professional and life path for you.
Is the right job to be found or to be invented?
Once you have a better understanding of who you are and what drives you, it’s time to start finding the career that matches your expectations and goals, and this will require a little or a lot of imagination. The fact is that your “dream job” might not even be on the job market yet. Wait…what? Well, according to LinkedIn searches some of the most demanded professionals in 2021 are within positions like Data Management Analyst, Machine Learning Engineer (AI), Digital Content Creator, Diversity Manager, and UX Designer/Researcher, among others. Now think how many of these jobs had you even heard of when you were in primary school? And that wasn’t too long ago! The fast changes in technology are resulting in fast changes in society, and therefore in the job market. Many of the jobs in high demand that you will find in 10 or 15 years from now don’t even exist yet, and this is why it’s important to focus on your skills more than in fitting the “title” of a position. At this point of your training, Career Services at KLU starts helping you brainstorm possible professions that align with your self-assessment. We then encourage you to discuss these options with the people who know you best like family, friends and other peers before narrowing down your choices. Got it? Great! Now it’s time to think about how to get that perfect job!
Get that job!! Chaaarge!!
Now that you know who you are and what you want is when you truly get to tackle the goal: finding and getting that internship or job! And you won’t do it alone. Here is where Career Services deploy the cavalry and unfold the full arsenal of resources that they have to help you succeed. We are here to help with checking your CV, giving tips for your LinkedIn profile, preparing you for interviews, helping you build your unique and outstanding elevator pitch, and all that jazz. In addition, though, you will learn how the German market works (cultural differences may put you behind if you are not aware of them!), how to identify the right employers for you, how to really get to the decision makers, how to convey to the HR/manager that you are the perfect fit, and basically, how to get to the last three words we all want to hear: YOU ARE HIRED! :) Of course, unraveling every bit of this process would take a couple more articles. Plus, this is what our colleagues at Career Services are the true experts of. So, the best way to find out more is digging deeper by yourself at KLU.
Is there more?
Aber natürlich! (Of course!). We cannot forget that one of the most important parts of finding a job is networking, and keeping connected with a community allows you to get to know more and more people. Within the KLU Career Development Program you have access to the following:
- Networking events: KLU puts together different events in which you have the chance to present yourself directly to start-ups and established companies in the industry of your studies.
- Networking with Alumni: no one better to tell you about the industries and career success than people who were in your shoes some years before. They’ve trudged the road!
- Job Board: explore different open positions that match your profile. Some of them are exclusive for KLU students, coming from trusted partners or companies where former students currently work. Others are open to all people but have been narrowed down by our Career Services for your convenience.
- Alumni network + LinkedIn group: another way to keep in touch with former students who can be the key to getting a new job in a respected business. We cannot stress enough how important networking is!!
- Personalized attention and review/coaching: our Career Services colleagues will be helping you all the way. This differentiates KLU from other universities with thousands of students: you will be known by name!
- Second round of 1-on-1 interviews with a career expert: since the bachelor’s is a longer program, and it also comes with the challenge of entering the job market for the first time (for most people), KLU bachelor students will have a second round of 1-on-1 interviews with career experts in their 4th semester.
- Solve a real-life work challenge for a company: master students, on the other end, can partake in their 4th semester in the Capstone project, which allows them to work closely with a company in order to develop a solution for one of the company’s challenges.
- CV Book: every year KLU showcases all graduates in the CV Book, which is easily accessible to companies who are searching for talent. Many companies are already familiar with the high caliber of our graduates and request the CV Book every year.
- KLU Compass: is the hub for alumni that will keep you connected to KLU and the career development program even after graduation. It shares useful insights, job postings, industry articles, and many tips for you to keep walking on the right path.
And finally, some tips from Career Services to maximize your potential in your professional development:
- Don't hesitate to ask for help! Our colleagues are always open to listening to your requests, so don’t be shy and take the initiative of asking them to help you out!
- Learn German! If you are planning on living in Germany (or even Europe), it is crucial that you leave university with language skills at an intermediate level. This will increase your chances to find the right position for you. And even if you are going to leave after your studies, knowing a new language will always open some extra doors.
- Be true to your values. Don’t forget who you are and what drives you (remember the self-assessment) and keep digging in that direction. It is the best way to find a fulfilling professional career, and it’s also the key to a happy life.
Written by: Patricia Bendala
Student Recruitment & Marketing Manager (MSc Programs)
All these services wait for you when you enroll at KLU. If you want to know how the process starts, read about our admission process.
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