“Johnson and Johnson, BMW, Dow Chemicals..” Ina Renz is listing some of the firms KLU graduates have found themselves employed by after completing their studies. “Accenture, IBM, Beiersdorf” continues the KLU Career Development and Alumni Relations manager. “Two of our students recently did their theses with Hilti, the power tools manufacturer, and were offered work afterwards.”
It’s an impressive list that features many globally renowned companies and one that Ina Renz and her colleague, Anne Rehmet, Head of the Career Development Office at the university, are understandably proud of.
Both women have worked at KLU for the last two and a half years, helping students and alumni pursue their professional aspirations. It’s a process, explains Ann Rehmet, that begins in the first days that the students spend at the university and continues throughout their professional lives. “Throughout our integrated Career & Professional Development Program (CPDP) students can identify what motivates themselves, what their strongest skills and most relevant interests are, and which areas and concrete professions would be ideal for them,” she says. The students not only pick up new ideas and enhance their profiles, but are also rewarded for it. “The CPDP is incorporated into the curriculum of the bachelor’s and master’s programs; thus, students earn credit points for attending the workshops, which differentiates us from other universities,” Anne Rehmet explains.
“The students can use our workshops to position themselves as best as possible for their future career path,” says Anne Rehmet.
During these workshops, students are also better familiarized with KLU’s internship program, explains Ina Renz. “We have an extensive network of local and international companies we corporate with,” she says. “We invite companies onto campus and work with them in regards to internship offerings and thesis collaborations.”
This networking extends beyond company visits and internships, however. “Every year, during their internships and study abroad semesters we do match-making between the interns and alumni in that city or region,” Anne Rehmet explains. This gives the students the opportunity to learn from the experiences of the alumni living and working in that area and to build their own network. “We put them into contact with each other and create a community that goes beyond the classroom.”
As members of this community, the alumni are also supported by KLU and the careers development office. “Graduates are able to have their CVs and job objectives published in our CV publication which we annually send out to members of the university’s corporate network,” explains Anne Rehmet. “It’s sent out before graduation so students have a head start in their job-hunting.” Once they’ve left the university, alumni continue to be offered life-coaching sessions by Anne Rehmet, who is also a certified coach. “If students or graduates have a job offer, for example, they can come and we talk about it, looking at pros and cons, and they can get support in their decision-making process,” she explains.
And although the students receive this kind of support throughout their studies, it’s once they have graduated that they really appreciate the benefits of the career development program, says Anne Rehmet. “Graduates have been very grateful for our support and assistance; especially our international students highly value our services which help them to kick-start the career of their dreams in Germany.”