This may seem obvious, but learning German will drastically increase the number of job openings you have access to as well as make you a more qualified applicant for nearly any position. Even in job fields that require a highly specialized degree (Master, PhD), German skills can increase your chance of getting a job.
Uni Bremen students and employees are able to enroll in German language courses through the Language Center for Universities in Bremen.
The Goethe Institut also has some practice exercises for German language learners at levels A1 through B2, designed specifically for speaking German at work.
It can be super disappointing to read through a job posting for your dream job and realize you’re missing a few key qualifications and competencies. One great way to try to ensure you’re not in this situation is to search for your dream job today, even if you know you won’t be done with your studies or ready to applying for a few months or even a few years! Curious?
- Start by taking some time to think critically about what you would like to do after graduating. In an ideal world, what would your job title be?
- Search for that job title. Find and read through a few job postings. Do the jobs described actually sound interesting to you? Could you see yourself working in the sorts of positions described? If so, great! If not, try searching for something else in your field. Either way, make notes of the things in the job descriptions that are exciting for you and the things that make you a little anxious.
- Once you’ve found the right search terms and have found a few job postings, start looking for patterns in them. What sort of education is required? (Bachelor, Master, or PhD? In what subjects?) Are there certain skills (software, languages, etc.) that appear in almost every job opening? What sorts of soft skills do they ask for (teamwork, leadership, event planning, public speaking, etc.)? Make a list of these patterns.
- Take a look over the list you just made. Do you already have the qualifications and competencies for the job? What qualifications and competenciesare you missing?
- Now it’s time to make a plan. How can you starting to earn those missing qualifications and competencies? Are there elective courses in your major that you can take? Are there general courses offered in StudIP? Can you join an organization to start improving your soft skills? Should you look into gaining experience through volunteering or completing a practicum?
Getting involved in the Bremen community is not only a great way to get to know the city you’ve chosen to be your home for the next few semesters, but is also a good way to work on some skills you may use later in your professional life, like event planning or teamwork. Joining a club (Verein) or doing some volunteer work is a great place to start. These sorts of experiences can also help you build some personal connections in Bremen. These connections to other people who live in Bremen can enrich your personal life now and be valuable part of your professional network later on. And as a bonus: you’ll have the chance to practice your English and/or German in a fun, informal environment!
Interested? Here are a few ways to get started:
- Check to see if there is an international community in Bremen from your home country. This could be a student group (such as the international communities through Kompass) or an official Verein (registered club). A quick internet search can help you find out about opportunities for people from your country or region.
- Ask your follow students and professors if there is an organization for students in your degree program or for people working in your job field. These organizations could be based locally in Bremen or could be for people all over Germany or even the world!
- Search for volunteer opportunities that match your interests. Bremen’s volunteer agency can be a great place to start. Their website is currently only available in German, but through the help of an online translator, you may still be able to find interesting opporuntities and can contact the volunteer organization in English.
Even if you won’t be applying for jobs or a practicum for a few semesters, taking the time to create a resume and a draft of a cover letter can be a big help. Not only does this allow you to take the time to reflect on your experiences, it also relieves some of the pressure when the times comes to start actually sending these documents out. It’s much easier to simply update your resume than it is to start writing one from nothing. Check out our tips for writing a resume and cover letter to get started.