As international students, we always have queries about how we can plan our career and start with job applications. We start with the search for working student positions or internships, and finally aim for the full-time breakthrough. We require guidance to shape our way through the interconnected webs of the job market.
But who do we turn to?
The Career Services team
Career Services successfully ran the first “My German Success” event for international students to better understand the market and its requirements. The event hosted three Frankfurt School alumni, Kunal Mathur from Commerzbank, Ritika Nagpal from BNP Paribas and Ali Obeid from Exxeta AG. Starting the event by interviewing each alumnus, the Career Services team covered the following aspects:
1) Business Culture in Germany vs. that at home
A common consensus among the alumni was that the business culture in Germany is more systemic and organised. The fixed working hours (except for in Mergers and Acquisitions or Investment Banking) give many the opportunity to explore personal hobbies or enhance skills in their free time.
Meeting culture: Prepare for the meetings in detail and in advance, and do not go beyond scheduled time. Punctuality is the key!
Work style: Be proactive, contribute with own ideas
Communication: Communicate very directly and explicitly. Formulate important statements directly and openly and without ‘window dressing’
2) Tips for the job search
Network: Each alumnus agreed that pro-active and diligent networking gives you the opportunity to get an insider view of the company and understand the requirement of the profile better. Moreover, interacting with people from companies (via Career Services, LinkedIn or Xing) helps you create the most suitable profile for your application. So, start networking!
Research about the company and the job profile to the point where you feel comfortable enough to discuss them with your contact at any networking event.
Asking for jobs in e-mails or discussions comes across as needy or pushy. Therefore, it’s best to prepare relevant more in-depths questions which show that you have actually understood what the company is about.
German language skills: Learn the German language. Period. There is no way out of this. While Ali completed his bachelor’s in which the medium of instruction was German and gained a C1 level certificate, Kunal and Ritika, both from India, worked on their German skills during the course of their studies. In their current work, they have to write mails or attend meetings in German. Therefore, picking up German is important at least till B1 level. Here are some tips on how to learn German throughout your studies.
Design a career map: It is important to have a Plan A and space for contingencies during the job application. Each alumnus stressed the importance of researching various job profiles and narrowing down to the ones that suit your profile. It’s also just as important to have a plan B or C because you may discover new fields during your course of study. Be flexible and well researched for each option.
3) How can Career Services help?
– Discussion on various industries and roles that fit the profile. A good opportunity for self-reflection!
– Review your resume & cover letter: Let Career Services know your interests so that they can help create your resume and cover letter template
– Information on various internal and external
– Details on jobs posted on the FS Job Teaser page
– Connecting with relevant FS alumni: An important step towards building a network
– Understanding your contract after the offer is received from a company
“My German success” exhaustively answered the open-ended questions international students had regarding the German job market. So, start planning your career, do your research, interact with Career Services, network with the right people professionally and execute your strategy to land a job.