Starting a working student position this summer has been a major milestone for me. Having been working full-time for about three months now, I have not only learned a wide scale of new things as I kick-start my professional journey, but my mind has also opened itself to new insights that help in my overall personal development.
At work, I have had the opportunity to observe how the concepts I learned about in my courses last semester really come to play in the corporate workplace. For example, I grasped how critical the stable functioning of ETL processes is to the upkeep of daily functions, and got to see for myself how, even though the OLAP and OLTP databases are separated in their form and function such that for analysis, we primarily use the OLAP database, the OLTP structure is still quite often referred back to in order to connect any missing dots during the analysis. The two forms are, in many cases, different views of the same data and remain in sync through ETL. Furthermore, during some of my activities, I was also able to synthesise different concepts learned from different courses, again leading to a more holistic reflection on my learnings. This makes me realise how essential it is to see the theoretical concepts we learn at school in a proper implementation to be able to truly grasp them – something we all hear about but have to experience for ourselves in our own time.
However, the advantage of seeing the theory applied is not limited to a deeper understanding of concepts. For me, it has also led to a deeper and more fulfilling sense of satisfaction about, as in this case, the Databases & Data Management course, which I earlier didn’t feel so strongly about. Similarly, it reaffirms and gives you clarity about which direction you want your career to take and which roles you may or may not enjoy. These things, in turn, boost one’s study motivation, and I am confident that I will have a more engaged learning experience also with my upcoming modules in Semester 3, which I am greatly looking forward to.
Having a job has also immensely boosted my ambition to expand my skill set. Unlike earlier, my YouTube feed now is mostly filled with tips and tricks to optimise daily workflows, to use available tools more extensively and I find myself eager to watch these videos even during my free time at the end of the day. During only the first month, as I started to have my first hands-on experiences with large datasets in real-time, I learned many more skills and techniques to work with data more effectively, with the added bonus of many new keyboard shortcuts that are to stay with me.
I imagine that even when I continue to have my classes and move into a part-time work schedule, I will be using my time more wisely, as having a job has made me more consciously process the opportunity cost of my time.
The labour market in Germany partially lends the great advantage students have with working student positions. In comparison, students, even in the early stages of their education, are more sought for work opportunities here than in many other parts of the world. This makes internships and working student positions popular and meaningful in a way that allows even students who are just starting out to contribute to the company and gain a lot of valuable experience in the process.
This, of course, also has to do with the nature of the degrees at FS – they are deeply industry-oriented and encourage simultaneous professional experience. In hand with this goes, on one end, the extensive support offered by the Career Services Team through regular events and workshops as well as one-on-one consultations; the Career Day coming shortly into the first semester, in particular, really set things in motion for me. On the other hand, however, a more subtle yet extremely important factor is also how these things foster in general, such a student environment that reminds you to seek opportunities, because, after all, your motivation to do things is maintained when you see all your peers also engaged in the same process.
This comes full circle for me, as my inclination towards this approach is indeed one of the reasons why I decided to study Computational Business Analytics at Frankfurt School in the first place.