- Apply for an appointment in Immigration Office three months before the expiration of your Visa
- Be passionate about learning the language of the country in which you want to work
- Take advantage of career opportunities provided by Frankfurt School
- Get prepared for Frankfurt School Career Fair
- Stay open to opportunities and take everything that life offers you!
Pursuing career goals, I was willing to do my semester abroad in one of the Europe’s financial hubs at the school that would provide me with both unforgettable international experience and extensive professional development opportunities. Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (FS) was an obvious choice! Being among top three business schools in Germany with a great location in the center of Frankfurt, the school provides students with everything that is necessary to experience life abroad and exploit career opportunities.
Experiencing Frankfurt School
One of strictest rules of Frankfurt School is not to make pictures during the parties! Can you imagine how hard FS students party that such a rule was introduced? Contrary to the rumors about Germans being reserved, I got an impression that FS students are very open-minded and friendly to international students. There are many events organized by International Office and FS Buddy initiative for exchange students – International Day, City Rally Frankfurt, not speaking about an amazing dinner held in the first day of the orientation program! Moreover, plenty of trips organized by Eu4you are suggested to students during the semester. The trip to Neuschwanstein Castle left me with great memories and brought unforgettable emotions!
In addition to recreational activities, Frankfurt School provides all possible resources to create comfortable working environment, e.g. the library works 24 hours a day and Bloomberg terminals are available free of charge for everybody. One of the brightest experiences during my studies at Frankfurt School was “Master of Public Speaking” course, in the framework of which we spent a weekend outside Frankfurt participating in various workshops. For those willing to take part in extracurricular activities, in Frankfurt School you can be involved in plenty of Student Initiatives starting from all kinds of sports finishing with charity.
Representatives of International Office Center, in particular Pia Jakubeit, have always been ready to provide me with assistance during my stay. This support was highly valued by students as it helped to get familiar with some peculiarities of German order. For instance, you should apply for an appointment in Immigration Office at least three months before the expiration of your Visa, in order to escape the unpleasant experience of standing in a queue from 4 a.m.! In brief, if you have any questions, just ask Pia!
Exploiting Career Opportunities
Another part of my semester abroad was devoted to learning the German language and searching for an internship in Frankfurt. One should mention that Frankfurt School of Finance and Management is a strong and well-known brand offering many career channels that can be exploited by students to find job opportunities.
Knowledge of the German Language
It is a profound delusion thinking that in order to work in Germany you have to speak fluent German. Fluency in German is a necessary requirement in most of the job offers. Nevertheless, for some positions, mostly where you do not have to deal with the clients, the German language is only a plus, not a must. There are no doubts that you will be far more competitive and respected by employers if you show your sincere desire to learn the language – but fluency is not a requirement. In order to minimize my competitive disadvantage, I had been taking every day German courses at Tandem for two months, which made me able to support conversations in German and understand most of the discussions.
Job Opportunities Provided by Frankfurt School
Frankfurt School provides a great tool for searching for open positions – Jobs Board, where you are able to filter for the jobs that do not require fluency in German. Moreover, there is a majority of career and networking events organized by the school. You can find out about them in the Career Newsletters, which you receive via email on a weekly basis. I would highly recommend visiting as many career events as possible as this will give you an insight into the qualities that are valued by German employers as well as allow to broaden your network.
Frankfurt School Career Fair
Personally, I found my internship at Frankfurt School Career Fair. It is worth mentioning that I spent approximately 24 hours preparing myself for the event: I composed a list of approximately 20 companies that triggered my interest with their short descriptions and open internship opportunities. While approaching the companies, I introduced myself in German, which I believe was a key to success. Later on, I asked for a permission to speak in English, reasoning this by my desire to feel equal during the conversation. It is crucial to understand that dozens of people approach companies during the event, and you should do your best in order to stand out from the crowd. By differentiating yourself, you should try to make as many contacts as possible because you never know where the opportunity will present itself!
Following the strategy mentioned above, I got an internship offer from Thomas Cook two weeks after the Career Fair at Frankfurt School. One of the absurd things is that my future boss, Tobias Bischoff, after finding out that my German is not perfect, commented: “This is even better!” As you see, German was not a barrier for me to get what I wanted – thus, it should not be an obstacle for you, too. Now I am working in a newly created department in a young and energetic team, where I have all the opportunities to develop myself on a professional level!
When I think about my semester abroad now, I realize that it was not only employment opportunities that Frankfurt School provided me with, but also a broad network of people who opened up new horizons for me and helped me to live my life to the fullest!