Mastering the future

Career opportunities and personal perspectives were the focus of the network meeting of scholarship holders of the EPOS- and Helmut-Schmidt-programmes.

The two-day meeting in Bonn offered lectures and workshops with tips on jobs and careers as well as information on DAAD opportunities for alumni. In addition, the participants learned to put their own strengths and abilities in the limelight – as part of the circuit training “Perform your professional symphony”.

“Of course, the opportunity to make contacts was also very important”, says James Ojiebun, who is studying Water Resources and Environmental Management at the University of Hannover. He is one of 44 scholarship holders from 29 countries who were invited to the DAAD headquarters as student representatives from the different postgraduate courses of the EPOS and Helmut Schmidt programmes.

Career planning

Experiences in the host country quickly sparked conversation among the students. “We’re all already a little Germanised. We even started small talk about the weather”, says Ángela León Cáceres from Ecuador. She has been studying for a Master’s degree in International Health at the Faculty of Medicine at Heidelberg University since July 2018. “I’m dealing with the question of which social conditions promote and safeguard health. I primarily focus on cultural and environmental conditions”, she explains. With this knowledge, she wants to contribute to improving the quality of life in her home country.

Network potential

Like Ángela León Cáceres, Samantha Joy Cinco took a lot with her from her time in Bonn. She is at home in the Philippines and is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Public Economics, Law & Politics (PELP) at Leuphana University in Lüneburg. “The Philippines are confronted with a variety of problems, including poverty, drugs and rapid urbanization”, the student reports. Solutions still have to be developed – and she wants to continue working on them after completing her Master’s degree. “We’re scholarship holders because the DAAD wants to connect the world through academic exchange”, she says. “That became clear to me once again at the meeting.” That’s also what Bonn was all about: clarifying the opportunities offered by DAAD networks.

Support for entrepreneurs

James Ojiebun’s studies focus on environmental issues, water in particular. The network meeting offered the engineer new information and new perspectives, such as financial support for innovative projects. This could also mean the establishment of his own company in his native country Nigeria.
The scholarship holders were particularly enthusiastic about receiving concrete tips at the Bonn meeting for shaping their personal and professional future in their own country. “Interactive, informative, effective” is James Ojiebun’s conclusion about the meeting.