By Jenny Wang (Ecuador); Class of 2012—BSc International Logistics
I am currently in my last semester of studies here at Jacobs University pursuing an undergraduate degree in the major of International Logistics Management and Engineering. I will be graduating in less than three months from now with midterms, finals, papers, presentations and thesis still standing in the way. Not only must I work hard to finish strong in my last semester, I must also take a considerable amount of time to look for opportunities after I graduate from Jacobs University.
Being now in a position where I am one step closer to “the real world”, I will admit that I find myself a bit nervous, un-oriented, and unsure as to how I should take that crucial next step. And to be completely honest, I am not sure exactly how to take it.
For my 5th semester, my major requires me to do a 4-month internship away from the university. Through past upper-classmen, on-campus guest lectures, and especially the Jacobs University Career Services Center, I was introduced to the internship position in the Spanish Red Cross located in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). There, I worked in the Logistic Centre of Humanitarian Aid of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. My experience there has taught me a lot and has enriched me in all aspects that I now consider it to be the best experience of my life so far.
I am currently using the same method for my job/internship hunt—contacting with alumni, research, and the Career Services Center (CSC) and hoping for the best again. I assume that you are wondering what exactly the CSC is and does and how it may be of relevance for you. The Career Services Center at Jacobs University is an on-campus multi-service provider, currently composed of three faculty members who work very hard to provide a win-win situation for students, and companies around the world through many means.
On an academic and personal level, the CSC coordinates workshops for students where they can develop their professional skills. This is done through seminars that help students develop their perfect CV, write a persuasive cover letter, gain insight to job markets and job-hunting methods, conducting mock job-interviews, etc.
The CSC is also responsible for coordinating guest company presentations. A highly selective process is performed in order to invite top companies who match up to the international Jacobs University profile. The CSC enables these top companies which are looking for excellent students to come to campus, give a company presentation, offering unique workshops, host case study competitions, and to recruit students for internship and job positions.
This is a wonderful opportunity for students to gain an understanding of a company, learn something new, and to especially meet important company board members. Some of the many special visitors that the CSC has invited to campus are: Google, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Microsoft, KPMG, Daimler, Mercedes Benz, Kraft Foods, Facebook and many more.
During these visitations, the CSC enables the visiting companies to see upfront what Jacobs University has to offer regarding excellent students, the courses available, and advanced research facilities, etc. This is an effective way for the university to establish long-term relationships with top companies and gain their support through giving donations to the university, offering scholarships to students, and promoting Jacobs University in the industrial world.
On February 22, 2012 many interested Jacobs University students (including myself, of course) gathered in the Jacobs University Conference Center library—to attend the company presentation by the company representative Hans Vriens.
Mr. Hans Vriens is the Chief Innovations Officer and a member of the board for Barry Callebaut. Barry Callebaut is the world leading cocoa and chocolate manufacturer which operates in 26 countries. This company presentation has been the most interesting one for me so far—I gained a lot of insights regarding the chocolate economy, the presence of chocolate in thousands of products ranging from food products to cosmetic products, etc.
Mr. Vriens proved to be a vibrant and full-of-energy individual, who successfully held the attention of both staff and students throughout all his presentation regarding his life, career path/choices, Barry Callebaut, the implications of innovation, and he gave generous advice to students about finding a job that will be rewarding and fulfilling to the development of oneself.
After the very interesting presentation of Mr. Vriens, a presentation regarding the trainee program was given by a young Barry Callebaut engineer trainee Mr. Emmanuel Njeptin and after that, current Jacobs University master student Devashish Tikekar gave a presentation about his internship experience with Barry Callebaut during the summer of 2011. However, the visit did not consist of only fun and dynamic presentations; Barry Callebaut recruiters stayed an extra few days in order to recruit students for their global graduate trainee program.
The content presented and the interaction between company and students throughout the guest lecture were all substantial and very interesting—so interesting that I have added Barry Callebaut to my list of “dream jobs”. Nonetheless I must show my gratitude once more for the CSC for providing me once again, a broader scope of potential job/internship positions with a “front-row”/personal view to yet another company. I feel less and less intimidated with each and every company visit and more and more encouraged to take that next crucial step!