Here is what an international alumni says on finding employment in Bremen

Adnan Tüccar - IGC Alumni, March 2017

Dear Colleagues, 

Having worked in Bremen for 1.5 years in two different companies after my graduation from IGC; I would like to express my experiences of the job seeking process in Bremen and humbly give advice to alumni who want to search jobs in Bremen. 

First thing that you should keep in mind is that Bremen, although a developed city, is not as big as Berlin or Munich and job opportunities are comparably less and internationality (although almost always a required aspect) needs to be harnessed with personal and local connections. That is to say go out there and meet people that you think might be incremental in your job search because competing with people whose mother tongue is German or who lived and gained connections in the area for a long time; you will need a competitive advantage as well. Do not get lazy, do not think that that contact might not lead to anything because it is my experience that you never know.  

Moreover, start learning German right away. You do not have to be C1 and super proficient but from what I have constantly experienced; employers are more likely to hire someone that they can speak in their mother-tongue with. Even in jobs requiring only English; if you have a mild level of German to communicate with your fellow workers, you will be more favorable.  

For jobs that require German a middle level of B2 is quite adequate to impress an employer with your willingness. They do not require perfect German but the knowledge and eagerness from you to get things done. If you have the whole learning year ahead of you, take the time to develop your German because wherever you go in Germany, may it be Berlin or Frankfurt or Munich you will still need German to rise in your profession. (I do not mean university courses that are 1 time a week because I have witnessed all my colleagues who sticked with that course only got to nowhere.(!) Take an extra course or private lessons & tandem partners; German requires practice and repetition to get better) 

If you have the chance, do an internship in the field you would like to work or get (online) certificates and courses on the subject you want to represent efficiency in. Online courses (Coursera tc.) and webinars are more appreciated than you think and will help you be more aware of what you need to do in the job. It is all about how you present these extras in your CV and in your talks. Make them believe you got what it takes with solid previous actions. 

If you do not have the necessary network and contacts, go and sign up at the ‘Agentur für Arbeit’ responsible for your neighborhood as ‘jobseeking’ (arbeitssuchend) or simply do it online because unlike the general impression of government engines being rigid; most of the local jobs in Bremen are enlisted first at their ‘Jobbörse’ website and I have not seen such big number of options for jobs in national search engines. Plus you will be assigned a special person to help you with all your processes and job search fitting your criteria. If nothing you will be properly informed of the bureaucratic process if you are a foreigner.  There is a daily flux of new positions on their website & you even get suggestions on your mail from your representative there! I have gained interview experience through the opportunities I gained from this website.

I have found my first job, although out of my initial sector choice, from acquaintances that were in the right place in the right time and I was brave enough to go to them and ask to contact me if they need my help. No interview, no selection process but the trust I have managed to give those employers from our previous catch-ups. Be proactive and people will notice you; especially if you are targeting a specific group Bremen can help you stand out with the number of participants being less than big cities. Go volunteer or connect with people who works there for social occasions and wait for the right time to ask for an opportunity. I would suggest to build some relations first and then to approach; classic networking. 

My second job in Bremen, which I love and aimed for, was through the connections I have obtained in my first job, so my advice is, always present yourself to the highest level you can; it might be hard as a fresh grad (as it is still sometimes hard for me) to have control over or have the know-how every task we are given but do not show color, research, find and achieve that task like you owned it. My experience tells me that however I presented myself to someone has been the bar they set for me, my abilities and the bar for the positions they see me fit.  

What I am trying to say is; seize opportunities as they come and do not turn a job down without trying just because it is not in your first choices; the experience you gain the doing-business part and the contact you earn while working are a lot of times more than you could have gained by your own.  

I hope I have managed to give some insights that will help you and wish you all the best of luck in your job seeking activities.  

Regards, 

Adnan Tüccar

Job Search

Deepak Ramachandran; IGC Alumni, March 2019 

The most important realization that an individual can make in their quest for personal growth is that there is no single formula, which defines the path to personal success other than dedication, consistency and hard work. 

Hailing from India, like every other student looking to pursue a career, I had to realize the hardships of finding a job in Germany. But the meaning to this pressure should be a turning key to strive more towards gaining an opportunity than turning back.  

Germany is one of the most successful regions striding into the future with a focus on recruiting well talented, qualified individuals with a degree and relevant work experience. Companies are continuously looking for capable candidates to recruit into their firm. To meet recruiters in the right platform and fulfill their requirements here are a few steps which is important and which I followed to be recruited into a multinational firm:

  • OBJECTIVE: No matter what studies you look to pursue it is important that you understand your true objectives and the path you would like to choose at least 5 months before the end of your university. This means that it is important to know the options available in your field in Germany and what profiles companies are seeking for in a candidate.
  • TIME: No amount of time is enough to search for an internship or job! Consistent applications, regular follow- ups and PATIENCE, is the key. Good to start at least 4 months before the end of university. 
  • CV & Cover Letter: Prepare a crisp CV and Cover letter according to European Standards. You can find an example according to this link: http://www.teemeurope.eu/documents/europeanCVformat.doc  
  • NOTE: CV-unlike other countries, companies in Germany do not read elaborative CVs. Sticking to the point can increase your chances of being hired. 
  • Cover letters: Should be no more than three paragraphs and should only mention what is not mentioned  on your CV! They should be altered for every job application accordingly! 
  • LINKEDIN & CAREER SIGHTS:
    • Career Sights: Stepstone, Glass door, Monster.de.
    • LinkedIn : A powerful tool for job search. Join and build a strong network related to your field by applying for jobs in companies of your choice, Subscribe for job alerts. 
    • Facebook/ Whatsapp: Join whatsapp and facebook groups made for expat students and post your requirements. They hold strong networks that can help you fetch part-time & full time jobs.
    • Career Fairs: There are career fairs held in the Universities which is helpful for face to face interviews.
    • Recruitment Consultants: There are a few consultants available by easy search online who can be contacted depending on the career path you choose.
    • Company Visits: Company visits organized by universities is helpful later to apply for job opportunities. 
  • NETWORKING: Networking in any form can increase your chances. A relative, friend, lecturer etc. can all be helpful in your search. 
  • NEVER LOOSE HOPE: It is possible to not receive a single response for every 50 applications. Let it not stop you. Continue the Pursuit.

Marisol Pellerin from Mexico, IGC Alumni, Hochschule Bremen

How to find your perfect job fit?  

After completing my MBA in International Tourism Management I was eager to find a job where I could make use of my full potential and contribute to a company. Thankfully, I did find my perfect job fit! Therefore, I would like to share six things I believe you should do if you are looking for the perfect job fit.

  1. Start with listing what you don't want to do. Your family and friends are probably constantly telling you "You should do something you are good at" "Do something you enjoy". This is not always easy to answer. That's why I would suggest to start by listing the type of tasks you cannot imagine doing - this might be easier! Take this as a starting point and then move to the second step by looking at how you would like to contribute to a company.
  2. List three main areas of interest. Think of the lectures in University where you had the best grades or where you were motivated to study for. Think of tasks you liked doing without people asking you to do so. Perhaps structuring ways of working might bring you to project management, verifying figures to controlling and creating new ways of working might lead you to innovation… This step might take time, but will help you to find the perfect job fit. 
  3. Draw your perfect working place. Would you prefer a big company? A Start-up? Work mainly in teams? Work mostly alone? Draw a clear picture.
  4. Create a list of companies you'd love to work for. Based on the main areas of interest brainstorm and create a list of companies you'd love to work for. Once you are done, circle the top 3! As a next step, I would suggest you to understand the rationale behind it. Why is this company so important? Can you relate to the product? Is this company giving you a certain status? What is the reason behind your interest?
  5. Stay focus on your research and connect with your contacts! I would recommend to first contact the companies you've listed with an initiative application. Don't be afraid to use LinkedIn to communicate that you are looking for opportunities. Also, make sure you have recommendations on LinkedIn, if you don't, contact your previous work colleagues and managers. This will help you!
  6. Keep this mind-set: Every application brings you closer to your next career step!  

Good luck finding your perfect job fit! 

Yohei Sato from Japan, MES Alumni, Hochschule Bremen

“First of all, it is very important to narrow down what you are actually good at and find an industry where you can leverage your strength. People around you should confirm that for objectivity and also be ready to back it up with some episodes that suggest that you got it. What you like is not necessarily what you are good at.  

Secondly unless you can conduct business negotiations in German, which should be around C1 – C2 level, it’s no use. You need at least B2 level even if you wouldn’t have to talk with external partners in the role you’re applying for. If you’re serious about working in Germany, it’s worth investing some months just to learn German as well. 

 Thirdly, growing companies have much need for more employees, although they could be looking for seniors rather than fresh graduates. Nonetheless you can look up winners of business awards such as Red herring (for startup) and then you’ll know who has enough money to hire. If you find news about a company that got big funding and you think you have something to offer, then it’s a good way to go. 

 Lastly make sure you’re 100% ready to answer all the common questions in an interview. Those should cover at least 80% of the interview usually.”