What are the reasons for studying sociology?

(5) And what are you doing? Interviews with graduates of the social sciences

Katina Remmele (30) studied sociology, geography and politics for a master's degree at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen from 2002 to 2010 and now works as a junior consultant in management consulting. Your career shows that you can overcome obstacles when starting your career with perseverance and perseverance. Katina gives you good tips on how to do this.

Sociology magazine: Many fellow students fear that the duration of their sociology studies and perhaps even the choice of thematic focus or the final topic will have an impact on their chances in professional life. What is your experience in this regard? And what influence do you think the final grade has?

Katina Remmele: I had to write a lot of applications and right from the start Done very hard in professional life. Maybe it was because of my mediocre grades and my long studies. Ultimately, you rarely find out the reasons for an application being rejected. But I don't think that it was because of my studies, more because of the overall economic situation and my reticence at the time. You have to be able to explain a long course of study, for example through stays abroad, volunteering and jobs.

What was the highlight of your studies? Which people, situations and moments do you always remember?

There are many. I remember a few outstanding professionals, nice fellow students and the freedom to discuss Karl Marx in a meadow at lunchtime.

Lecturers or career counselors often give the advice to look for contacts early on through networking during your studies, which should facilitate the entry into the profession. What was the decisive factor for you in choosing a career and your current professional situation? What common and unusual ways have you got there? (Applications, random contacts, seminars, etc.)

I've always been someone who prefers to communicate with people rather than through them. Once a professor criticized my writing style, saying that it was not scientific but journalistic. Perhaps an emotional and understandable writing style is a shame for the folks in the ivory tower - in my line it isn't. Ultimately, many small experiences led me to believe that I want to master good communication and that I am in good hands here as an all-round talent. Networking is important, but most important is hands-on experience. Today I also notice that on the other side when it comes to hiring interns. For example, it is important to me that someone can deal with customers well and that is not on the university diploma, but on the internship certificate.

Was your degree a good preparation for your current job? Would you do something different today?

That's a lot of questions at once, one after the other:

- My studies did little to prepare me for my job. I would say that I can apply little knowledge from university, it is my key qualifications that give me a job today.

- I should have made my one minor subject as a major and had much, much more internships.

- If I were to go to university with what I know today, I would first do a traineeship after my bachelor's degree and then back to university.

Quite a few fellow sociology students are exposed to prejudice. The family may emphasize poor career prospects, and students in other subjects sometimes have no idea what sociology actually covers. What is your experience in this regard? And: if you had the choice - would you choose your course (s) again?

There are certainly other courses of study that have better job opportunities and whose graduates earn much more. Prejudices in this regard are therefore entirely justified. Questions like “What do you become then?” Or “You don't need something like that?” I encountered, but I don't think they're bad. With some courses, I also cannot imagine who should spend money on the relevant activities. Ultimately, it's about explaining to your counterpart what you're doing and what you're good for later. In order to do this, however, you should know it yourself as a student.

Are you satisfied with your current professional situation? What is your field of activity? What do you particularly enjoy in your job? What can you be less enthusiastic about? What does your typical day-to-day work look like?

I am currently working as a management consultant (junior consultant) in a marketing agency. My agency helps large companies, for example, to plan new marketing strategies and implement them in the company. In short: We analyze the current situation in the company and try to change it, so we have to get everyone involved on board. We also work very creatively.

I like the holistic work, that is: recognizing a problem, finding a solution and implementing a solution. It has a lot to do with strategy. I also think it's great to work with different professional groups.

Briefly describe your professional career with all its facets, from your degree to today. What are the special features? Where were there opportunities and obstacles?

6 months internship in PR agency in Munich

6 months internship in press work in Tübingen

2 months internship in PR agency in Berlin

2012 traineeship communication agency in Berlin

Began 2013 moving to Mainz for personal reasons and starting at a PR agency in Mainz. This position ended after 3 months and now with a marketing agency in Mainz.

When I graduated, the PR industry was down because the agencies were doing very badly as a result of the economic crisis. To be honest, I was too picky at the beginning, it's important to get a foot in the door. Once you've done that, you can still see.

It was very difficult for me to really start my career, but I was able to collect a lot of impressions. I think today's beginners have it a little easier because the economic situation is better. In addition, Bologna has put a stop to the exploitative internship system. Two years ago, many graduates did a month-long internship for 400 euros, always with the hope that the whole thing would end in an employment contract.

What (professional) plans do you have for the future?

Quick changes are normal in my industry, but I would still like to stay in my current position longer and develop within the company. What comes next? No idea. One advantage of this professional field is that you can almost always reinvent yourself and work in new areas.

What tips can you give our readers?

- do internships. Then you can also prove skills and do not have to assert them. Trains posture, language and gestures - you cannot overestimate these things.

- Squeezes people based on their careers. The best thing to do is to talk to people during the internship and arrange to have coffee during the lunch break.

- Everything that is not so perfect in a résumé has to be explained. It has nothing to do with chicane. Bosses want to know that the company is being represented externally. If I work for a client and something is not going well, I have to explain it after all.

- Insider tip: Provide a postal address in the city in which you are applying. I applied to Berlin from Stuttgart, but never received an invitation for an interview. When I gave an address in Berlin, a large number of employers invited me in a short time.

- I often talk to students and they keep asking about payment. Of course, as a student you don't have any money. But it's better to accept financial cuts and look for a good working atmosphere, fair working hours and training opportunities. I have seen agencies where 45 hours a week were compulsory and 60 hours a week were customary. One should weigh that carefully.

- See your career as a mosaic, the meaning of the individual stones may only emerge when you have a little distance.

- The university is the university. In retrospect, all the stress there didn't bring much benefit.

We thank you for the time you have taken and wish you all the best for the future.

The interview was conducted by:

Anett Ring, 29, freelance specialist journalist and academic author, www.stadtsatz.de, and editor, including at Sociologiemagazin e.V. She studied architecture and journalism with a focus on urban development and PR and public relations.

Sarah Kaschuba, 23, studies general history and sociology at the University of Potsdam and works in the editorial department of Soziologiemagazin e.V .. Her interests lie particularly in the social and mental history of the first half of the 20th century as well as in the sociology of crime.

Are you also graduates in social sciences? Then we would be happy if you would like to introduce us and our readers to your usual or unusual entry into professional life. Get in touch with Sarah and Anett, [email protected]

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