{Best of HR Live} Panel discussion with ex-chancellor Dr. Monika Wulf-Mathies and Simone Janson: Career entry for humanities scholars


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On September 30.09.2009, 90, the following XNUMX-minute panel discussion “Romance Studies and Profession” took place on the occasion of the German Romanists Day at the University of Bonn. I was there as the author of the book “The Optimal Career Entry. Perspectives for Humanities Scientists ”. Also present: the ex-chancellor adviser and former ÖTV chairwoman Dr. Monika Wulf-Mathies, Andrea Frank of the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft and Juana Juan-Banner, alumni coordinator of the University of Bonn. More about the discussants in the video!


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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Press comments on the panel discussion

In the March 2010 edition, the Bulletin of the German Association of Romanists reported on p. 13 in the "Foreword to the Bonn Romanists Day 'Romanistik - Beruf und Berufung'" by Prof. Dr. Paul Geyer about the appearance at the Panel discussion with Dr. Monika Wulf-Mathies.

Think more efficiently

Newcomers who are fresh from college often have to throw some ideals overboard if they want to get a foothold in working life.

A participant in the moderation I moderated by XING “Humanities in Business” recently stated:

Apparently I really have to work on thinking “more efficiently” - even if I think that a lot of idealism is lost.

Efficient and idealistic?

My co-host Oliver Krone gave a very nice answer, which briefly summarizes some essential aspects, but which can also be applied to other career entrants. It shows why the loss of ideals does not necessarily end in frustration.

That is, I believe, one of the great prejudices that humanities scholars (edit: GeWis for short) have against the economy. Thinking efficiently and still maintaining idealism is a process that GeWis goes through in its first years in the job. Nobody says that GeWi does not have its own concept of efficiency. However, this not only considers the economic effort against the associated profit, but also often includes the social costs that a decision entails. And these are anticipated costs that you will learn to assess over time, but which no one can avoid. In the long run, your idealism will come out much better with this thinking, even if it is hidden in “economic terms”. Take a positive view of it: it will make you less vulnerable, and work can still be fun.

The discussants were:

The discussion took place on 30.09.2009 on the occasion of the German Romance Day - at 11 Uhr in the auditorium of the University of Bonn. It discusses:

  • Dr. Monika Wulf-Mathies studied history, German and economics in Hamburg and Freiburg. She has been with Deutsche Post DHL since 2001, initially as head of the “Politics and Sustainability” central area, and in 2009 as a consultant to the board. After completing her doctorate in Hamburg in 1968, Wulf-Mathies was initially an assistant to the Federal Ministry of Economics, then to the Federal Chancellery, including head of the Social and Social Policy Unit. In 1976 she was elected to the board of the ÖTV trade union, in 1982 she became chairperson. From 1994 to 1999 she was a member of the European Commission, after that she was European policy adviser to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder until 2000. How did you manage to be so successful as a woman and humanities scholar?
  • Andrea Frank is program manager at the Stifterverband for German science and in this function, among other things, responsible for the area "development Career Services at Universities ”. She studied regional science in North America in Bonn.
  • Juana Juan-Banner is Alumni Coordinator of the University of Bonn. She studied Iberoromanic philology, English and American studies in Bonn.
  • And I, a journalist and book author, who studied history and Italian in Heidelberg, Siena and Bonn.

Of course, I am pleased about interested listeners. For all others, the event will be recorded on video and - I hope - then made available online. More at this point.

Interview with Monika Wulf-Mathies


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  1. Anke

    Dear Mrs. Janson, I hope you remember our conversation after the event. Thanks again for your competent encouragement. The fact that today's successful spiritual scientists were once as orientated as I am now, has built me ​​up. They have in a way discouraged journalism, but I am interested in the industry (by the way, I have a master's degree in comparative studies, Spanish and French). At the moment I am looking for an entry-level and I assume that it will lead to an internship. Can you confirm that? And if so, which internships are most suitable for this? For example, I thought of a local radio. Furthermore, I am interested in the possibility of self-employment (free cooperation, translation, etc.). To what extent does this make sense as a career starter? Thank you very much for your effort! Kind regards, Anke

  2. Simone Janson

    Dear Anke,

    I had already expected you. Unfortunately, I have a little longer now
    needed for the answer, but as it gets a bit more detailed ...

    First of all a really good starting address: http://www.jungejournalisten.de

    The network gave me, through personal contacts at the
    Year meeting, opened many possibilities. You have to
    but personally apply and already something in the field
    have made. There is also a mentoring program.

    If you have no idea what you want to do: [http://www.lifeworkplanning.de]

    never tried it myself, but much good about it.

    There is also a book about this:

    Getting to the dream job: The ultimate guide for beginners, climbers and climbers

    I'll start with the negative and demotivating stuff:

    It is certainly a beautiful and interesting profession. Indeed
    At present, profound changes are underway through the Internet
    are caused. Say: publishers and media providers, also the
    large, break the revenue away, since advertising customers jump off and much
    Customers are not ready to pay for content on the internet (because it is
    everyone is used to consummate everything.)

    This results in a profound structural change to which
    especially the Germans media do not really know how to
    can react to it.

    And also the profession of the individual (free) journalist is in the
    Change: You just do not sit in peace because we write his articles for
    the next day (as I imagined it before) but
    has to deliver content very quickly (Internet wants cutting-edge news), the
    increasingly inexpensive to be provided for free.

    I also know editors who found the job good,
    because they can start there late in the morning - and now around 6 to the
    Early service must. In addition, classic media are getting more and more
    other media providers (eg social networks, Twitter etc.).
    It will be interesting to see what is still developing there.

    How new business models can work on the Internet, there are a few interesting books: [https://berufebilder.de]

    Just freshly found and not yet seen: [http://www.elektrischer-reporter.de]

    Freelance journalists are therefore increasingly expected to
    not only know a medium, but write videos
    and podcasts, and so on. Say, the classical division
    disappears more and more. I have colleagues who predict that
    TV and radio are dead in 10-15 years. It is already said
    allegedly, that just younger people yes, especially the Internet use.

    Tips for free and information about what's going on in the industry so from the perspective of the outdoors, provides [http://www.freischreiber.de]

    If you want to find out more about the legal basis for self-employment: [http://www.mediafon.net]

    Now the positive part - Tips:

    Still, I believe there are possibilities. If you look as an author
    specialize in specific topics - which not all can do
    and so out of the mass. If one creates a reputation.
    But this takes time. Or if you develop your own ideas,
    own blogs, video projects, etc. The Internet offers a variety of
    Possibilities. But you also need a long breath here.

    And it also includes self-awareness - see also the interview with Monika Wulf-Mathies in my blog: [https://berufebilder.de]

    Accordingly: Why Lokalsender? If you have already experiences
    have: Why not try to go above - with so good
    Language skills eg at Deutsche Welle? There then into
    Volunteering is very difficult. Or
    why, perhaps, according to 1-2 internships, not on the same
    Try journalist school. There is the age limit at 27! I
    I know two women who, after having a few before
    Have worked freely for years, then just tried it and
    both were taken at the Henri-Nannen school. And neither of them
    believed.

    Why not try something completely different? Another,
    Spanish acquaintances, with degrees in German, English, Spanish,
    3 years as a stockbroker in London. your qualification
    were the 3 languages, everything else on the job. After that she is
    but I prefer to become a translator on Gran Canaria :-)

    In general, I find it important, especially as a spiritual scientist,
    not to simmer in his own juice, but also experiences with
    To make people who tick tick differently ... even if it hurts sometimes
    you learn a lot.

    By the way, they can always translate. For example, at [http://www.proz.com]
    entry. Or apply directly to translation companies. single
    Problem: You are fully liable for translation errors. And since it is
    Usually this is about technical translations, which can be expensive
    I am not aware of a single case, but
    I'd rather say.

    Another possibility on time: languageCourses. In the long run this is
    However, no solution, as one can add to this, extra-crass
    described example: [https://berufebilder.de]

    Nevertheless, I also mean with educational institutions
    Experience…. There is also an interesting book about this, to which I refer
    wrote an article here:

    [Https://berufebilder.de]

    Well, I hope I helped you a little and did not scare you off completely.

    You see, there are many possibilities. You have to be with it
    unfortunately, always decide, this is how Mrs. Wulf-Mathies so
    aptly said, associated with risks, requires self-awareness and
    Willpower. Because only then can one convince others of themselves,
    if one is convinced.

    Greeting and good luck

    Simone Janson

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