Goals and Tasks
When the idea of a graduates' meeting of the Intercultural German Studies evolved in the autumn of 2005, it initially expressed the desire and pleasure to see old friends among former fellow-students.
During the initial planning phase of the meeting which was scheduled in October 2006, it became clear that most people not only were interested in what has become of the others (i.e. what paths each one of them has chosen after graduation), but were keen on how to revive, maintain, and productively organise such a network in the long run.
The initiators' original goal was soon to be broadened to that effect: building an Intercultural German Studies Network should be realised within the triangle of graduates, the department of Intercultural German Studies, and students of Bayreuth University.
Support and Co-operation Between Graduates
The question of how to achieve good entry into the job market with the relatively specialised course Intercultural German Studies and its rather unspecific applicability has certainly been an issue for most attendees. Among the topics were how to "sell" oneself with one's degree and acquired skills. Topics also included which job fields, sectors etc. are out there. The career paths of many graduates could provide inspiration and information.
On a practical note, the mutual support in the form of a job sector catalogue, publications of job opportunities and tips for the job search may be realised. On the homepage, space for building a human resources pool should be created, where staff profiles can be searched and "offered" according to various categories (trainer, science, research project, communication and human resources department in private companies etc).
Also discussed was the idea of mutual coaching beween alumni in the form of strength/weakness analyses, assistance in defining clear goals, support of foreign students in finding jobs, as well as tips on how to integrate knowledge and skills acquired during the course in the CV and application letters.
Support and Co-operation Between Students and Graduates
Another goal of the Intercultural German Studies Network may be the creation of an internships fair. Not only could graduates provide information where internships should be stratetically placed and realised, but also inform themselves about possible job sectors, company requirements for job starters and contacts to possible employers. They could realise their job wish via internships.
Addionally, the idea of mentoring/coaching of students by graduates has been discussed - graduates could act as practical advisers to students and support them when choosing internships, stays abroad and final dissertations.
Co-operation Between the Department of Intercultural German Studies/Bayreuth University and Graduates
An essential goal of the network should be the advancement of theory-practice transfer. On the scientific level, this could mean that graduates and the department co-operate in scientific and practice-orientated projects, enabling graduates to carry out scientific research within their institutions, or to be integrated in current research projects of the department. The department of Intercultural German Studies would therefore be able to build long-term company or institutional contacts. On the other hand, an Intercultural German Network could provide valuable information about the distribution of the graduates, and via an active graduates' feedback also contribute to zum Nutzen der Ausbildung auf dem Arbeitsmarkt actively participate in the design of the teaching and curricula.