You may have come across my previous article on the Network of Interdisciplinary Urbanists, a field-specific alumni network that the University of Stuttgart’s alumni co-founded. A network founded that is open to everyone from the niche field of urbanism. The University of Stuttgart is much more diverse and there is the ‘alumnius’ network to cater for that. However, are you interested in connecting with alumni from any German university, beyond Stuttgart? Then Alumniportal Deutschland is for you. It is a one-stop networking portal for alumni from all across Germany, across fields and expertise.
What is Alumniportal Deutschland?
As the name suggests Alumniportal Deutschland is a dedicated platform for alumni who have studied, researched or even trained in Germany. This platform, financed by the German Federal Government, works similiarly to social networking sites but for professional networking and learning with a focus on alumni from Germany. In their own words, the Alumniportal Deutschland "offers 'Germany-Alumni' an opportunity to secure and expand their acquired contacts and expertise and use them for their personal and professional development". In order to achieve this objective of supporting alumni with useful information, the Alumniportal Deutschland offers many online courses, workshops, webinars, and online resources among many others on their online community portal. The platform presents the opportunity to stay connected, learn new things, make new networks, collaborate and exchange.
Before we get started, two main things you need to know!
Are you a graduate student thinking that you can join this network once you graduate? Or, have you graduated already and no longer live in Germany and wonder if this portal is not for you? Well, to clarify, firstly, you do not need to be in Germany to join this global community! The only criterion is that you need to have studied or trained in Germany. This network is for everyone based anywhere in the world but who has a connection to German higher education. Secondly, students currently enrolled and studying in a German University can join the network too! You do not need to wait until your graduation, you’ll see why.
Are you wondering how to join the network?
Simple, you just need to register either via an email address, or since it is a professional community you can also sign in with your LinkedIn credentials or you may even sign in with your DAAD-ID if you have one. The site automatically takes basic information about you and your background mentioned on your LinkedIn profile so that you don’t have to enter them again when you join. The interface is similar to any social networking site. Explore the community portal to find out about different topics and groups. You can also easily connect to other members to exchange and collaborate.
Now, what’s in it for you? Why should you join this network?
Most services are relevant not only for the alumni but also for current graduates! Personally, I felt that the portal is more useful as a student because it helps in your preparation as a young professional who will eventually graduate. Especially because of the following three opportunities.
1. Networking and Mentoring
As said earlier, it is a space to network and collaborate. For alumni, it is a platform to showcase their work. Certain alumni volunteer as mentors whom you can reach out to ask any field-related questions and get guidance in your field. In addition to that, the Alumniportal Deutschland team conducts many online courses, workshops and webinars that are interesting because you get to meet and connect with not only professionals but also other students and alumni beyond your University. It provides an opportunity to make meaningful connections.
2. Learning German
Whether you are intensively learning German or have taken a break and would like to get back to learning, the portal offers a space for practising German. It is a platform to continue your language learning journey whether as a student or an alumni! Free conversation lessons called "Deutsch à la carte" are offered across two main German levels A2/B1 and B2/C1 in collaboration with the Goethe Insitute. The members can register for these free lessons to improve their spoken German. The courses get booked quite fast, so, keep an eye out! To find out more and to get the latest updates on when the next batch of courses is starting join their newsletter or look into the group ‘Deutsch als Fremdsprache’ on the community portal.
3. Job Board and Professional Guidance
Last but not least, the portal consists of a job board with the latest job offers across fields in Germany. It is useful for job seekers and researchers alike. Apart from the job board, as mentioned the Alumniportal Deutschland offers various webinars and workshops via their learning hub that will give you insights into the professional sphere and present useful information on how to prepare your applications and build your profile as a young professional. The insights and guidance from career coaches help you understand not only the job market but also how to present yourself.
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