Make the most of job fairs

Make the most of job fairs

Photo by José Martín Ramírez C on Unsplash

During the freshman year, parties are far and away the most awaited events on a university campus. The stress busters that they are, the happening that they are, the cool that they are, the endless good reasons that they are. Life is a party. As long as you can afford the parties. As time goes by, things start getting a little serious and we kinda start our lookout for job fairs. This is the point when the job fairs take over the parties and things start getting serious. Although job searching has gone wildly internet, a chance to meet the recruiter face to face certainly has its advantages. While for the job seekers, it is the time to explore the opportunities they can tap from the market and know the companies in their field of study, for the job providers, it is an event to attract the best of the talents from the graduates and also the career prospects they have in offer and focus areas of their organization.

The University of Stuttgart hosts a few job fairs where many leading companies and research organizations in the region participate. Albeit, these fairs might not seem as rewarding at the outset, careful consideration and preparation may well land you a job and if lucky, a dream one. So, here are a few tips to help you add more to chances to your job hunt than just luck.

Do the homework

The moment you get to know about the job fair, google to check if they have a website to find out more details. Make sure to pre-register for the event if it demands one. Out of the list of the companies at the event which is usually made available either on the advertisements, make a list of the prospective employers suiting your profile. Go a step further and read about their focus areas and prepare some questions to start your conversation with them. This will show the recruiters that you are well informed and prepared.

Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

The events that happen here usually have a desk with experts who will help you shape your résumé or CV or portfolio suiting the position you are applying for. Nevertheless, you have to prepare one beforehand for it to be altered and be molded. There are plenty of YouTube videos which will help you make the alpha version. Not to forget the profile photo, if you have one, good. If not, not bad. These events usually have a professional photographer who will click one free of cost. These photo sessions usually require pre-booking. Make sure you have an appointment in advance.

Sketch a plan; Have all bases covered

Quite often is the case that the fairs have a wide range of participating companies. Not all of them will have the kind of position you are looking for. Therefore, it makes sense only to visit the stalls of those companies that make it to your list. This will also make sure you don’t miss out on the possible opportunities. Since the recruiters are going to be around and the need for the first impression to be convincingly positive, prepare as you would for an interview. Make sure you sport an attire considered professional in the region the companies hail from.

It is recommended that you behave professional and not hang out with your friends in a way you would in any other fairs. My suggestion, go alone and follow your plan. There are chances that you may have an instant interview. Although the chances are less, there is no harm in being prepared. Since there will be many students at the fair, you can’t afford more than 5-8 minutes with one prospective employer. Make sure you have a ‘career pitch’ ready and communicate the same with enthusiasm. Plan a conversation time that would make an impression. Have a time plan and reap all that you can.

Build your network

There is no better networking opportunity than a job fair for the job seekers as well as for the employee seekers. From a student’s perspective, these fairs provide an opportunity to meet the recruiters in person. Make the most of this opportunity as the recruiters usually get hundreds of emails for the vacant positions advertised on the internet. Ask the right questions to the right people. Be careful not to ask the questions, the answers of which could easily be found by a simple search on the web.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Carry more copies of your portfolio than you think might be needed as there could be last minute registration of some companies. After every conversation you have, make sure of getting a business card from the person you socialize with. Not to forget, another group of people you ought to network with are the fellow job seekers themselves. As they could help you with some information on vacancies that suit your profile.

Follow up

This is a major step that we all fail to do and thereby, fail to make the most. After the days of preparation for the fair and meeting lot of people on the day of the fair, we tend to get tired of everything and eventually give up. Remember, you are the one in need of a job. Follow up with the contacts you made at the fair. Look for the recruiters on employment-oriented social networking sites like LinkedIn or Xing and connect to them.

If you could manage a good conversation with someone, follow it up with a thank you email. Which turns out to be a great professional habit as well as might remind the recruiter of your candidacy. Don’t forget to reiterate your interest for a second interview. The employers meet a lot of candidates on the day and it totally makes sense to remind them of your existence and interest. Don’t think you are pushing too hard. Meanwhile, someone else might just do that and land a job.

Nevertheless, while doing all that might seem like an uphill task in the beginning, you will realize that all of the preparation was worthwhile when you land a job. Wishing you all the best and great amount of luck with the job fairs and the hunt. As the law of attraction states, Ask; Believe; Receive.

 

Saleem

Things I wish I had done differently during my stay in Stuttgart

Things I wish I had done differently during my stay in Stuttgart

Before I begin, I want to make sure of the fact that this is not a blog post meant in a contrite tone. Rather, this turns out to be a reflection of my stay in Stuttgart as a student for over 2 years now. Reflecting on what could have been better. Reflection on how better I could have made the most of my stay here. If you have already stayed abroad for your studies, a few of you may be able to relate to many things and a few of you may relate to fewer things. Subjective are the situations. And, so are the perceptions. Speaking of perceptions, there has been a major overhaul now after staying outside India for almost 3 years now. I look at the world way differently than how I used to a few years ago. This might change a few years later. But, as long as it is changing, I don’t mind. As I am certain of the fact that my thinking is evolving and rightly so.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Fortunate enough to have had a chance to study in Stuttgart and live in this beautiful city, undoubtedly, I have had a great time. Met a lot of people and made amazing friends. And, not to forget my travel across Europe. Did my time here hold on to the fantasy I thought it was before coming here? Well, I am unsure of being completely affirmative there. For my use of the word ‘Fantasy’ explains that. Nevertheless, with all the excitement fairly grounded now, there are certain things I wish I had done differently. Not that I repent, but, you know, would have been amazing had I done these things as well.

Started early with my German lessons

I sure did. The first lecture I attended, in fact, was an intensive German course. Would have made the difference had I realized how important this was going to be. I did have a world of new things to ground all my ardor. When you stare at the cashier at a supermarket blankly when he asks you ‘How would you like to pay?’ the realization strikes and it strikes hard. If you are here as a student, it is really necessary that you understand and speak a bit of German since you are likely to stay here for quite a decent period of time. However, I did take my own sweet time to realize the importance of speaking the local language and how I wish I had started a bit early.

Been more with locals

In the pursuit of getting our thoughts exactly the way we mean every time we speak to someone, we tend to hang out with those of our community quite often. Community could mean anything. Not listing it. In my case, the Indians being plentiful in Stuttgart, I used to hang out mostly with Indians for quite some time. Not that this is bad. But, again, unless you mingle with the locals, you would never understand how things work here. As long as you stay on the campus, it doesn’t matter, but, you eventually have to get out and face the world. When I did, I sensed a different world. Why? Well, I was getting out of my comfy cocoon and was quite not seasoned to confront the real world.

Hitchhiked and couch surfed

There are some things you can do only when you are young and independent. Hitchhiking and couch surfing, in my opinion, qualify as a couple on the list.

Photo by Atlas Green on Unsplash

The idea did seem quite strange to me and to date, I have only been wishing I had done it. While my preferences keep me from daring something of the kind, the bewilderment keeps any surprises at bay. If you have time and no preferences, pick a sleeping bag and get going. If you do not, express ‘how you wish you had done things’ (like I am doing) to your friends. Life today is nothing but organized uncertainties. I admit, at some point, we give in.

Made the most of Stuttgart’s nature

In a recent survey, Stuttgart was recently ranked as the least stressful city in the world. I am not sure I’d second that without any hesitation or bias. Nevertheless, one of the reasons Stuttgart made it to the top was because of the green cover in and around the city. I totally agree with this. Especially living in the beautiful Vaihingen campus with Pfaffenwald 100 meters from my room. Although, I started my jogging sessions through the forest last summer, How I wish I had started a little earlier. It is an amazing feeling to jog through the woods and breathe no harm into your lungs.

Made the most of my trips

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Travelling around is something that most of us make sure of when we are in Europe. Like most of us, I follow the same sequence. Decide on a place, book my tickets, get there and roam around with no idea of the history of the place, buy some souvenirs, get back, flaunt my travel with posts on social media and sleep. Travel is supposed to make you wise. But, trust me, that would make not make you any wiser. Such a plan would just make you tired. Instead, what I wish I had done was to read about a place in advance before visiting the place, understood more about the culture, tried the local cuisine and you know, did the local thing.

Been more vigilant of the opportunities

By opportunities, I do not just mean jobs here. I mean all those opportunities which would have made my life richer (again, not just in terms of money) and my stay more meaningful. Often were days when I did nothing but watched a couple of episodes of my favorite series and been a couch potato. I wish I had not lazed time and been more cautious of the ever-unforgiving clock.

Well, that is it. Excuse me if that sounded like whining about my enduring friendship with procrastination. Another thing above all of the above is that I wish I had started without any expectations. Really, mounted up expectations on anything that is about to happen does little good. End of the day, what matters is how content is your life in your perception. If you snatched the authority of making memories from your mind and surrendered it to your camera, give it a thought. Who are the pictures for?

 

Saleem

Alternative Stuttgart: 9 offbeat things to do in the city

Alternative Stuttgart: 9 offbeat things to do in the city

Susann Städter / photocase.de

From TripAdvisor to Lonely Planet, the online world is replete with suggestions of clichéd activities to do if you want to explore Stuttgart. While there’s no denying that spending a sunny afternoon at Schlossplatz and marvelling at the evolution of automobile at Mercedes-Benz Museum are a must-do, there’s much more to enjoy if you are up for trying out non-touristy options.  Here are nine things you can do in Stuttgart to explore the city in a different way.

 

Jazz music

If you are a fan of Jazz or just want to spend some time with your friends listening to music in a cosy setting, head to the Traditional Jazz Hall for a night of impressive performances, traditional food and good drinks. Supported by the Cultural Office of the City of Stuttgart and the State Jazz Association Baden-Württemberg, the Jazz Hall has been entertaining visitors for good three decades now. With concerts by national and international bands, the Hall has kept the Jazz music alive in this corner of the city.

Photo on Unsplash.

Location: Marienstraße 3B, 70178

Game night

Do you enjoy playing a round of bluff, guessing random words and conquering the world? Then you will have a fun time at the Welt Cafe. On the first Monday of every month (with a few exceptions), the Welcome Centre Stuttgart organises a game night with either a quiz or board game competition. With people from all age groups, cultural backgrounds and language skills, the game nights give you a perfect opportunity to flex your brain and meet new people. The cherry on top is that winners get prizes.

Location: Charlottenstraße 17, 70173

Ghost tour

Every place has a history and beneath that, there’s always a mystery. And the city of Stuttgart is no different. If sitting around a campfire and listening to ghost stories is your guilty pleasure, then you should take the once-in-a-month ghost walk around the city.The tour is conducted in English and takes you to the Old Palace, the Market Hall and the Collegiate Church. Tales of spooky monks, headless horseman and shadowy figures will send chills down your spine while you will also learn about the practises of a former monastery, bloody decapitations and old cemetery traditions.

Location: Hirschstraße 2-4, 70173

Photo on Unsplash.

Karaoke night

Is perfectly lip-syncing to famous songs your superpower? And you get better at it if you have a nice, cold beer in your hand? Then Biddy Early’s Irish Pub is your place to be on Wednesdays. A warm and welcoming pub located in a cellar, Biddy Early’s organises Karaoke Party every week for a night filled with beautiful melodies, heartfelt laughters and flavoursome beers. Established in 1993, the pub is known for its drinks, atmosphere and staff.

Location: Marienstraße 28, 70178

Standseilbahn Stuttgart

An absolute gem from the past, the funicular in Stuttgart takes you back in time during its four-minute ride because the vehicle is preserved almost exactly as it was in its early days back in 1929. It was the first funicular in Germany with automatic control and the fastest; and was used to facilitate visitors to the forest cemetery which is located 90 metres above Stuttgart Heslach. Today, it draws hikers, study groups and tourists with its vintage charm and practical operation.    

Location: Südheimer Platz, 70199

Karlshöhe

Envisioned to be the ‘Acropolis’ of Stuttgart at one point in time, the serene hill of Karlshöhe today sit quietly between the western and the southern districts of the city. Known as Reinsburghügel until 1889, the hill was renamed as Karlshöhe in the honour of King Charles I after a beautification association acquired the land and converted the space into a public park. With its gardens and public park, the hill offers panoramic views of the Neckar valley. A beer garden for young and adults and a playground for children makes Karlshöhe a place for everyone and anyone who is looking for a break from city life.

Location: Karlshöhe, 70178

Vineyards

The vineyards of Stuttgart are hard to miss as some of them are located smack in the middle of the busy city. The plantations are believed to date as far back as 2,000 years ago when Romans planted grapevines along the Neckar River. Another legend says the holy monks cultivated wine in the region. In total, the city has 400-hectare of area dedicated for growing grapevines, 17 hectares of which is owned by the local government. A walk through them, coupled with a wine-tasting session can provide the much needed respite from the hectic urban chaos.

Location: Grunbacher Str. 5, 70327 (and many others)

Open air cinema

Photo on Unsplash.

What’s better than watching latest movies on a big screen? Watching them in an open-air cinema! With the magnificent Mercedes-Benz Museum building in the backdrop, viewers are treated to latest blockbusters in pleasant weather and comfortable seats. It is a temporary setup, showing movies during late summer/early autumn nights only; so grab your popcorns and some friends and head to the car museum.      

Location: Mercedes-Benz Museum, Mercedesstraße 100, 70372

Flohmarkt

If antique showpieces, vintage furniture and used books pique your interest, then the flea market at Karlsplatz is your thing. Organised every Saturday between 8am to 4pm, the flohmarkt has around 120 dealers selling items fit for rarity hunters and urban bohemians. The market has been taking place since 1983 and attracts local and tourists alike come rain or shine.

Location: Karlsplatz, 70173

 

 

Farah

Study spots in Vaihingen campus

Study spots in Vaihingen campus

A campus is a fun place. Or rather, we could term it as an inclusive place. Be it to the cool guys who would as a matter of choice, keep chilling than attending the boring lectures, be it to those lovely couples who would spend quality time at the beautiful campus or the be it to the nerds who dive deep into their books and experiments. Speaking of books and studies, come exams and everyone falls prey to the ‘study trap’. Getting done with the exams is all we want. And how do we get about, study relentlessly. Not to forget, the assignments and the daunting reports with those terrifying deadlines.

Some of us have the ability to turn our room into a study place whereas some of us have an eternal fondness for the bed. This pleasant yet perilous predilection drives us away from our rooms and what do we look for? A place in between the lecture halls and our bedrooms that creates an atmosphere to help us solve the differences with the books and to make a pact. Fortunately, we have a lot of study spots in the campus in Vaihingen to resort to. Some are hushful than ever whereas some are blatantly boisterous. The choice is on us. Wherever our mind is able to strike the deal. Quite often than not, we are not aware of a lot of these spots. This article gives you a lead to the existence of these study shrines and might help you with your choice as well. So, let’s go.

The university library orrr… the Bib!

A beehive of the diligent sort. If you are someone who likes a quiet surrounding to study, this is the place to go. It certainly has a lot of books and journals that might be of relevance to many of you. But, most of the students visit the library for the study spaces in the offer. The study tables are organized over 5 floors of the building. Although there are many slots for the students, if exams are around the corner, the slots get filled quickly than ever. So, if you would like a place to study, better be aware of the timings and get there on time. Another good and latest addition to the library is the ‘learning center’ which is quite modern and comfortable for long sessions. The learning center also has a presentation room, where the students can check for access and practice their presentations.

Universum and Aquarium

Placed under the mensa, beside the Frisch Markt, this is a more of a cool hang-out place than a serious study place. Nevertheless, the noisy surroundings mean that people do not mind loud discussions here. That makes it apt for the group study sessions or even qualifies as one of the best places for group project meetings. This is one of my personal favorites as I did not mind the loud noise and did have a copy and a coffee machine in the house. A staircase ascend fetched me food and a few steps of walking fetched me motivational snacks. Not just that, any moment you feel distracted, a look around would make you realize how serious people are with their studies and will help you find your way back into studiousness.

Aquarium is almost the same as Universum, minus the proximity to the Frisch Markt. It is located behind the Universum and is a little less noisy comparatively. It also does have a copy machine inside and is usually packed during the exams. Although both places are located in the heart of the campus, I would really like to see some refurbishment planned as a lot of furniture have already worn out. Also, how about some more amenities?

Arbeitsraum at Studenten Sekratariat

This is a tiny workplace for students in the new building in Pfaffenwaldring 5C. Not sure of many of you being aware of this spot as it turns out to be a new one. Consequentially, it is quite quiet for now. However, I am not sure of this place being able to hold on to the quietness for too long. For now, silence prevails.

Hochschule der Medien

Although this is a different university altogether, the Uni Stuttgart students get access to the library and Lernwelt that is housed in the HDM buildings. The library is very quiet as any other library would be and the first floor of the library has cool workplaces with some couches, beanbags and digital screens. The Lernwelt is also a cool place for study hangouts and has everything to make your study day a not so boring one. The timings for Uni Stuttgart students are however different from the HDM students.

Of course, the list does not end without the mention of the places available for students in different buildings across the campus. The cafeterias also turn into intense study zones during the examinations. Does not matter where as long as you are able to feed your mind with what is required for the course. Find the place your mind agrees to be fed in. For some of us, the place might right be our bedroom. Leaving it to your preferences, let me wind this short article up. Bye.

 

Saleem

What I loved the most about studying in Stuttgart

What I loved the most about studying in Stuttgart

Credits: Harshitha BV

It was a September night when I landed in Stuttgart for the first time. I don’t remember it for being particularly cold or something, it was rather warm and did not pose any warnings of the winter that was about to come. It took me a complete month to sink in. Make peace with my excitement. Get used to a hundred things. Some presented with a smile, while some pelted, of course with a smile. While the best way to describe the first few days was bewilderment coupled with the blank stare at the way things were happening around, what happened after that has been quite a journey. A lot of things were rather ‘offbeat’ for me. Wearing winter gloves to roaming around in jackets for a better part of the year. Breaking the ice with the scrupulous punctuality to my taste buds relishing käsespätzle. A lot has changed. From sporting a blank stare when someone said Entschuldigung to confidently replying Ja Bitte!

The excitement and joy of living and learning in Stuttgart shuns stalling. I moved to this beautiful city around 2 years ago and have not had a moment to say, Hey, look how far you have come. This turns out to be the ‘rewind’ moment for me and a way of putting across how lovely and lively Stuttgart has turned out to be for me. Let’s get straight to finding how awesome Stuttgart is!

Source: pixabay.com

Student-friendly

The student community in Stuttgart is quite sizeable and beyond a shadow of doubt, friendly. That makes the social climate so vibrant that you are likely to bump into a like-minded person more often than not. If you are feeling bored, all that you have to do is get out of your home and get to a happening place like Stadtmitte or hit one of those student bars on the campus. Your boredom and your night will be taken care of. Museums and other touristic locations always have a student discount making them affordable.

Getting around the city

I must mention, the best privilege in my opinion that we get as a student in Stuttgart is the semester ticket that is made available at a reduced price. This helps you get around the city as many times as you like and at the time you like. This also hands you the opportunity of exploring the beautiful landscape of the valley of Stuttgart without having to worry about your wallet going nuts. I see it as a boon that takes me beyond my route from my dorm to lecture halls.

Nightlife

Source: pixabay.com

Had a long day full of lectures or got consumed by the pile of assignments? The student bars on the campus have their doors open during the weekdays. The weekends usually have more to offer. Parties, live music, Karaoke or a silent bar to hang out with friends. Anything that your wallet and mind agree to. The students here just need a reason to party. A streak of semester opening parties to begin with and a few more semester ending parties to end with. Not to forget, the house parties that happen in the dorms which you can sneak in even if you remotely know a host.

The community

The community in Stuttgart is quite international and that makes it really easy when you move in. You get to meet people from across the globe. If geography didn’t interest you in school, there are possibilities of you finding about the existence of country by meeting a person from the country. The locals are really welcoming and very helpful. They may seem reserved to strangers. But, once you break the ice and grab a beer, life gets simple and fun. To add to it all, the city is not too large. That means, usually you are within the reach of things and that makes it easy. Unless you live in a really remote location, the public transport is always at your disposal.

The Beautiful campus

My favorite part of the city is the Vaihingen campus I live in. Lively or quiet, books or beer, as you like it. The campus has a lot of students living in it with them the brio. Practically, there are zero chances of being bored if you live in the campus. A run through the Pfaffenwald past all the beautiful ponds all the way to Bärenschlössle is my pick of the pastimes. The tranquillity just lifts you away from all the worldly worries bothering you.  Nevertheless, if there is a sport that you play, check the list of offerings from the Hochschulsport which is also conveniently located within the reach. There are hardly any ways living here can get any better.

Learn a new language

The best way to learn a language is when everyone around is talking the language with no one to translate it to you and you have to somehow make sense of it. It may turn out to be bothersome in the beginning. But, trust me. It gets better and after some time, you’ll end up learning a lot more than you would sitting in the classes in a country that doesn’t speak German. You go to any shop or office in Stuttgart, the first words spoken will be German and sometimes the only language spoken too. How better could it get if you want to learn a language?

Travelling across Europe

Source: pixabay.com

As an international student, you wouldn’t want to miss out on traveling across Europe. The visa that I got lets me travel to any Schengen countries without having to worry about any visa hurdles. This is one big advantage if you are a globetrotter and a victim of serial backpacking. Staying in Stuttgart, you have great connections to almost all the big places in Europe. Fly, rail, bus, bike or hike, your call. All that you have to worry about is how to make those extra bucks. There surely are many ways if you really want to.

Yet, I can go on and on on how splendid this city has been during my stay here. A recent survey rated Stuttgart as the least stressful city in the world. With no intention of undermining the cities I have not lived in, let me prudently put it this way, Stuttgart is quintessentially tranquil. If you are already in Stuttgart and want to add something to the list above, comment below. Not yet in Stuttgart? But considering moving to Stuttgart as a student? Let me know if there is something you would like to particularly know about by commenting below. Let’s Wrap with that thought. See you!

 

Saleem

A student’s guide to living on a tight budget

A student’s guide to living on a tight budget

 

Student life is one of those phases when we are perpetually running out of money. There is just never enough to cover for a meal and get a new sweater at the same time; we always have to make choices. If you are living this life or are about to begin, this blog can help you navigate these choppy waters a little more intelligently.

Photo by Jack Alexander on Unsplash

 

Finding a place to live in Stuttgart may be one of the most difficult tasks you would do once you move to the city. Moving to a new city as a student is already a challenge and the last thing you would want yourself to worry about is having a shelter. So it is important that you act smartly and work in advance.

Live in student dorm

Stuttgart has a bit of a housing crisis (nobody likes to call it that but that’s what it is), but there are several student dormitories that offer rooms with necessary facilities to students for low rent. Once you have made up your mind that you are coming to Stuttgart, apply for a room at Studierendenwerk Stuttgart. Do this well in advance; ideally six months before you need to move in. You need your admission letter to apply for the student room and if you are offered a place, you are required to pay around 400 euros as deposit to secure your spot.

Having seen people struggle with finding a place to live, all this trouble so early is worth it.

Live close to campus

Whether you choose to live in a student dorm or a private apartment, make sure your place is close to your university campus. This way, you won’t have to buy the expensive transport tickets and you can reach your classes by walk or by bikes.

Student discount on public transport

If you happen to live far away from campus and have to take the public transport to reach university, you have two options.

Depending on your class schedules, you can buy tickets for the morning and return home after 6pm as the city’s public transport system is free for students from 6pm onwards during weekdays and all day during the weekends.

The other option is to buy the semester ticket which is worth around 180 euros and is valid for the entire semester.

Cook at home

While you may be tempted to eat out and save your precious time for studying, in the long run you will realise this habit will leave a big dent in your wallet. Also, the chances are you will be eating unhealthy food and will get bored of it after some time.  

So, to eat healthy and save a ton of money, cook food at home. You will have to work out a plan for yourself but it is best that you spend your hard-earned/hard-saved money wisely.

Discount stores

Germany has many discount supermarkets such as Penny, Lidl and Aldi and you can buy groceries from here for very low price. The quality may be not great but everything sold there is fit for human consumption and that’s why they make a great place to shop as a student.

From food, cleaning supplies to clothes, these discount supermarkets have everything you need to survive your university life on a budget.

First-week shopping

Photo by Leonie Wise on Unsplash

Speaking of shopping, you may need to buy quite a few things in the first few days of moving in. Even if you carefully brought essentials from your home country, there still could be something wrong or missing. Your mobile charger may not fit the sockets, you may need a WiFi router and you could be without a pillow and duvet.

In such a situation, what most students do is panic and then binge-shop from whatever stores they can lay their hands on. This is a classic mistake most of us make and only realise it months later when we get to know the city better.

To avoid spending unreasonable amount of money thoughtlessly, look for less-pricey stores such as Euroshop, Primark and Conrad. These stores can supply you with everything you may need for settling in at a very cheap price. Lucky for you, they all have at least one branch on Königstraße. Eurostores have everything from kitchenware, stationery to toilet products – all for the amazing price of just one euro! Primark can cover for your clothing and home interior needs as it is a big fashion chain selling products such as bedding, shoes and candles. Go to Conrad or Saturn for your ‘electrical’ shopping; they sell a variety of products and you can choose items according to your needs and budget.  

Once you understand the city better and are a little settled, venture into long term shopping because then you won’t be spending money in emergency.

Trip to IKEA

If your situation demands that you make big purchases such as a bed and a pot set, head to the nearest Ikea. There are two stores near the city and you can take public transport to reach them. Make sure you go with a friend because you will have to carry all the stuff home on your own – unless you plan to pay a heavy price to the transport company.

You can do some online research about the products available in stores to get an idea about the variety available and the price range. In addition to products in catalogues, there are always some items with big discount; keep your eyes peeled and you could find a brilliant yellow-coloured table lamp for just 12 euros.

Freebies

Either for your moving-in shopping or regular purchases, join the many Stuttgart Facebook pages where people sell their used products for ridiculously low prices as well as give them away as gifts, for free.

People sell and give away everything from cars, kitchen cabinets to baby diapers. If you are prompt at checking your notifications, you could find yourself a sweet deal in a matter of seconds.

Extracurricular activities

Photo by Roya Ann Miller on Unsplash

If you want to maintain a healthy balance of study and fun without getting ripped off, look into the diverse sports program offered by the Allgemeiner Hochschulsport. According to its website, the Hochschulsport caters to around 5,000 registered participants per semester; it has 180 courses in over 70 different sports per semester plus many workshops and excursions run by its 110 active trainers.

Aside from common sports such as soccer, volleyball or gymnastics, the Hochschulsport offers back fitness, Nordic walking, aerobic, fitness gymnastics and bodyfit. Additionally, it has programmes for yoga, tai chi, lacrosse and ultimate frisbee as well as excursions for hang gliding, skiing and snowboarding.

 

Farah

Finding a part-time job in Stuttgart

Finding a part-time job in Stuttgart

Source: pixabay.com

Time, money and happiness seem to be the most ‘run after’ things in a modern human being’s life in the pursuit of finding ‘the balance’. For a typical millennial, it’s quite often the case that the hold is only on 2 of the 3 and sometimes, lesser. While a balance amongst these 3 could be the goal of a professional, for a student, the proposition is quite clear, we have time and happiness but not big money. To make both ends meet and to fund that thrifty trip, we usually have to look for a part-time job. The part-time job not only helps us make that most needed money but also lets us peek into the work culture of a country. If one is fortunate to find a job that aligns with the career goals, that turns out to be a win-win situation. Or, on the other hand, if one turns out to be even more fortunate if one of his hobbies turns out to make money.

In a place like Stuttgart, which is quite industrial, you have umpteen opportunities as a student. All you need are open eyes and ears and willingness to work after having found one. Having fervently been on the hunt for part-time jobs in the Stuttgart region for the past two years and having successfully found a few, I share my insights on how exactly to knock on the right door. Let’s get straight away to the nitty-gritty of finding a part-time job.

The notice boards

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These are one of the best ways to find a job. Especially, in a place like a university campus, where there are hundreds of notice boards and are usually filled with flyers. A decent share of them turn out to be a job offer and mostly part-time ones. Keep your eyes open for the ‘stellenangebote’ which means job offers and keep applying with all intent if some advertisement catches your attention. If you are willing to work in one of the institutes in the university, go to the institute notice board and you are sure to find some offers. Furthermore, do you play some instrument or are you very good at some other art skill or possible some sport or yoga, there are very good chances that you find advertisements from people looking for some help with their learning or projects. Besides, you could also post an ad and if fortunate, you may find your skill making money for you sooner than you expect.

The websites

The list of websites offering jobs are innumerable and in an area like Stuttgart which is home to many world leading companies, the chances are just perpetual. All you have to do is look for the right website and use the appropriate keywords. The Stellenwerk-Stuttgart website is the place to look for student jobs associated with the University of Stuttgart and also those in the region of Stuttgart. As well, other websites like Jobmensa and Indeed can come in handy if you are looking to work in some companies in the region to get more practical exposure. Another interesting approach I found from a YouTuber is to look for your job focus area on google maps which returns you the list of all companies working in the same field as yours. Make a list of the companies, and check their websites for jobs and get applying. A clever way could be to bookmark all the web pages offering relevant jobs and to open all of them every day to check for updates. I do this and trust me, this really works.

Source: pixabay.com

Outside the campus and web

Stuttgart is a very lively city and who makes it lively? Undoubtedly, the people who work here. And that certainly means that you could also be one of those. There are tons of opportunities to work as a part-time worker in the cafes, restaurants, and bars around the city. Usually, they post a flyer on their windows if there are vacancies. Just knock their doors and speak to the manager. Who knows, you may come back with an offer.

Another hotspot for part-time jobs are cloth outlets in the city who usually employ students to work in their shops. These shops usually tend to recruit through agents like Dispo, Dr.Stern, and DK. Apply to these agencies and whenever there are jobs, they get back to you with offers. Since they have alliances with different industries, they usually get back to you pretty quickly. If they don’t keep knocking. Not to forget, one of the favorites of students in Stuttgart. Food-delivery is yet another hot-spots for part-timers in Stuttgart. Since the delivery usually is on bikes, make sure you have a bike with you and skills to ride safe in the city. Nevertheless, with a local driving license, you can also choose to deliver food on cars and motor-bikes. Makes it easy.

Institutes and Industries

Source: pixabay.com

I opine on this being the best-case scenario as we get to understand either the industry practices or the research trends in the industry most appropriate to us. Stuttgart is a gifted city in this case as there are world-leading industries like Bosch, Daimler, and Porsche to name a few. If you are planning to get into the industry after your studies, there is no better exposure than this. There are usually a lot of vacancies in these organizations and they often look for students to support some activities. Stuttgart is as well home to many leading research institutes like Fraunhofer, Max-Planck, and DLR. Being strategically located in and around the Vaihingen campus, they often have some appealing offers for the students in some interesting research projects. The institutes in the university which carry out research could also have some exciting prospects in case you have the skills they are looking for. Lookout for their websites or just knock the door and drop your CV with them.

Wrapping up, I have a hunch that if you want to work part-time in Stuttgart, the opportunities are a lot, especially for students. But, the question is, how badly do you want it. Legally, a non-European student can work for a maximum of 20 hours during semesters and it changes during semester breaks. Which is quite enough to manage your expenses. Make sure you strike the right balance between work and studies. Break a leg.

 

Saleem

The Incredible Indian Night at Uni Stuttgart

The Incredible Indian Night at Uni Stuttgart

Indian night at Uni Stuttgart promises the feel of the mystery quarters to the Indians here at the Uni. Considering how generously international our Uni is and how sizable the Indian community here is, it is amazing to see the students roll up their sleeves to make the IZ foyer a scaled-down India. Just for one evening. It gives the Indians a recollection and some space to connect to the roots while for the foreigners, a chance to peek into what India has beyond the common stereotypes. The event happens usually around the time of Indian festival of lights, Diwali. Which is celebrated to symbolize the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair.

The aura is that of culture, joy, and celebration. Right from cutting a rug to the Bollywood dance numbers to the air latching on to the aroma of Indian food, the event has it all covered to make you feel Indian enough and feed you Indian enough. Year after year, this event has been a sell-out success story. Let’s get straight to what exactly makes this event what it is!

Behind the curtain

The real work happens in the backstage. Only those who have never been on the backstage would disagree with me. The preparations usually take weeks of steadfast commitment and determination from the volunteers. Who, managing their coursework, take responsibility of one of the tasks to make the event a ‘not just another event’ one. In my opinion, to put up a show of this stature, a defined direction becomes imperative to know where to begin, how to go about and of course to know the door to be knocked. This wisdom, may I say, is passed on to every batch of volunteers by those of the previous batch. There’s just a lot to do from tapping the conked-out talents to kindling the snoozy creative minds. And having witnessed all the prep scenes from the backstage, I dare not forget lauding the cloaked artists. Nevertheless, I would rather opine on the cooking team which cooks for a whopping 200 people steals the show. Cooking 9 to 10 Indian dishes for all the guests is no child’s play. Come on guys, let’s give it to them.

The breath-taking bout

I have been a patron of Indian night events and trust me, every time, it turns out to be a stealer. The stage is so lighted and the events are so vivid that for a brief period of 3 hours, they don’t just attempt, but successfully and gently pull you back to India. I was a fortunate spectator of the event this year and witnessed the show as the artists set the stage on fire. The event began with a traditional welcome song which is the usual way to set any event rolling. A team of singers who swiftly slide you into the premises of a plethora of talent. Which was followed by a classical dance with dancers draped in traditional sarees. Their unparalleled sync usually says amounts about the efforts being put in by them. The spine-tingling performance was trailed by a music performance flawlessly orchestrated and by all means intended at injecting nostalgia right into your veins. The skit performance which followed flaunted a serious amount of humor usually dubbed as the showstopper by a part of the audience as there is a story being conveyed at the same time being whimsical.

Well, not to forget the fancy dance numbers by the dance team which totally makes sure of keeping your eyes from blinking. A poet then surfaces to let your thoughts swaying between his words. The contemporary dance that followed strived to connect the mind and body through their fluid-like moves. Winding it up with a couple more dance performances which, according to the organizers, ‘save the charm’ of the event and what better way to bring down the curtain than to keep the audience wanting more of it.

Oh, wait! The best is yet to come. As the attention shifts from the main stage to the side stage where the cooking team unveils the culinary skills of the volunteers. All prepared by the student turned chefs and I vouch for their skills and the taste of the food. This is my personal showstopper. The monarch of the senses, taste, is being satiated. Doesn’t get any better for me considering the foodie that I am. The aroma of the Indian spices that fills the air just as you wait in the queue does no good but makes you want more.

So, the last para made me hungrier than ever! And, with that thought, time to draw to a close. Have you already been at one? Share your experiences in the comment section below. Haven’t been to one? Time to make some Indian friends at the condition of them managing a ticket for the event next year. Ciao Ciao!

 

Saleem

A keen hope for a ‘Green Kurdistan’

A keen hope for a ‘Green Kurdistan’

When the “ahead of our time” Entrepreneur and my worldly guru Elon Musk recently revealed his plans of setting up a city in Mars, I went WOW! I am sure most of us did (At least those of us who follow this genius. If you haven’t, right after you finish reading this article, do it!!). The idea was fascinating to me and I can pretty much vouch for the success of the project. If not within the planned time, eventually, the team will (My take!). But, Hold on! Why do we have to go to another planet? Hasn’t our Mother earth been giving us enough warmth? Well, she sure has been, except for the fact that we have made her too warm and as a consequence of that, global warming is coming for us. At least, I believe so. The modern lifestyle and all the comfort comes at a cost. We have exploited our mother nature in almost all the ways possible. We have dumped so much solid waste that is not degradable or will take thousands of years to degrade. The heaps of solid waste dumped at one of the dumping sites I visited over a year ago was an eye opener and I realized, it was about time we stopped messing around with the planet.

I am sure most of us have been through those times where we feel accountable for all the damage that human species has done to the planet and decide to contribute a tiny part of the reparations we owe. The involvement is often diverse and so is the outcome. Some do something amazing and bring about a real difference while some restrict to sharing a Facebook post or writing blogs like me. One of my friends belongs to the former set and has actually been doing something really incredible. Rzgar Al-Bewani, an international student studying WASTE program here at the University of Stuttgart has been gaining the limelight over the past two years for his project ‘Green Kurdistan’. A noble willingness to bid adieu to the usage of plastic bags in his homeland had got him started and has come a long way since then. I have been witnessing the project as a bystander for quite some time now and thought you, my fellow readers should also know what the project is all about.

Blaze a trail

With the planet facing an environmental crisis in this decade and a major contribution to the situation accounts to the plastic bags that we use. The whole world has been coming up with innovative solutions to counter this. Rzgar’s approach is no different than what you might have already heard or seen. But, the way it’s being implemented is what makes it worth a special mention. In his city of Kalar in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, people have been using plastic bags for shopping ever since its introduction. Being a student who studies the environment, he knew this had to be changed. How does replacing all the plastic bags with bags made of cloth sound? Greener? Well, by miles.

Sometimes, meeting the right people at the right time makes all the difference and it was no different for Rzgar, who met Laura Krautheimer, an assistant researcher at Institute of Combustion and Power Plant Technology and Daniel Gehring, a student of Maschinenbau and also a member of Umweltgewerkschaft (environmental union). They conveyed the idea to the (Umweltgewerkschaft) and had an overwhelming acceptance of the idea with 4 students from the union joining the project and of course remaining a part of the project ever since. Although, currently the project has 11 volunteers who have joined hands with Rzgar to the benevolent cause.

The Kalar kick-off

When you are ‘used to’ something all your life, it takes some effort to get rid of the habit. Once such practice is using plastic bags for shopping. The people of Kalar receive a new plastic cover every time they shop. Convenient, isn’t it? Availing it free of cost adds to the convenience and they usually end up throwing it away after using it once. The root problem according to Rzgar is the fact that the local populace does not understand the issues that crop up due to such reckless usage of plastic. And, since there is no other beckoning alternative, everyone follows what the herd does.

In order to make the most of his recent visit to his hometown, Rzgar attempted using the cloth bag for shopping at one of the local grocery outlets. As expected, the out-of-place bag received strange glares from the local people and the shopkeeper himself. He had some extra bags and presented each stare with a free bag. What a scene!

“It’s pretty funny when you are the only one holding a cloth bag and don’t be surprised if you get laughed at.”

Creating an atmosphere of awareness is decisive for the success of the project. An all-around approach is imperative for the society to change its behavior. Not only did Rzgar speak to the local people and professors in the universities, he also initiated a small scale enterprise that manufactures the cloth bags using refurbished sewing machines. He also feels that for the project to have a sustainable future, it is the kids in the school that have to be made aware of the problem and the ill effects if left unchecked. Starting with dispersing around 30 bags during his visit early this year, the project has so far dispersed around 1000 cloth bags. The group is well aware of the fact that in case their project has to change the proclivity, the scale has to be big. They plan to set up a few old textile collection centers and employ more women to turn the old cloth into a trendy grocery bag. If you got any bags that you think will be of help to Rzgar, follow this link for more information.

The renown

The attention of people, no matter whether they are the stakeholders of it or not, is something very important for the success of a project, particularly of this nature. Having presented his idea at numerous forums and having had the big fishes talk about his project has added many feathers to his crown. Within a short span of having launched the project, it won the Welt-Sicht (World vision) 2016 award presented by the Ökumenisches Zentrum at University of Stuttgart. Well, not just that. The project also attracted pecuniary consolation from the Stuttgarter Changelabs at the University of Stuttgart. Much needed money! Bingo!

Hoping that you have got a fair idea of what Rzgar and his teammates are up to, and also hoping of having rekindled your love to planet earth. If you have time and thoughts of supporting the group, be a part of the group by simply dropping an email. And, of course, don’t forget to like their Facebook page for updates on the project.

 

Saleem

 

Getting a foot in the door: writing your final thesis in cooperation with a company

Getting a foot in the door: writing your final thesis in cooperation with a company

FemmeCurieuse / photocase.de

The grand finale of any Bachelor’s or Master’s study program is the thesis. The classic route is to write this at the uni. But for anyone who likes to take a more practical approach, it is also possible to write your final thesis whilst working for a company. But only a few people choose to do this.

The traditional way: spending months writing your final thesis, which is then read and evaluated by your professor and the result ends up just lying in a drawer. But what if your final thesis not only ended your study program at university, but also opened the door to your new career?

Companies want students who have already gained some experience whilst studying. Whether this is through an internship or employment as a working student. But there is a third option: completing your final thesis in cooperation with a company. A successful practical thesis can open the door to your new career.

The company also benefits: the aspiring graduate invests a lot of work in their project, paying more attention to detail than an existing employee would be able to. That is why more and more companies are looking for employees who want to write their final thesis in the company.

Why? The advantages:

  1. Networking: It can be help students forge new contacts. And practical work is a great opportunity to really get to know a company. You can also make contacts that can play an important role in helping you kick start your career.
  2. Your résumé: A practical scientific thesis can be a huge advantage in your résumé. Students that finish uni having gained more than theoretical knowledge are highly sought after by employees. If you work on a practical project in a company, the company can see that you have gained practical experience outside of university.
  3. Wage: getting paid to do your final thesis? Why not? Most companies pay a small wage. So you can be sure that your practical work really pays off. 
  4. Project: By writing your thesis in a company, you can take on a project and this means that you will be given responsibility. And you also know that your scientific work has a practical use and is thus more valuable.

How does it work? Take time to research well beforehand

Copyright: simonthon.com / photocase.de

There are numerous job portals that specialize in final theses. But be aware: most of the jobs advertised are also for interns or work students. The University of Stuttgart’s job portal also features a number of offers for writing your thesis in a company. If you are lucky, the department where you want to write your thesis is has advertisements for companies where you can write your thesis on the bulletin board. But if you have to search on your own, ask your professors or other graduates what companies might come into question. It is definitely beneficial to work for a company that has already mentored students writing their final thesis. Lots of students write their thesis in a company where they previously worked as a work student or intern. If you’re lucky you might get an offer. But it is definitely worth asking your boss whether you might have the chance to write your thesis whilst working for the company.

Generally speaking, it is important to apply early. It can take a long time to find a company that suits your chosen subject and the topic of your thesis.

 

What you need to be aware of:

  1. Suddenly employed: as a student, you work for the company and write your thesis at the same time – when you try to do two important things at once it can happen that you don’t dedicate enough time to one of them. That’s why it is important to choose the right company. It has to suit your subject area and suit you.
  2. The servant of two masters: your work has to meet the expectations of your professor and your supervisor at work. The thesis concept, the approach you take and any changes to the main focus have to be discussed with all parties. Generally speaking, the company is most interested in the results of your Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis, whereas your professor is most concerned with ensuring that you take a scientific approach to writing your thesis. And that is something a lot of people forget: officially, the company has no influence on the topic and content of your thesis, the uni alone examines your work and decides the scientific criteria and formalities. Even if you are writing your thesis in cooperation while working for a company, don’t forget that your professor will be giving you the final grade.
  3. Confidential data:  the work you are doing often gives you access to confidential data that you will not be allowed to publish. For that reason, a company will usually choose not to publish the results of the research. This is usually not the case for those writing a thesis at the uni. The working contract will define whether you are only permitted limited access to data or if you are not allowed to use certain things in your thesis. It is important to clear this issue up beforehand so that your supervisor and professor agree with the topic and the requirements.

    Working in the university library.
    (Copyright: University of Stuttgart)

  4. In for the long haul: Writing your final thesis in cooperation with a company can take a long time. The company can make lots of demands – for example giving you tasks that have nothing to do with your thesis. And before you can really get started, you have to familiarize yourself with the company’s structures. Make sure you plan enough time for this.
  5. Topic: The best motivation is an honest interest in the subject, because at the end of the day, you will be spending a lot of time working on it. In a company it usually isn’t possible for you to independently choose your topic. Companies often offer subjects that are not compatible with exam regulations. It is important to clarify such issues with your professor at the uni before you get started.
  6. Money, money, money: Regardless of how much, or how little, money the company pays: a final thesis written in cooperation with a company counts as a training allowance. That means that your Bafög allowance will be reduced. Make an appointment at the office responsible for your BAföG grant and find out if the money you receive will have an effect on the amount of BAföG you get.

 

Conclusion

Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. Read your work contract carefully so that you are aware of what the requirements are. All parties – the graduate, the uni and the company – can benefit from the collaboration, but only if they truly support the undertaking. And what happens after you have completed your thesis? You can find some inspiration here.

 

Feven