Stage 1: Theory
Expectations were high – but it also felt strange for most of us to leave Karlsruhe after two years time that we all spent together at Karls. When everyone spread around the globe last fall to spend a semester abroad on all different continents, learning more and new theory was definitely not the topic that was very present in my mind. Of course I went to a University in England, where I have spent my time abroad, but it was not the most important thing during these five months. Anyhow it is always a great experience to see how other cultures understand and interpret things differently than you do. The sad thing is, tough, that as soon as you start understanding them and their models and mindsets your time is already almost over. One of my fellow students once said “time flies when you’re having fun”. And he proved to be right. Five semesters of studies literally flew and it was time to use our knowledge in real life.
Stage 2: Practice
Now that the “theoretical” time at Karls (and exchange University) was over we were all diving into different companies to gain some first hand experience about the working world and how it feels to be a white collar worker. Long nights out during the week aren’t impossible when you’re working, but eight hours can be much longer when you didn’t get much sleep. Therefore daily routine changes significantly as a worker. That’s usually the point, after some months of working, where many of us wish to be a student again and to go on like this for some more years. Fortunately I was quite lucky to having found a great internship position which keeps the wish for sleeping late small, but it is also interesting to talk to your fellow students and share experiences, no matter if they were good or bad. And the good thing about a “bad” experience during the internship: you will know what you don’t want to do for the rest of your life.When you head into your internship, maybe the first longer internship, the last thing you would think about is theory. Theory that you have learned at Karls in order to prepare you to become successful and responsible business men or women. Depending on the company you’re doing your internship at, the amount of theory that you’ll be faced with ranges from little to much. A swot- or competitor analysis or similar management models have definitely made some of us stay longer in the office. The point is: Whether you like it or not, theory and practice will always be connected and there is no way for you to avoid dealing with it. And this directly leads to my last point.
Stage 3: Transfer
One important part of the last two semesters at Karls is the “Transfer Week”. First of all it’s a big get together to meet all your fellow students again and a great opportunity to exchange experiences and share ideas with regards to the key objective of that week: the kick-off for your BA dissertation. After one semester of practical experience it is really demanding and challenging to go back one step and start thinking in more academic and scientific ways again. To make this more easy our Professors support us in all insecurities and questions and the key elements of scientific work, which are very important for the dissertation, are refreshed in workshops.
For me personally the last ten months have been very exciting. Leaving the Karls and all fellow students behind, going abroad, then coming back for two days before heading on into the internship and lastly starting the final and last step in order to graduate after the transfer week are but a few points on our way that shape everyone of us differently. Yet we haven’t finished our way through Karls completely, but it will be another big step on the career ladder which hopefully leans against the correct wall.