Once a year, KIT’s “Start your career in the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion” event provides a platform for institutions and service organizations to introduce themselves to international students, doctoral and postdoctoral candidates. Oliver Chimbo, project manager at TUP, was invited as a ‘testimonial’ to talk about his studies, his entry into work and his life in Germany.

In front of about 100 participants, he gave an insight into his personal life and gave five tips for students starting their academic career in Germany:

  • Even with a degree equivalent to the Abitur, it is definitely worth visiting the preparatory college, as it prepares you very well for the start of your studies. Because he had completed his German Abitur at a German school in Quito, Oliver Chimbo began his studies directly, but in retrospect, this made his entry much harder than that of his fellow students who had previously completed the college.
  • In the beginning, one should take advantage of the wide range of opportunities presented to find his or her own way: Towards a specialization or rather towards a more generalist skillset. According to Oliver, KIT’s “large bouquet of offers” has enabled him to develop as a generalist in industrial engineering.
  • From his perspective, it is absolutely crucial to talk to Germans in German. This enabled him to become linguistically ever more surefooted and in addition helped him to develop a network of acquaintances and friends, who supported him for example by proofreading his application documents. Which led to him landing a job at TUP even before he had his degree in his pocket.
  • Qualifications are the key to success. In addition to his studies, institutions such as the employment office or networks such as the CyberForum offer the opportunity to acquire additional skills and qualifications. For example, he was able to certify himself as a project manager in a six-month training course, in which the employment office covered half of the costs and TUP the other. “Only then did I learn how to manage projects,” says Oliver. Other assistance, such as the Career Service’s help in creating one’s own CV, is also very valuable. His recommendation: “Accept such offers!”
  • His last piece of advice was to go out and experience the city, because it is important that you feel comfortable and integrated in order to build up a second home. Karlsruhe’s good infrastructure convinced him to make the Technology Region just that.

Oliver Chimbo is a German citizen since 2016. He liked the German culture from the very beginning and after living and working in Germany for several years, he soon felt like a German and decided to take the step towards citizenship. An insight into this day (German) can be found here.

This article is also available in German.

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