Dr. Jens Nachtwei, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Brain City Berlin Ambassador Dr Jens Nachtwei teaches and conducts research in the Chair for Social and Organisational Psychology in the Institute of Psychology at Humboldt University Berlin. Among his other responsibilities there, he is leading a research project on the future of work in the digital era. He also teaches at the University of Applied Management and heads the HU spin-off IQP he co-founded.
"I grew up in the 'old Adlershof,' across from the S-Bahn line right across from today's campus. I spent my childhood there during the last ten years of the GDR. Where today there is a campus for science and industry was formerly where the East German television stations and the armed divisions of the Stasi were headquartered. In fact, my office today is located on the former site of a Stasi barracks. The leaps we have experienced from then to today are enormous," Nachtwei says.
To have so many opportunities to collaborate in a single place is really very valuable. Conferences and congresses are constantly taking place in Berlin. The world and the experts come to us.
In the opinion of business psychologists, an incredible amount has been achieved in Berlin in the past 30 years. "Above all, I sense how attractive the city is today. For example, in my lecture series at the Institute of Psychology at Humboldt University, practitioners from the entire German-speaking area have been presenting their topics for years. And all look forward to their visit to the city, are curious, and feel comfortable here. "To have so many opportunities to collaborate in a single place is really very valuable. Conferences and congresses are constantly taking place in Berlin. The world and the experts come to us."
Jens Nachtwei has not just one, but two academic jobs: at the Humboldt University in Berlin, he is leading a research project on the future of work in the digital era and one on the quality of personnel selection and development. "As a postdoc in the Chair for Social and Organisational Psychology, I am mainly involved in research there and supervise a few doctoral students, who usually also have a foot in the real world." His second academic job is also praxis-oriented: Since 2012, he has been teaching many working professionals at the Berlin Campus of the University of Applied Management as a Professor of Business Psychology. "I have always considered the bridge between research and practice as my path. The students appreciate this very much, especially as the majority of university graduates go to work and don't stay in research," Nachtwei says. A year after completing his studies, he and his fellow students founded the university spin-off IQP (Private Institute for Quality Assurance in Personnel Selection and Development).
On the basis of his own experiences, the committed scientist recommends one thing above all to students: to drive in multiple tracks. "The focus should be on research and teaching. But it will broaden your horizons and can simply be a back-up plan to have a foot in the real world, too." And he gives another tip to young researchers: "Be sure to use the short distances in Berlin and approach the departments and chairs that are relevant to your own work. Most are happy when they are approached. You should therefore find out as fast as possible who could be possible partners. Networks are easier to maintain in a city like Berlin than in whole countries!"
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