©Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie18.08.2020
Dual Career Network Berlin: getting a good start in Berlin
Many top-class researchers and scientists are being attracted to Brain City Berlin every year. But professors and executives in research and administration usually don't come alone. The Dual Career Network Berlin helps partners of specialists and executives from science and business make their own new start in Berlin, both privately and professionally. The network now counts around 30 Berlin universities, research institutions, and companies among its partners.
"At the beginning, finding the right daycare and school for the kids often play as much a role as looking for a place to live and a job," says Dr. Diana Woelki. “Since the needs here are naturally very individual, we first provide information on the housing market, day care, and school options. In this way everyone can get an overview and prioritize the various issues that matter to them. In individual cases, we provide even more intensive support for these decision-making processes." The psychologist and career counsellor works as part of Dual Career Network Berlin (DCNB) together with her colleague Rouven Sperling. DCNB is a part of Berlin Partner, the city's economic development agency, and is dedicated to helping the life partners of newly appointed faculty and other research leaders find their way in Brain City Berlin, settle in, and start a new career here. Partners of business executives can also use the service launched in 2011 as a joint initiative by Berlin's state universities together with the State of Berlin to help the city stand out as a location for scientific research among the international competition.
“In addition to the standard review and revision of vitae and advice about the Berlin labour market, our consultancy services also include comprehensive career coaching and the analysis of career potential and goal planning as necessary. Training on positioning oneself on the Berlin job market is also a part of what we offer,” Woelki explains. Furthermore, there is demand for information on topics that concern families in general, such as childcare, education, and leisure activities."
In the past two years alone, Diana Woelki and her colleague have helped almost 100 clients. About 50% of them came from abroad and more than 60% were women. Susanne Gschwendtner is one of them. “We moved from Sydney to Berlin last June. The timing was determined by my partner's appointment to a professorship at the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)." For more than ten years, Susanne Gschwendtner and Dr. Ingo Weber lived in Australia. They had enjoyed successful careers there: she had led a variety of projects in the public sector. Among other things, she was involved in what was then the largest SAP roll-out in Australia. The computer scientist Ingo Weber worked as Principal Research Scientist and led a team of 30 at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
Saying goodbye to Australia was not easy for them. But there were two other good reasons for the couple to come to Berlin in addition to Weber's appointment at TU Berlin: they would be closer to their family in southern Germany and they could take advantage of Berlin's position as a centre for science, as Weber emphasizes: “For me as a computer scientist, TU Berlin is one of the top universities in Germany. Both the size of my faculty (electrical engineering and computer science) and the large number of research institutions in the city are very attractive, as is the proximity to interesting companies and the many IT start-ups in the city. Berlin is attractive, also as a place to live. In Germany as a whole, there is the academic freedom to conduct research and teach without restraints made possible by being a civil servant; this is further reinforced by the sufficient availability of outside funding."
Upon arrival in Berlin, Susanne Gschwendtner and Ingo Weber had to struggle with the typical initial difficulties despite all the euphoria. “We came about nine months before the restrictions with the pandemic came into effect here. Finding an apartment was difficult, finding daycare was very difficult,” Gschwendtner recalls. She came into contact with Diana Woelki through a recommendation from the Dual Career Service at TU Berlin. Woelki not only helped her find daycare for her two-year-old daughter, but also a job. “The advice was tailored to my needs. I described my personal situation and my professional goals and expectations. Based on this information, Dr. Woelki used the Berlin Partner network to draw my attention to companies and jobs. She read my applications for various positions and gave them bespoke feedback." Diana Woelki's advice on the design of application documents paid off in particular. Gschwendtner only applied for ten positions and received several invitations to interview. After just three months of intensive job searching, she struck gold: she got a job as a project manager at Deutsche Bahn.
Her success is not an isolated incident. "Fortunately, experience shows us that the majority of the candidates take advantage of the city's diverse offerings and can quickly gain a foothold despite the initial difficulties," explains Diana Woelki: “However, not all of them are ready for the Berlin job market immediately upon arrival in Berlin; knowing German is still a basic requirement. Depending on their career aspirations, it may be that the focus for the first few months may have to be on improving their German or doing some further training." Most of her clients have already moved several times in their life and therefore bring outstanding intercultural competence and sensitivity with them.
In addition to individual support, Woelki and Sperling promote the Dual Career Service at such events as Berlin Science Week. They also organise workshops and network meetings and regularly exchange ideas with dual career advisors at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin), the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin), the Technische Universität Berlin, and the University of Potsdam. The last network meeting held by the Dual Career Service at a Berlin company's offices at the end of 2019 was particularly popular with the candidates. “We invited interesting speakers, the company introduced itself, and many one-on-one conversations were held immediately. Afterwards everyone exchanged ideas over snacks and drinks and gave each other tips. Such encounters are golden opportunities,” says Woelki. Due to the current situation, such meetings have been suspended, "but we will now increasingly promote digital encounters." (vdo)
- Daycare: Personal contact helps. Just walk by and knock or at least call. Ask over and over because children move in and out of daycare throughout the year for a variety of reasons.
- Job applications: Spend time preparing. Focous on quality rather than quantity.
- Use the summer to explore the many lakes and hiking trails around Berlin.
- Use summer and early autumnto get to know Berlin. In winter, it is cold and uncomfortable here (at least if you come from Australia ;-)
- Insights dentalXr.aiInsightsdentalXrai is the first dental start-up to be spun off the Charité. It was launched via the accelerator of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). We...→
Artificial intelligence in the fight against tooth decay
- Insights Anna Raysyan (private)InsightsBrain City Ambassador Anna Raysyan has been living in Berlin for 3,5 years now. She is a PhD student at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und...→
Guest Contribution: “Berlin likes the bold!”
- Insights ©Matthias PicketInsightsDr. Anne Schreiter, Managing Director of the German Scholars Organization (GSO), reveals in the Brain City interview what alternative career...→
"Science is not just about research"
- Insights © Pocky Lee on UnsplashInsightsMatches in front of empty stadiums, virtual marathons, and many postponed events. Brain City Ambassador Professor Gabriele Mielke is tracking the...→
"Now is the time for innovators"
- Insights © AW Creative on UnsplashInsightsJuggling a degree course or teaching with the extra burden of the care of children or other family members is not an easy task. Both students and...→
From “Zoo School” to “Maternity Protection”: family-friendly universities
- Insights © HTW Berlin / Nikolas FahlbuschInsightsTeaching is currently only taking place online. Guest author Dr Dorothee Haffner, professor for Museology at HTW Berlin - University of Applied...→
Guest contribution: "Online teaching is more engaging than I thought"
- Insights Franziska SattlerInsightsIn the interview: Brain City ambassador Franziska Sattler on her series of events "Kaffeeklatsch mit Wissenschaft" (Talking Science over Coffee) at...→
"Science needs the trust of society"
- Insights Fotocredit: Ortner & Ortner / SiemensInsightsSiemensstadt 2.0 is a place of the future. The Berlin Senate has approved 9.9 million euros for the first research project "Electrical Drive...→
Siemensstadt 2.0: Research and industry closely linked
- Insights ©Credit Silke Oßwald/FMPInsightsBrain City interview: Professor Dr. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Professor of...→
In the balancing act between detail and overall concept
- Insights © hj barraza/UnsplashInsightsOur guest author Dr Barbara Schäuble is Professor for Diversity-Conscious Approaches in the Theory and Practice of Social Work at ASH Berlin and a...→
Guest contribution: A sudden change of course - classes moved online
- Insights ©DexLeChemInsightsLaunching a start-up while at university? Sonja Jost's success shows the way. Together with three fellow students, she founded DexLeChem after...→
"Bringing new knowledge to the market is very important to us"
- Insights ©Ivar Veermäe / Centre for EntrepreneurshipInsightsBrain City Berlin is the German capital of start-ups. Many young companies have successfully been founded through Berlin and Brandenburg based...→
"Society in particular benefits from high-tech start-ups" - university survey enters its third round
- Insights ©BIH|Thomas RafalzykInsightsAt the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) the main focus is on "translational research" - the transfer of findings from the research lab into clinical...→
“There are now many great female scientists, achieving great things”
- Insights ©fotografixx - istockphoto.comInsightsIn the digital age learning behaviour changes profoundly. It is student-centered and technology rich. As a member of the Erasmus+ funded project...→
Exploring the future of learning
- Insights © Brain City BerlinInsightsResearch results quickly and easily accessible online: The Open Access movement is campaigning for a paradigm shift in the field of publications and...→
Open Access: free knowledge for everyone
- Insights ©ESCP EUROPEInsights29.10.2019 | Professor Andreas Kaplan is a Brain City Berlin ambassador and Rector of ESCP Europe Business School Berlin. The economist's research is...→
"We have to be able to take everyone on the journey."
- Insights Gudrun Piechotta-HenzeInsightsIn time for the 2020/21 winter semester, ASH, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, is launching the first bachelor's degree to...→
"We have to completely rethink nursing!" | 27.09.2019
- Insights ©Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Matthias HeydeInsightsThe courses offered by the HUWISU Summer University are varied and exciting, the target group is international: students from abroad who come to...→
When Berlin becomes one large seminar room ... | 15.08.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsThe literary scholar Dr. Betiel Wasihun was traveling for science. After stops in Heidelberg, Yale, and Oxford, it brought her to Berlin two years...→
“Berlin is a perfect location. Especially if you don’t want to pursue just a single avenue of scientific work.” | 12.08.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Berlin University Alliance/Matthias HeydeInsightsTogether we are stronger. And also more successful. As the "Berlin University Alliance," the Technische Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität...→
Congratulations: The “Berlin University Alliance“ receives funding of the Excellence Strategy |19.07.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] David Ausserhofer/IGBInsightsBerlin is one of the most water-rich cities in Germany. But climate change does not stop at the Havel, Spree or Wannsee either. Dr. Michael Hupfer is...→
"We're trying to take a look into the future." | 04.07.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Helena Lopes / UnsplashInsightsSend a digital lollipop or delicate fragrance notes via email or let the wind virtually blow against your face - research makes it possible. Learn...→
Experiencing the digital world with all senses | 18.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] HZB/M. SetzpfandtInsightsIn these times of fake news and pseudo-scientific publications, many people find it difficult to distinguish legitimate from dubious content. Only 54%...→
"Science needs to make us curious" | 11.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Tim LandgrafInsightsBrain City Berlin is considered one of the leading locations in Germany working on artificial intelligence. About 30% of all German AI companies are...→
Fish, bees, and self-driving cars | 07.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsScience and cultural heritage, freely accessible to everyone at any time on the Internet: The Open Access movement is promoting a paradigm shift in...→
Knowledge for All - Open Access in Berlin | 28.03.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Thomas Rosenthal - Museum für Naturkunde BerlinInsights660 million euros in 10 years: The Natural History Museum Berlin - Museum für Naturkunde Berlin receives financial support for the further development...→
Future of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin | 14.01.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsSpace exploration is experiencing a revolution thanks to commercialization by such companies as Elon Musk's SpaceX. But did you know that more facets...→
From Berlin to the moon: the space industry is booming in Berlin | 03.09.2018