What MPP and MIA students should know about professional development at the Hertie School.
What kinds of career development opportunities are available during your studies at the Hertie School? What options do international students have in Germany after graduating? We get these questions a lot from prospective master’s students, and understandably so! Because after all the hard work of moving to Berlin, completing all your courses, turning in your thesis and exhibiting your master's thesis poster, you may very well be wondering what’s next.
Honing your professional skills in preparation for the job market is an integral part of the Master of International Affairs (MIA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) programmes. Here are three ways in which this is built into their curricula:
- Practice or project course. MIA students take a practice course in international conflict management in their second semester to build up skills such as negotiation, mediation process design, team-building, multilateral conferencing and leadership – in preparation for careers in international organisations. MPP students, on the other hand, take a project course in partnership with a public policy institution. Guided by their professor, the students work in teams on a real-world policy project.
- All MPP and MIA students must take one skills workshop (also known as a Professional Development Course or PDC) per semester in their first year of study. The PDCs on offer vary year to year, but some topics for the fall semester include: Podcasting, design thinking, negotiation, public speaking, professional writing, and an introduction to R (for those interested in data).
- And of course, there’s the mandatory internship. The Hertie School partners with institutions from all three sectors to offer students internship opportunities. But maybe you already have an organisation in mind? If so, you can also organise your own internship. The same goes for the Professional Year, for those interested in gaining work experience for an entire year after your first two semesters in the MIA or MPP programme. Our Career Development team are here to support you throughout the process.
While international students don’t need to know any German in order to pursue our degree programmes or even to thrive in Berlin, having a grasp on even just a little bit of the local language can make your profile more attractive to employers in Germany.
Throughout your studies at the Hertie School, you’ll have several opportunities to learn German as a complete beginner or to improve your skills if you’ve already taken classes before. These include an intensive crash course in German for absolute beginners, partnerships with German language schools (where Hertie students can take classes at a special discount), tandem programmes where you can pair up with German-speaking students using our internal networking platform Hertie Connect, as well as information on other German language-learning resources.
For international students: Extending your stay in Germany to look for a job
When you graduate with a degree from a German university, you’ll become eligible to extend your residence permit in Germany for up to 18 months for the purpose of looking for employment in your field of study. As a student, you may work 120 days full time or 240 days part time (up to 20 hours per week) each year while studying. But once you’ve obtained this residence permit for the purpose of seeking employment, you’re allowed to pursue any occupation to support yourself, including internships, traineeships and freelance work. When you find a full-time position you’d like to accept, you can apply for a work visa for qualified professionals.
Each year, our Career Development team organises a Professional Perspectives networking event series, including panels with former international students who stayed on in Berlin and entered the job market after graduating. Over 95% of our former students have found relevant employment within 12 months after graduating from the Hertie School. Of course, finding a job depends on a variety of factors: your individual interests, language skills, the sector and industry in which you wish to build your career, and relevant experience for a particular role or in a specific field. We cannot recommend enough that you take advantage of the services offered by our Career Development team while you’re studying at the Hertie School – and after you graduate, too!
Curious about what else the career team organises for our students throughout the year? Click here to find out more.