"Spice up your career!"

On 9 May, 2017 cfaed’s first CAREER SYMPOSIUM took place and resulted in interactive bonding sessions, interesting career talks by professionals from in and outside academia as well as individual interviews with company representatives.

“The variety of individual ways to develop one's career as a researcher which has been presented as personal experiences in different career environments such as start-ups, large-sized company or academia has been excellent”, says Dr. Stephanie Rohac. Together with Prof. Rolf Koerber who gave insights in how to become a leading personality, she opened the symposium with an interactive presentation on how to enhance your visibility throughout your scientific community.

“With this event, we implemented a new emerging format which was made available to international MINT students and postdocs. Other than at the typical bonding fairs, the participants were able to get in contact with each other, meet at individual interview areas, ask questions they would never ask in job interviews and do some networking with their scientific community”, says Karl Leo, cfaed’s Career Development Director.

Additionally to the talks, the participants got the chance to take professional application photos, have their application documents checked or talk to the university Welcome Center about legal issues that come with a job in Germany. The whole event took place in English language, which made it attractive, both to the international students and to the participating companies, amongst others Agilion GmbH, Globalfoundries, Infineon Technologies and HighTech Startbahn e.V.

Also, a non-university location was chosen – the INNSIDE Melia hotel in the city center provided the perfect frame for this format. The main focus within this year’s event was to emphasize and focus on personal strengths and competencies.

What makes me happy? What motivates me in my everyday work? That’s also how the name “Spice up your career” came up – find the chili in your individual career, that one extra spice that makes your dish so special. Prof. Karl Leo further emphasizes that in his own early career, “such career development programs were virtually unknown.”

Together with his cfaed board members, he supported the idea of such a format that has been raised by the cluster’s cfaed Career Development Managers from the very beginning. “The event was a big success. The concept was great, the realization was very professional and the companies’ feedback was overwhelming!”, confirms cluster coordinator Prof. Gerhard Fettweis. “We are making strong efforts in continuing with our graduate program and maybe we can have another event of this kind coming up again.”

Please find here some impressions.


About us

Career Development plays a very important role at cfaed. Cfaed has developed an exemplary, structured program with the purpose of supporting and guiding young scientists throughout their scientific career. Common practice in industry, we want to further establish our program as a standard tool in order to prepare our scientists for ambitious careers in and outside academia.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!