Studying alongside your job? You can do it!
Our students save lives, care for people in need and make it in renowned companies. All while working 40+ hours a week alongside their studies. Madness! Working full time and studying at the same time is a real challenge. It’s a good thing our students are so flexible: they get to study in a way that fits their everyday life.
Online student in Social Work
Recent years prompted me to rethink my life for various reasons and after long discussions with my wife and children, I decided to make a fresh start. I decided to pursue my distance learning on a part-time basis. And I now have a new job in a facility for the resocialisation of released prisoners and others in need of help.
After finishing school, I started training as a nurse, which I later traded in for training as a paramedic. I worked in the ambulance service for ten years, then came the first break in my working life: I applied to the professional fire brigade in Erfurt, passed the aptitude tests and was hired. This was followed by almost 20 exciting, thrilling and also exhausting years – with colleagues who could always be relied on.
Due to my experience with voluntary work, e.g. as a guardian or for student exchange programmes, my choice fell on a study programme focussing on Social Work. I don't have a university entrance qualification and have never studied, so I gained admission to the university through my education and work experience. Since I work full-time, I decided to study part-time in 8 semesters. For me, however, it was absolutely the right decision and I would make it again at any time. From my experience, I can only advise anyone who is considering starting a study programme to do so. Take a risk, it's definitely worth it – and age only plays a minor role.
Since 1 June, I have been working full-time in a facility for the re-socialisation of prisoners who have been released and others in need of help. My new employer knows about my studies, of course, because they were one of the reasons I was hired, and they support me, for example, in organising my work schedule during learning or exam periods. I also receive full support and motivation from my new colleagues and, first and foremost, from my family. My children's experiences with their studies are particularly helpful – thanks to them, I always have competent "study advice".
Online student in Social Work
Besides my job for the charitable association Caritas, where I run the emergency assistance operation for Augsburg's main railway station together with my colleagues from Diakonie, I am in my sixth semester. I am grateful for the high degree of flexibility in studying, especially in terms of online exams: I can take my exam in the middle of the night if I feel ready.
My name is Sonja, I am 42 years old and have three children. I also work for the charitable association Caritas and am in my sixth semester of my study programme in Social Work at IU.
The charitable programme known as "Bahnhofsmission" provides coffee, tea and food to the homeless, the poor, drug addicts and anyone else who needs help. We are a kind of "warming room" where everyone is welcome and where we have between 20 and 60 guests per day. In addition, we provide transfer assistance for the elderly, the sick and children on the station premises.
Besides work, I am studying Social Work (B.A.) in my sixth semester at IU. I am grateful for the high degree of flexibility in studying, especially in terms of online exams: I can take my exam in the middle of the night if I feel ready. But to be honest, I am very much reaching my limits in the current situation. So far, I have only managed to balance work, home-schooling and studying through a lot of discipline and a meticulous schedule. I manage by letting things go, trying to stay loose and grateful, and regularly recharging my batteries.
I try to stay grateful; this is because, in my professional context, I have met so many great people who are worse off than me. People who are in need through no fault of their own. I think it is our responsibility to help these people even in extreme times. With this attitude, I am gladly and proudly a human being.
Free trial? Let’s go!
You can try out your study programme for four weeks – no commitment. The fees for this period only apply if you decide to continue your studies with us.
Simply register online for your desired programme.
Your digital lecture hall: always by your side
Follow the urge for adventure, travel to foreign countries: Many of us just do it, some have it firmly on their agenda. If it weren't for professional ambitions. But how do you breeze around the world and advance your career at the same time? Some of our students have taken the plunge: With the lecture hall in their luggage, they learn on lonely Caribbean beaches, under the Mediterranean sun or on a road trip through the vastness of Canada. No problem!
Online student in business psychology
We are currently travelling through California. So it is and remains an exciting journey – and my IU distance learning are always along for the ride. My magic word: Routine. After I finish my morning routine, I always sit down at my desk and start learning with the Pomodoro technique, a productivity and time management method based on working in small intervals.
After catching up on my A-levels, I decided to study Communication Design at a university in Mainz. Shortly afterwards, some things happened and I was suddenly faced with a big decision: Study or go travelling with my boyfriend? As you can imagine, I initially opted for the latter. That meant packing our bags and setting off to Greece on my boyfriend’s sailboat. Let the adventures begin!
Just under two years ago, there was only one university that offered its courses completely online: IU. When I started to explore the website, I came across their new subject, “Business Psychology”, which was not due to start for a few months. I took a closer look at the contents and was thrilled! I realised straight away that I absolutely had to study this subject – it was like a source of heavenly inspiration that guided me to IU and the subject of Business Psychology.
After some turbulent situations on the boat, my boyfriend and I decided to sell it and build a camper truck. From the thought to the deed in no time at all! The next destination we wanted to travel to with our new camper was Canada. We spent several months here. Recently, however, we moved to America for the first time: We are currently travelling through California. And so it is and remains an exciting journey – and my IU online study programme is always along for the ride.
Online student in Digital Business
What I particularly like about Panama is the sea and the beach. Getting up in the morning, seeing the sun and walking on the beach – I couldn't ask for anything better! I am grateful that, through IU, I got the chance to further my education and at the same time realise my dream of living in Panama
My name is Alexandra, I am 21 years old and come from Zurich. After graduating from school, I was drawn to faraway places and went travelling for a year. I really wanted to learn Spanish and found a "travelling Spanish classroom" in Panama. I worked in a hostel and quickly got to know many people. Among them is my current boyfriend Kelvin. We fell head over heels in love. He showed me the side of Panama that not every tourist gets to see: small, unknown beaches, islands, fishing and diving – and, of course, he taught me how to surf!
After this unforgettable time, I returned to my family in Switzerland. I quickly realised that I had to go back to Panama. I didn't like studying in Switzerland all the time either, as I was mainly interested in digital marketing and the University of Zurich only offered a few electives in this area. This fact, combined with my own wanderlust, made me start looking for an alternative distance or online study programme.
When I came across IU and saw that you can complete your studies entirely online, I was thrilled! I found the study programme Digital Business with a focus on digital marketing – "Jackpot!", I thought to myself! As a "digital child", I am fascinated by how many possibilities there are today thanks to the Internet and digitalisation. And so I enrolled and went back to Santa Catalina with Kelvin.
What I find so great about distance learning with IU? It is actually 100 per cent flexible! Kelvin and I just spent two months in Bali and Lombok and I was perfectly able to continue studying from there. As I am not bound by a timetable or similar constraints, I can gain valuable experience along the way – both personally and professionally. I am currently doing a three-month online internship in SEO. My dream is to start my own marketing agency one day.
Online student in Nutritional Sciences
I currently live and study in Priština, the capital of Kosovo. Since I travel a lot, all over Kosovo and Albania, my distance learning are always with me. I like the simplicity in things and the way of life, the peace and serenity of this region and its inhabitants. Here I find the seclusion and time I need for my studies
I currently live and study in Priština, the capital of Kosovo. Since I travel a lot, all over Kosovo and Albania, my distance learning are always with me. My official start date was September 2020, but I had already started to familiarise myself with relevant learning topics.
I like the simplicity in things and the way of life, the peace and serenity of this region and its inhabitants. Here I find the seclusion and time I need for my studies. I take every opportunity to learn. I love learning outside in the wild, almost untouched nature with natural gardens and the vastness and beauty of the landscapes, in the meadow between cows or high up on a mountain. The fact that I travel a lot is not a problem at all at IU. This is because I can be (and remain) flexible to the max.
The online study programme at IU brings me many advantages: As a mother of three small children who is often on the road, it would not even be possible for me to do a face-to-face course. At IU, I study when and where I want and pursue my professional goals. At the same time, I can respond to the needs of my family. My experience so far has been entirely positive. The services they offer are very good. For example, you always have a contact person you can turn to. You also always get an answer very quickly and a simple, uncomplicated solution to your problem. Everything is explained in detail and you are not left alone with your concerns: I think that's just great!
You want more exciting stories?
Let yourself be inspired by the successes of our distance learning students and alumni.
First story time, then the online seminar. No problem.
Parenthood turns our everyday lives upside down, no question about it. And yet! Even with children, we can take new paths in life. Studying online is a chance for many of our student parents to develop their skills. Between changing nappies, sandpit sessions and Pippi Longstocking readings, it's not so bad studying ...
Online student in Health Management
I decided to study online because I wanted to develop professionally and at the same time have enough time for my family and job. It was important to me to be completely flexible and not tied to the lecture times of a university. This is because, as a mother, you have to expect surprises and a restructuring of everyday life at any time.
I am 26 years old, married and a happy mother of two wonderful children (one and two years old). I study Health Management via my IU online study programme and work part-time as a medical assistant. The Health Management study programme excites me because the health sector is an important area in our society where you can work in many different ways and get to know many different people. In addition, I want to make my contribution, for example, to process and structural changes in the future of the health care system.
As my children now go to nursery, I can work 15 hours a week as a medical assistant. My working hours are mostly limited to Monday and Tuesday, so the mornings from Wednesday to Friday are firmly blocked for my studies and homework. In the evenings, I also use the time when the children are asleep and try to sit down for one or two hours to study. My learning strategy is to summarise each script first to get an overview of the content. I then go through these summaries again and again and transfer them in an abbreviated version to the Brainyoo flashcards app. The app is perfect for reviewing the material in between lessons, e.g. during the lunch break.
At the weekend, it's family time – we like to be out and about with the children. If the children are also at home during the week, e.g. due to illness, I have to completely restructure, of course. In such cases, our family helps us out, which is worth a lot and makes things easier. I now only sit my exams online and mainly when the children are in bed.
With all the everyday madness, the most important thing is probably to find the right balance between studies, family and time for yourself. It also takes a lot of self-discipline to really sit down and do something for your studies. I have found fellow students on various social media websites with whom I can exchange ideas. This exchange helps me a lot, because you can also have a moan at times without being reproached. We chose this path ourselves and sometimes have a lot on our plate – so it's good to be able to let off steam with fellow students and get a lot of understanding, love and motivating words back.
Online student in Business Administration
It's not always easy to reconcile family, studies and work. But good planning and the flexibility afforded by IU make it possible. When learning, I myself use the classic flashcard, which I always have with me. So it can also be the case that I study for ten minutes in the open-air swimming pool while the kids are eating an ice cream, or in the waiting room at the paediatrician's while my child plays with building blocks
My name is Selina, I am 31 years old, a mother of three small children (two, three and five years old) and I study Business Administration as an online study programme at IU. After gaining my university entrance qualification in 2007, I wanted to start earning money and, after 13 years of school, I didn't feel like learning any more. Fortunately, that didn't last too long: After my shortened vocational training as a car saleswoman, I took the trainer aptitude test and completed the Business Management course at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce while working. But my desire to study Business Administration never really left me. And so, last year, I spontaneously decided to tackle it head on, and I haven't regretted that decision to this day!
It's not always easy to balance family, studies and work (we have our own paint shop where I do the bookkeeping). But good planning and the flexibility afforded by IU make it possible. My learning phases are completely limited to the evening, when the children are in bed. I only work on one module at a time, complete it and only then start the next one. When learning, I myself use the classic flashcard, which I always have with me. So it can also be the case that I study for ten minutes in the open-air swimming pool while the kids are eating an ice cream, or in the waiting room at the paediatrician's while my child is playing with building blocks.
For sharing and learning, I also really appreciate the individual learning groups via WhatsApp, which always get together via the IU Facebook group. I wouldn't want to miss the people I've already met there.
I usually sit my exams on the days when I am on site. During this time, I can thankfully fall back on the help of my family and godmother, who look after my children for so long.
I think, especially as a woman and mother, it is important nowadays to remain independent and to set an example to your own children that you also want to continue your education as a mum, and thus be a role model for them. I will have to work for at least 35 more years in my life and, for that time, I would like to do a job that I enjoy, that challenges me and that, of course, pays me accordingly. That's why the online study programme in Business Administration is just right for me.
Online student in Social Work
I want to reach people, make a difference, pass something on. Being considerate of others' needs and natural boundaries, building a secure bond with people and allowing closeness – that's what I wish for the world! I am sure that an online study programme is exactly the right way to further qualify myself in the educational and social field and not neglect my family in the process.
As a qualified day care worker, specialist in early education, parent-child course leader and mother of three, I see and feel this every day: Shaping and nurturing relationships should be the central theme of our time. To be considerate of others' needs and natural boundaries, to build a secure bond with people and to allow proximity – that's what I wish for the world!
As early as 2011, I toyed with the idea of taking up a degree in the social sciences and started a part-time job in full-time inpatient youth care while I was still training to be a nurse. There I quickly realised that working with children and young people – and especially with their parents – is something I really enjoy. Over time, I became more and more aware: I want to reach people, make a difference, pass something on. And so, after successfully completing my exams, I started working full-time at the children's and youth centre in a fully inpatient mother-child group. Since this work kept me busy and satisfied at the time, I postponed my desire to study for the time being. However, further education and training were important to me, and so, in 2013, I completed my additional qualification as a DELFI course leader.
Taking responsibility, as well as supporting and guiding people, have been fun since day one and fill me with satisfaction and pride. The thought of the great responsibility I would have in a leadership position ultimately led to the decision to apply for a place at IU. I already partly fulfilled my dream of working independently as a kind of manager when I started working part-time as a qualified child day care worker and specialist for early education in 2015 and became self-employed during parental leave with my second son. However, combining my work with studies at IU still seems to me to be the optimal career step towards a leadership position.
In the meantime, I am now responsible for my own family of five, as well as for the seven families of my day care children. I take this responsibility just as seriously as I take my ambition to develop professionally and achieve higher career goals. I am sure that pursuing distance learning is exactly the right way to further qualify myself in the educational and social field and not to neglect "my" families in the process. In all the years of my education and professional activity, I have continuously educated myself alongside my family life or acquired missing knowledge within the scope of my own responsibility. Therefore, I am sure that I can cope very well with the workload associated with self-study. My tips for success: Create free space, consciously perceive and avoid stressors, plan and prepare well – and, above all: say goodbye to perfectionism and set priorities.
You are unique. We promote what makes you stand out.
Women's power and the courage to be "different"! That is what we stand for. With our "Women in Tech" scholarship and "Diversity Charter", we stand up for inclusion, integration and emancipation and promote a prejudice-free corporate culture. That is why we award scholarships exclusively to women in technology-oriented online study programmes. And our students prove every day anew that women can do technology.
Online student pursuing a Master of Business Administration
I'm Lisanne, 26 years old, and I live, work and study on the water – on a German inland vessel to be precise. On board, studying for an MBA works out wonderfully for me, as I can organise my time relatively freely and, alongside my practical training on the ship or running household needs, I can pursue my job as ship's wife/matron and head of the galley.
I'm Lisanne, 26 years old and I live, work and study on the water – on a German inland vessel to be precise. We use it to travel on European rivers and waterways and transport all kinds of bulk goods, in large quantities. We mainly sail the Rhine, the Necker, the Moselle, the Main and the West German canals. How did this come to be? A good three years ago, I started my own business with my boyfriend, who is a captain, and we bought our own ship. It is 105 metres long, 11 metres wide and we can transport up to 2,640 tonnes of cargo with it. So much for the key data of our travelling home.
We live and work here together, and we share the daily routine. My boyfriend does everything around the ship, plans the routes and keeps an eye on the finances or the ship's operation. My tasks are to learn everything that is important on the ship and the office activities. Here I am responsible for many things, e.g. human resources, accounting and all other business processes. This is another reason why I started my Master online study in Business Administration on a part-time basis at IU in 2019. It suits me perfectly because I am mainly involved on board our ship and still have the opportunity to study and acquire new knowledge. The courses offered by the MBA also fit perfectly into our everyday entrepreneurial life. I learn a lot of things anew or look at them from different angles. This way, I can underpin my everyday professional life with theoretical, evidence-based knowledge, which I really enjoy, and it gives me self-confidence in a professional environment that is very male-dominated.
I’ve completed a course of study during my time on board before, doing my Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences. Today, on board, studying for an MBA works out wonderfully for me, as I can organise my time relatively freely and, in addition to my practical training on the ship or running other day-to-day aspects, I can pursue my job as ship's wife/matron and head of the galley. It's also great that I can take my exams online at any time. We don't have to create anything extra for that. Without distance learning, it would not be possible for me to study because I don't want to jump ship to attend university or college. Thanks to IU, I can combine everything, develop both practically and theoretically and, of course, realise my true potential.
Partial scholarship holder „Women in Tech“ in architecture
No matter where you come from, where you live or how much you earn: Education should be accessible to all. I am Yasodara, originally from Sri Lanka and I live in the countryside in Austria. I have been studying architecture in the Bachelor's programme since February 2020. Through my distance learning at IU, I can finally live my dream.
When I was one year old, my family and I moved to Austria. I was given the chance to grow up in a trilingual setting in Graz. In my final years at school, I met my life partner and we moved to the country together. Unfortunately, there are no universities in the vicinity of the nearest largest cities – Vienna and Graz – that would be suitable options for me. For years I worked in fashion and sports retail in management, but my passion was always to work as an interior designer. Since I was sure that I wanted to study, I considered studying Architecture online. But at that time, this did not yet exist in the German-speaking world.
Last year, IU announced that the online study programme in Architecture would be starting in 2020. As a career changer, I was thrilled. Because I can learn – no matter when, where, how or with whom – independent of time and place and sit an online exam at any time. Architecture is not an easy subject. There is daily drawing and I have many tasks, but it is a lot of fun. It is especially important to me that I can always choose when I study. Besides work, this is a huge advantage. This flexibility in terms of time and place gives me much more energy, as I don't have to leave in the morning to sit in a lecture. Pursuing distance learning gives me more time for myself and my hobbies. I have almost finished my first semester, sat exams and will also soon have completed my first project.
As a young woman born in Sri Lanka and now living in Austria, I wanted to make something of my life and live my professional dream. I want to work in a technical and creative capacity in a field related to computers and software. Through my Women in Tech partial scholarship at IU ,I now have the opportunity to be one of the ambitious women making their way in tech. I met many new fellow students from Germany. This has already led to the development of a few friendships and I am sure that I will meet some of my fellow students in real life. Overall, I am very happy that I chose IU and can finally live my study dream.
Full scholarship holder "Women in Tech" in Business Informatics
I came across the scholarship and it was clear to me: If they accept me, I could quit without having to deal with the extra financial burden. I also believe that the gender balance in tech should be more even – and I want to be a part of that movement. It doesn't take any extraordinary qualities to be a successful "Women in Tech" – just a little effort.
After checking on the homepage as to whether I was eligible for the Master's programme, I only had to provide a few details. Shortly afterwards, I received a link to an app that asked me to answer three questions within 45 seconds via video. It took me a few tries at the beginning, but towards the end the answers ran quite smoothly. A short time later, an IU coordinator called me and congratulated me on the full scholarship. I was so happy!
From podcasts to books to videos and tutorials, it's all there. I think it's great how directly you connect with tutors and coaches and how much support you get on hand. At the beginning it took me a while to explore everything, but now I'm well and truly in it. I can study and sit exams when and where I want. That is extremely important to me.
In the future, I want to act as a mediator between companies and start-ups. To do this, I want to have a sound understanding of the needs of corporates and the technologies of start-ups, in order to bring both parties together and help them grow or increase efficiency. In the short term, I would like to gain experience in a tech company and expand my digital marketing expertise through product development and go-to-market strategies in order to get closer to my goal – together with my studies.
I believe that men and women should find ways to use their personal traits to the best of their respective projects – without having to force themselves in the process. I am confident that, in the near future, it won't make any difference what gender you are as long as you do a good job and have good ideas. It will probably take a while until then. Therefore, programmes like "Women in Tech" are necessary and helpful. It doesn't take any extraordinary qualities to be a successful "Women in Tech" – just a little effort: A bit of courage to try something new and open your mouth, a pinch of humour to get along with techies and alpha dogs. In the end, it doesn't hurt to always be a little smarter and better prepared than everyone else in the room.
Equal opportunities for all.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been in force since 2008 – ratified by several states, it is a historic milestone. Enabling people with disabilities to have equal professional opportunities is our goal. Studying 100% digitally is simply a lot more accessible. Let our students tell you about inclusion efforts at IU.
Online student in Social Work
I am Felicia and I suffer from a rare genetic defect called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, with symptoms like massive joint pain and difficulty with certain movements. Especially because the effects of my health problems fluctuate, the possibility of being able to sit an exam within the next 24 hours is extremely valuable and relieving for me. There is even an inclusion and diversity course at IU.
There are phases in which I can manage my everyday life better than usual – but, unfortunately, these phases are always limited in time. The relapses or dislocations often come unexpectedly and spontaneously, so that I cannot follow a regular daily routine. So a classical on-site study setup is not a viable option for me.
My studies at IU allow me to study at my pace and according to my state of health. Missed appointments are not a problem as everything is recorded. The support provided by tutors or the Student Registrar’s Office is also completely hassle-free. Especially because the effects of my health problems fluctuate, the possibility of being able to sit an exam within the next 24 hours is extremely valuable and relieving for me. This way, there is no pressure to be healthy enough to take an exam at a certain date in the future.
I always study when I am well enough and try to invest at least ten minutes every day. I also use waiting times with doctors and therapists to watch recorded tutorials or podcasts on the university iPad. Provided I am well enough, I also use the free time during hospital stays to study the scripts or make progress with lesson quizzes. The fact that all content is available as a hard copy script, but also digitally, means that you always have the opportunity to do something for your studies.
There is – besides the great support at various contact points – a course for inclusion and diversity at the IU. The exchange with other students with health restrictions is a massive help for me against the feeling of being alone with the amount of study content. The fact that IU has an inclusion officer also helps me to manage my studies without stress – because I know who to contact in case of problems. My personal mantra for studying: Everyone studies at their own pace and that's fine. If days or weeks go by without learning, it's ok. As long as you can pick yourself up again at some point to move on. A regular process of exchange with others also helps not to lose motivation. So: Don't be put off by any means!
Online student in Business Administration
"Know your enemies" – multiple sclerosis is the name of my enemy and we have already fought a battle or two. But it's clear to me that the only thing I'll be holding up at some point is not a white flag, but my Bachelor's thesis! The distance learning programme at IU fits my needs perfectly because of its flexibility.
I got MS very early, at 18, and – what can I say – I didn't have the strength I have now to pursue my goal when I started. Being blind in one eye, having no control over my arm, no sense of balance and a useless leg, among other things, have always thrown a spanner in the works for me in recent years. But having a goal gives me the strength I need to manage my life with MS.
I would say that, because of its flexibility, distance learning at IU adapt perfectly to my needs and provide an important link between my life and my disease. My progress in my studies proves that, despite my handicap, I don't have to do without anything and can be a good role model for my two young children. Because the world is full of possibilities, with or without a disability!
Online student in Social Work
I have been visually impaired since early childhood due to a rheumatic disease and blind since the age of 15. Studying online is an ideal alternative, especially for people with impairments and chronic illnesses: Learning phases, breaks and learning workload can be arranged freely and according to individual needs.
Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! My name is Dennis and I live in the beautiful city of Hamburg. Since January 2019, I have been studying Social Work at IU in the Bachelor's programme. Due to the recognition of various previous achievements, I am already in my last semester, and so I plan to graduate in spring 2020.
I have been visually impaired since early childhood due to a rheumatic disease and blind since the age of 15. However, I by no means see "nothing" or "simply black" as many people seem to think, but still have a small visual acuity of less than 2% in my right eye. With appropriate magnification, contrast settings and blind-specific aids, I am perfectly capable of using the remaining visual potential. Since December 2018, my guide dog Quincy has also been accompanying me through life and making it easier for me to cope on a day-to-day basis.
After my initial training as a physiotherapist and graduation from technical college, I started studying psychology at a university. Unfortunately, I soon found out that the university was not as accepting and supportive as I needed and wanted because of my impairment.
After some initial hesitation, I contacted IU and immediately decided to take part in a four-week trial programme. And so I was able to put the IU online study programme through its paces in terms of its compatibility and accessibility. I was overwhelmed by the study concept, the multimedia learning formats and the possibility of being able to complete the study programme, including exams, 100% online. In my opinion, these facts – coupled with the high degree of flexibility and free time management approach – offer exactly the accessibility that blind and visually impaired students need.
Many have done it. Are you also ready for the next step?
No matter what you want to achieve in life, your IU online study programme will support you.
Let the success stories of our alumni inspire you!
The IU online study programme was a career boost for our graduates. Today, they work for renowned companies or have set up their own businesses. So this is how you make your dreams come true!
Bachelor graduate in Social Work
In the voluntary online counselling for young people at "Beratung4Kids", I specialised in counselling girls and young women. That’s how I discovered my interest in working with women and got involved with feminist counselling. I finally managed to change to an autonomous women's shelter in the role of a social educational specialist through my studies.
When I learned about the possibility of studying Social Work in an online study format, it was clear to me that the time had come for a change of direction: After my training as an office communications clerk, I worked for eight years as a commercial employee in a medium-sized company. I worked there mainly in Human Resources Development. Already at the end of my vocational education, the desire to pursue a profession in the social sciences developed. Over the years, I also became increasingly more aware that a 9-to-5 office job does not fulfil me. Besides my job in Human Resources Management, I got to know the social sector better through volunteering. The IU online study programme finally gave me the opportunity to start my desired study programme in Social Work and still enjoy the financial security from my job. As a mother of two children, an important aspect for me was to be able to stay in my old job for the time being while studying.
However, since I was still working in Human Resources, it was particularly important for me to gain some initial practical experience in the social sector and especially in counselling work while I was still studying. In my voluntary online counselling role for young people at "Beratung4Kids" I have specialised in counselling girls and young women. There, I also discovered an interest in working with women for myself and got involved with feminist counselling. I finally managed to change to an autonomous women's shelter in the role of a social educational specialist through my studies: In the Social Work online study programme, an internship is required to obtain state recognition as a social educational specialist. Through my experience in voluntary work, I had the desire to also complete my internship in work with women, preferably in feminist women’s counselling. That's why I applied to an autonomous women's shelter and was lucky enough to be offered a job during my internship.
My primary task as a social educational specialist now lies in accompanying and counselling women who are affected by violence. We work according to the principle of helping people to help themselves. The approach in counselling in autonomous women's shelter work is to activate and strengthen the woman's own resources and to support her autonomy and, if necessary, her practical steps. What fascinates me about my profession is that I can play a small part in counteracting the violence of patriarchal society.
Balancing family, children and studies was very exhausting at times. But I always had the goal in mind to make the industry change. That motivated me. In addition, the flexible study programme at IU helped me to juggle everything. I was able to complete my assignments and sit exams when everyone at home was asleep. For my current job, the modules from my studies at IU, which gave me an understanding of the methods, instruments and frameworks of social work, are still useful to me. The online study programme also taught me to work independently and to manage my own resources well. This is very beneficial to me in social work. This is also the reason why I would recommend studying at IU: The high degree of flexibility that hardly any other university offers.
Bachelor graduate in Business Administration
At Microsoft, I am now mainly responsible for the onboarding of new employees in Germany – which means I have the honour of inspiring the new "Microsofties" with our great company values and culture from day one. The fact that I was able to switch from the tourism industry to the HR sector is also thanks to my business studies.
The end of my vocational training as a travel agent was also a clear signal for me – because I quickly realised that I still wanted to study. So I successfully completed my business administration certificate alongside my job in a DER travel agency in Schweinfurt and thus qualified for university studies. Online learning was ideal for me, as I really wanted to stay in the job. The programme at IU gave me the flexibility I needed to do this. During my studies, this became even more important because I was promoted to the position of Office Manager of my travel agency and had to balance a responsible job – often a 6-day week – plus studies, partner, family and friends.
A great motivation in stressful phases was my own wanderlust, in addition to my regular jogging training. When I was planning my next holiday trip, I always had this in mind and I would say to myself: Now you have to get going – the next holiday is coming soon! But I also owe my success in my studies to the network I established at IU. I was lucky enough to meet seven great fellow students at an IU weekend in Bad Honnef soon after starting my studies. We motivated and supported each other – former "fellow students" are really good friends today.
At the end of my studies in November 2017, I felt ready for a new challenge – and found it at MSC Cruises, where I was responsible for the company's sales partners in Southwest Germany as Sales Manager. I came across my current job at Microsoft on a visit to a careers fair in 2018. I immediately found the company exciting and decided to apply. And was successful: After three selection rounds, I had the job.
At Microsoft, I am now mainly responsible for the onboarding of new employees in Germany – which means I have the honour of inspiring the new "Microsofties" with our great corporate values and culture from day one. I also have my Business Administration degree to thank for the fact that I was able to move from the tourism industry to HR: Using comprehensive theoretical knowledge, I can easily deal with activities in a range of different areas and can think outside of the box of my subject. This way, I can stay true to my personal goal: To pass on my knowledge to others and never stand still.
Bachelor graduate in Business Law
“I’ll never make it!” This sentence kept going through my head in 2017, when I was in the middle of my studies alongside organising my wedding, children and job. Thanks to good organisation, the necessary self-discipline and the support of my family, I successfully completed my studies. Today, I'm a Human Resources Management specialist at BMW – a great job that I got not least because of my degree.
“I’ll never make it!” This sentence kept going through my head in 2017, when I was in the middle of a distance learning course in business law, alongside my wedding, children and job. I had started studying in 2014, shortly before my promotion to HR Manager at the transport company agilis. Three years later, I still had three exams, a term paper and the Bachelor's thesis ahead of me – quite a mountain of work. But thanks to good organisation, the necessary self-discipline and the support of my family, I successfully completed my studies. Today, I'm a Human Resources Management Specialist at BMW – a great job that I got not least because of my degree. I currently look after around 1,000 employees, advise professional and managerial staff on all employment law issues and support the department in personnel-related matters.
I have always been driven by the desire to develop myself. After my vocational training as a specialist in the hotel industry at the Steigenberger Akademie Bad Reichenhall, I knew that my future would lie in HR. I started as an HR Administrator at the Maritim Hotel in Cologne, and after five and a half years I was Deputy HR Manager there. When my husband moved to Regensburg for work, I switched to the transport company agilis, where I went on to completely rebuild the HR Department of the newly founded company, initially as an HR Officer. Due to the rapid growth of the company – we hired around 400 employees between 2010 and 2016 alone – the HR Department grew and they promoted me to HR Manager due to my outstanding performance.
During my time at agilis, I decided to study Business Law on a distance learning basis because I wanted to further expand my knowledge in the areas of employment law and general law. In the course of my studies, I got married and had twins. While I was still on parental leave, I completed my studies and applied to BMW – with success. The fact that I was able to prevail over a large number of applicants was due to my many years of experience in all areas of HR work and my personality, as well as the fact that I had a Bachelor's degree. Anyone who needs even more reasons to study at IU on an online study basis: The tremendous flexibility offered by the study programme, the great study material that allows you to learn independently, and the short response times from the university administration body and lecturers when a question arises – all very helpful. This ensures you enjoy the optimal conditions for successfully completing your studies – even with a job and children.
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