Can I apply for IES after the MSc?

Career

Carolin J. Werner, where and what are you working at the moment?

In August I started a position at the NGO International Justice Mission in Berlin. It is the largest human rights organization fighting modern slavery and has developed a sustainable approach to combating violence against people living in poverty. The organization's headquarters are in Washington, D.C. and the Berlin partner office has only existed for 3 years. I am responsible for mobilizing and looking after volunteers. This includes, among other things, the care of over 300 volunteers, whom we call ambassadors. I train new ambassadors 5 times a year who support us as an organization in the modern movement to abolish slavery and human trafficking. Furthermore, I travel across Germany and try to mobilize more people for our movement. The main focus of the Berlin office is on awareness-raising and advocacy in politics. In addition, we generate donations for the work on site in the countries of assignment such as India, Thailand, Philippines, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and many more.

When did you graduate from IES?

I started my bachelor's degree in October 2010 and completed it in May 2014.
Before my semester abroad in the 5th semester in Canada, I chose the cultural-historical focus with an Eastern European focus. After my semester abroad, I added more semesters to focus on political science and to do some internships.

What did you do after the BA?

After my bachelor's degree, I started my master’s degree in political science at the University of Bremen and will submit my master’s thesis in March 2017. In addition to my studies, I started a part-time position at the headquarters of KAEFER Isolation Technology and worked there in the department for international communication, marketing and social responsibility until I changed jobs.

What do you recommend to new students?

First of all, I would say, don't let yourself be driven crazy J When I started my studies, I wasn't sure what my goal was with this degree. I liked the program of the degree because it was so diverse, which was perfect for me because I didn't know what I would like to do one day. I just got back from my year abroad in South America and started out quite naively. I didn't even really know what NGOs were, or didn't know that they were called that. In addition, I have acquired a dictionary for sociological terms, as otherwise I would probably have been in a fix.
I would recommend taking the first 3 semesters of study more slowly and not trying to get everything under one roof right off the bat. If you don't want to continue studying like I did, you should start thinking about your own goals after the third semester at the latest. It makes sense to consider whether and which master you would like to do, if necessary, so that you choose the right seminars to meet the study requirements - in other words, to be able to show enough credit points in the respective focus areas.

The most important thing during your studies are various internships, part-time jobs and volunteer work. Of course, your university diploma is also important for later applications, but in my experience, job references and internship references are even more important. So my tip: try to look for a part-time job from which you not only benefit financially, but also in terms of content and maybe use the semester break not only for traveling, but also for one or the other internship.