Valuable contacts: the alumni network
Studying at University of Applied Sciences Europe not only prepares students for professional life, it is also a formative time in their lives. The years spent living and learning at the university and on campus shape everyone individually. This creates a strong sense of solidarity among students. Their shared experience forms the basis for BiTS Alumni e.V., the network of all graduates and students of the UE universities in Iserlohn, Hamburg, and Berlin.
Tim Schneider is a professional basketball player for Alba Berlin. He studied Sport & Event Management while working in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Europe at ALBA Berlin College. We met him for an interview and asked him about his motivation for pursuing a dual degree while remaining an active professional athlete.
Something is always going on at the UE: e.g., semester abroad, internships and departmental projects. Which experience from your first semester at the Alba Berlin College particularly stays with you?
There really is a lot going on already in the first semester. This is naturally demanding, but is also really fun! The variety of topics we worked with in our seminars demonstrated to us from the beginning of the program how multi-faceted the professional prospects are for those with a degree in Sport and Event Management. From my perspective, the best feeling is hearing that you’ve passed your exams.
Students at the UE chose a slogan: “Create your story. Inspire the world.” Which experiences during your studies supported you in pursuing your own totally individual career path and deciding to pursue a dual degree with Alba Berlin College at the UE?
In my situation, I’m employed and I study on the side, so to speak. It’s also clear to me that I can’t work actively as a professional basketball player all the way until retirement. In competitive sports, that’s just the way it is. However, my current job is playing for Alba Berlin, and I would also like to keep my professional focus on basketball later. Therefore, it was very important to me to find an option that allowed me to continue to focus on the sport without dropping out of the organization. When I discovered the option of applying to the UE for Alba Berlin College and combining my career and my studies, it was clear to me: that’s what I want!
What aspect of your studies inspires you?
I am still very happy to have had the chance to study alongside my job. I can completely imagine that this kind of situation is not for everyone. However, our practical work and our classes are compatibly organized. My classmates are also doing a dual-study program, but I am the only one in my semester who is active as a professional player.
Where do you go from here? / What’s your dream? What do you want to accomplish in the next ten years?
I’m still really young, so I think it’s realistic to assume that I’ll still be playing basketball in ten years. I also will have definitely finished my studies by then. With my studies, I’m currently establishing a pathway into the phase of my life after my career as an active professional athlete. However, I can’t say yet what my area of specialization will be.
What tips can you offer prospective students? What should they pay attention to when choosing their area of study?
My recommendation is to choose the field of study that most interests them. Speaking from my own experience, I would even say that the things that best prepare you for the future are the same ones for which you really have a passion. These are definitely different things for differnet people. However, a concrete tip would be: look into your inner self, which hobbies you have, and what interests you in your free time. This way, you can at least consider which steps one has to take to incorporate some of these activities into your professional life. After all, you stick to a job when it’s also fun for you.
In conclusion: describe your studies at the UE and the ALBA Berlin College in three words!
Future, Knowledge, Studies
BiTS Alumni e.V. is the registered association of graduates of the university and serves as the communicative link between students, past and present, and University of Applied Sciences Europe. The association allows members to use their contacts for private and professional purposes, and actively supports the exchange of information and solidarity.
The Career Center forms the bridge between BiTS Alumni e.V. and the university. On the one hand, the Career Center maintains services for graduates even after they have completed their studies and is a point of contact for them when it comes to applying for jobs. On the other hand, the alumni themselves are a link between their employers and the university – mostly in relation to recruiting.
In addition, student coaching by our alumni is supported by the University of Applied Sciences Europe Alumni Mentoring Program, which was set up by the association in conjunction with the Career Center. The aim of the mentoring program is to assign students of the university to mentors. The mentors are mainly university graduates who have an established career and wish to advise and encourage future graduates. The program is open to students of all disciplines. Get-togethers allow both parties to get to know one another, which may lead to tandems between alumni and students. Regional after-work events involving various activities provide an opportunity for non-local alumni to network.
The strong solidarity between the members of BiTS Alumni e.V. is also evident in what the dedicated members offer present students. It is possible for members of BiTS Alumni e.V. to have their references and applications looked over in a simple and convenient process, where association members in an HR and/or recruiting role and with a managerial function check the documents free of charge on a voluntary basis and give feedback in writing or by phone.
More than 70 of our graduates have set up their own firm or are involved in a new start-up. The logical next step for the alumni association is therefore to facilitate a new phase of networking with this group. The Alumni Entrepreneur’s Day brings together founders and those interested in setting up a firm.