Finally, our YUFE Career Track had the opportunity to meet in Brussels.
One of our colleagues from the University of Bremen provides a brief insight into her experience:
After two Zoom Sessions, we finally had the opportunity to meet in person in Brussels in the last week of March. We were located in the most beautiful art deco building and being there together lifted the experience to another level. After two pandemic years, there lies magic in personal encounters. You can talk on Zoom, exchange ideas, share powerpoints – but to get to know one another, bond, discuss and develop something together it requires to be there, in one room, work and then have a coffee and a chat, seeing everybody in 3D and not just in a small tile on the desktop.
We were all from European universities and more or less everybody is concerned with personnel selection and recruitment procedures. Although my job profile is slightly different: My focus is the job-oriented mentoring program for graduates and the consultation of students in their career planning – so when I applied, I was not so sure if this program was for me. But my application was accepted and I am so glad that I was able to participate! The workshop focused strongly on “learning to manage your own career before starting to manage the career of others”. It would have been profitable for a lot of professions – not only HR – and interesting, of course, for everybody who wants to further develop her / his own profile. Many of the formats we had the opportunity to experience were also very suitable for the work with students and graduates.
And we‘ve learned so much more: We are all facing many of the same problems and challenges. To give just some examples: The war for talents, the difficulties due to rules and regulations in public administration (in some countries more than in others), the requirements concerning diversity management and sustainability and many more. Sharing different perspectives, ideas and best practices helped me to reflect on my own situation at work and gave me a deeper understanding of the changes that lie in a European University and the obstacles we will have to overcome to fully realise this project.
The workshop was so well conducted: Input and presentations were always followed by group work and discussions, giving the participants time to explore, reflect and get to know one another. A visit to the European Commission gave us insight into their recruitment processes and in the evenings we had great fun strolling along the town centre, sightseeing and dining together. It was such a great and valuable experience – I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of it.