Alumni Relations Management

Alumni in focus: Carolina Gries

From studying Islamic Studies to recruiting at Zalando
How do I find a job that suits me? How do I convince the company with my application and job interview? Carolina Gries (Recruiting Specialist Logistics, Zalando SE) gave her tips on these points on 11 April 2019 at the Junior Alumni Career Talks. She also shared her experiences on studying and finding a job. read more

Carolina Gries talking at JACT Zalando

Studying at Kiel University
Carolina Gries realised that she wanted to work in Human Resources while she was studying Islamic Studies, Educational Science and Sociology at Kiel University. In order to qualify herself for this role, she also attended lectures and seminars that were not part of her curriculum, like Work and Organisational Psychology. She also collected important knowledge for starting work during her studies by completing internships.

How do I find a job that suits me?
If you aren’t sure which direction you want to take after getting your degree, Carolina Gries recommends doing a goal analysis. You can think about questions such as: What am I interested in? Do I already have experience in any areas that could help me make my decision? Would I like to live and work abroad? What kind of job do I see myself in?

Tips for successful applications
“Put yourself in the recruiter’s position when applying for a job and try to explain to him or her why you are just the right person,” advises Carolina Gries. Finding a job is a job unto itself, and thorough preparation for an interview is very important. Questions you should ask yourself include: What exactly does the company do? Which terms or phrases in the job description tell me what the recruiter is looking for in the interview? Which of the skills do I have and which ones am I prepared to learn? And finally: What questions do I have for the recruiter about the job or the company? You should also be well prepared to present yourself. Carolina Gries recommends giving a short pitch about yourself, lasting a few minutes, and practising it with friends or family.

“Stay curious” is not only her employer Zalando SE’s major motto, it is also Carolina Gries’ final piece of advice for those starting out in the world of work. “Be open-minded for new things and keep learning! Invest in yourselves, whether in books, webinars or workshops, because that really will pay off in the short or long term.”

People at JACT Zalando

More information about the current Alumni Career Programme can be found here www.alumni.uni-kiel.de/de/veranstaltungen – also have a look at our alumni videos for more tips about studying, starting a job and career planning (www.alumni.uni-kiel.de/de/videos).

About Zalando
Zalando networks young talent from over 130 nations. With a great deal of passion and real business savvy, in just a few years, our team developed Europe’s leading online platform for fashion from what began in 2008 in Berlin as an online shoe shop. Today, Zalando connects customers, brands and partners in 17 countries, has over 27 million customers and more than 15,500 members of staff.

Text: Hannah Hinzmann
Photos: Bevis Nickel