Alumni Relations Management

Alumni in focus: how do you build a career?

Hinnerk Ehlers (responsible for Marketing, Sales & Personnel, FRoSTA AG) in an interview
Hinnerk Ehlers studied business administration at Kiel University (CAU) and forged his career with major companies like Nestlé and Beiersdorf. He is currently responsible for Marketing, Sales & Personnel at FRoSTA AG. He shared his professional career with students, alumni and interested listeners at the Alumni Career Talks. More tips by CAU alumnus Hinnerk Ehlers on careers can be found here in the blog. read more

Hinnerk Ehlers

How do I get a foot in the door at a company I’m really interested in?

“The best way is via an internship, which increases your chances of being taken on afterwards into a training programme or given a job directly. Networks can be very important here, too, by connecting with people who already work there. These connections always look good later in job applications or interviews.”

Should you ever accept a job just for the money?
“I would never look for a job just to earn money. If you think about what you want to do, you should pursue what you are totally interested in. You spend a lot of time at work and if the main factor is only the money, then that won’t last.” Money follows!

What should you avoid along your career path?
“Moving to a new company if you don’t make any progress. This is OK once or twice, but any more than that and HR will think there might have been repeated problems with internal promotion. But you also shouldn't change your position within a company every year, because then you will never reap what you sow. This is something everyone must go through - flops are part of life and you can learn a lot from them.”

How can I help shape the company’s future?
“Question established processes, in order to improve them. Don't be afraid of addressing certain topics if you notice ways to do it better, or be prepared to contradict someone if you have a valid objection. Other people will thank you for it at the end of the day, even if it might be tough at first.”

Alumni Career Talk

More information about the current Alumni Career Programme can be found here on our website – also have a look at our alumni videos for more tips about studying, starting a job and career planning.

Text: Hannah Hinzmann
Photos: Bevis Nickel