During my studies in Switzerland (and even before), I have always worked somewhere – mostly in typical student jobs. For example, I was a waitress in a restaurant and after that I worked in a supermarket.
For me it was always a given to earn my own money and to be able to spend or save it in the way I want to. I never wanted to depend fully on my parents and working besides my studies has always been a good diversion from my daily student life (which consists mostly of reading and listening to professors…). Besides, gaining insight into working life is a great experience!
Before arriving in Germany, of course I had to quit my job in a supermarket and was quite happy about that – I have worked there for four years and already knew for a long time that it was time for a change. At the same time, I was sad because I knew or – better said – I thought I wouldn’t be able to work in Germany. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough time to work, but my schedule turned to be not so busy, so I asked the Erasmus coordinator here in Germany if there was a possibility to work and luckily there was. From Switzerland, I started looking for student jobs online and immediately found a lot of job advertisements. I applied for an administration job in Human Resources because I am very interested in that field and will be working in it as soon as I am back in Switzerland. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job because they were looking for someone who could stay there longer than just one semester. I continued to look for a job and found an advertisement from a catering company which was searching for students. I applied for the job and got a call from an office worker at the company right after I sent my application. The woman told me that she had already checked my application and thought that I was suitable for the job since I had already worked as a waitress before. She also said that I could start working upon my arrival in Germany.
On the third or fourth day after my arrival in Germany, I had already completed my first day of work, where we catered for an afternoon summer school event. They were provided with food and drinks and I mostly had to clear the tables. The next event was completely different because it was a 70th birthday party in the evening where I had to serve people at their tables. And so the events continue to be different every time, which never makes work boring – I never know what kind of event it is until I arrive at the location. Also, I am allowed to always eat the food which is served at the event and drink whatever I want (and I think that this is the best part about working at a catering company…).
It is also interesting to see how people work here and how things are being managed. For example, I always get an email with the upcoming events in the next month and have to tell the office worker when I am available and when not – I think that is somehow ineffective or just very complicated when I compare it to when I was working as a waitress in Switzerland: Back there I told the manager once on what days in a week I am generally available and that was it – he could make the work schedule without always asking his employees. If I wanted a particular day off or wanted to work more in my semester break, I could just tell him a little bit in advance. Also, the work schedule was always out for the next three weeks (at least) – here I get a separate email “invitation” for every event and sometimes only some days in advance.In conclusion, I am very happy to have found a student job here in Göttingen and would not want to quit! It makes the Erasmus experience even better and helps me to get to know more people, especially locals.