INTERVIEW: Carina Hambrock, Ausbildungsausschuss

Carina Hambrock studied Chemical Engineering in Germany and is currently working on her PhD on improvement for processing root at Johannes Keppler University Linz in Austria. She is member of the Ausbildungsausschuss at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde (DGM).

Can you tell us how did you initially get involved in the DGM and with the Ausbildungsausschuss in particular?

I was looking for an international conference that fitted my research interests and in which I could present a talk. This search brought me to the Material Science and Engineering Congress (MSE) in Darmstadt. I submitted my application and was happy to be selected for presenting a talk during the Student Session.

During the congress I attended very interesting conferences and reputed talks. What I found to be the most appealing and what hooked me to become a part of the DGM were the activities organized for the Nachwuchs (young professionals). These events aimed to connect students with companies and I found this very valuable. Therefore, I approached Frank Fischer, CEO of the DGM and asked if there was a way in which I could be more involved in furthering the activities for young professionals.  He considered that the best area for me would be the Ausbildungsausschuss so he invited me to its February meeting in Frankfurt.

Which were your impressions from your first meeting with the Ausbildungsausschuss in Frankfurt?

It was very interesting because everybody comes from different backgrounds but at the end the concerns are quite similar. People are very participative during the discussions and they really put their efforts to make the best of it. Right now I am involved on the organization of the Werkstoff Woche but I learned as well about other interesting projects that I did not know the Ausbildungsausschuss would be working in. For instance, the creation of a DGM mentoring programme for young professionals.

Which are the biggest challenges that students face in Austria when pursuing to enter in the professional world?

I think that one of the biggest problems is that companies cancel more jobs than what they are creating. For students it is complicated because they must have the right qualifications and also the right personality to fit the company.

How can networking activities help to overcome some of these challenges and to develop a students´ career? 

Job fairs are very useful to establish a first contact with the companies although at that moment it might not necessarily lead directly to a job. The positive aspects are that students can get a clearer idea of which are the requirements that the companies might be looking for, which is the philosophy or the working culture. It is very different to see a position announced online with general descriptions than to talk directly to someone who has the experience to explain in detail what the company is looking for.

Do you have any hobbies that you do next to your studies and work?

My main focus right now is working on my research. However, I do enjoy swimming and reading English historical books for relaxation. I also enjoy travelling to countries that are far from Europe. One of my trips was to Vietnam which was a completely different and very interesting place for me.