SI@FIN Academic Club (event): Alumni Talk.
Organized by: Academic Club, SI @ FIN
Date: 14th June, 2019.
Report: SI @ FIN Communications Team
Photographs (Facebook album) : Elvis Joseph.
This month, from the Academic Club, we organised the Alumni Talk where we invited Alumni of the FIN to talk about the skills they gained during their Master Thesis and whether the skills are required in their professional growth. It was attended by over a hundred and twenty students and their feedback has been encouraging!
The panellists were from diverse backgrounds; while a couple of them are Ph.D scholars in this university, one is an entrepreneur, a couple of them works with startups. Their details are as follows:
Asema Hasan (M.Sc. Digital Engineering) is an advisor for IGDA Pakistan.
Jitendra Rai (M.Sc. Data and Knowledge Engineering) currently works in Coya AG.
Sabine Wehnert (M.Sc. Business Information System) is currently a Ph.D. candidate at OvGU, with a keen interest in Natural Language Processing and AI. She has also worked as a research assistant in SAP UCC Magdeburg.
Sayantan Polley (M.Sc. Data and Knowledge Engineering) is also currently a Ph.D candidate at OvGU in the DKE working group. He is also a technology advisor for Dr. Polley’s Wellness Advisor & Technology Risk Partners.
Sven Beeckmann (M.Sc. Informatik) is a founder of Mycrocast GmBH, which allows clubs and fans to broadcast emotional audio commentary.
Xeniya Sadovskaya (M.Sc. Data and Knowledge Engineering) is currently working as an SAP Consultant for Dr. Pape & Co. Consulting GmbH.
Sabine mentioned that the Master Thesis is the first step towards scientific contribution. Sven, was of a little different opinion. He mentioned that a Master Thesis was like having a real-life problem, investigating whether the problem fits into the scientific spectrum and can be solved using scientific methods. Asema stressed on the importance of the Master Thesis as being a detailed scientific work where a student is expected to work on a problem from scratch. Sayantan elaborated more the planning during writing the thesis, and on the differences between an individual project and a Master Thesis; the latter involves a lot of individual effort and scientific work. For him the individual project is a “demo” for the Master Thesis. He mentioned that performing well in an individual project might help during the Master Thesis. The panel could happily agree on the need of a student to understand his/her area of interest and field of research gradually narrowing down to having one problem statement for thesis.
When asked about the soft skills the panellists gained during their Master Thesis, they had interesting takes! While Jitendra got better at time management, Xeniya improved her documentation skills and of course, communication! Asema stated that the extensive research works that she did during Master Thesis helped her to develop the habit of exploring more into the problems for finding a scientific approach based solution through research. “Frustration tolerance”, added Sabine with a peal of bursting laughter.
The Panellists: Sven Beeckmann , Asema Hassan, Sabine Wehnert, Xeniya Sadovskaya , Sayantan Polley, Jitendra Rai | SI @ FIN.
When asked about the importance of soft skills in getting a job, all the panellists agreed that soft skills are very required. Sven expressed his disappointment about once when he had to let go of a candidate because of the lack of soft skills like team working. He later suggested that students develop a feedback mechanism to understand themselves. This, in turn, will help students in developing their problem solving, critical thinking and analytical thinking skills. He mentioned critical thinking as an important skill, especially when you need to analyse requirements and decide if it makes sense or not. “A company is more likely to hire a bachelors graduate with 6 years of experience over a masters graduate without any skill” added Asema. Sabine mentioned how during the interview the companies try to see how you work in a structured manner, or propose a solution keeping the end users in mind. Sayantan pointed out language as a soft skill, especially if you are an international student/employee, in order to communicate with your team or a client. “You have to be in the culture, make friends”, added Jitendra. Xeniya mentioned that her communication, attention to details and analytical skills make her the best fit for her job.
How important is Master Thesis in getting a job? While most of the panellists opined that a master thesis might not be of a significant consequence, Asema had a better clarification. “If you are a fresh graduate or someone changing your domain of work, the Master Thesis is important, ten upon ten”, declared Asema. The organising team couldn’t have agreed more!
We are grateful that the panellists could make time for us and share their views and experiences with us here at the university. We would also like to thank Dr. Krull, Ms. Thosar, Ms. Kaemmerer of the Career center for her constant encouragement, the students who were with us during the evening and the organising team for their efforts.