The International Career Fair brings together qualified young academics with attractive businesses from Dortmund and the region. Organized by the International Office of TU Dortmund University and the Dortmund Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the fair is taking place for the 12th time Wednesday, 25 October, 2023.
On the student side, the fair is primarily aimed at international graduates and students. The young personalities come to our university from all continents and are given the opportunity to study, do research or complete internships in regional companies in an international context. More than 4,000 students from abroad are enrolled at TU Dortmund University, most of them in the so-called MINT subjects (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technical subjects).
The special thing about the fair: the matching in advance!
With the help of "Talentefinder", the company representatives and the students get to know each other before the fair. If it suits both sides, the match leads to an appointment on the day of the fair.
In the morning, very targeted and prepared talks take place. In the afternoon, the format is open and students from all disciplines can visit the fair without pre-registration.
For the eleventh time, companies based in Dortmund and the region used the International Career Fair to present themselves to TU students from more than 30 countries on 27 October, 2022. A total of 25 companies were represented this year, from A for Albonair to Z for Zalando. Demand has never been as high as this time: 285 international students registered this year.
"Studying in a different country, in a foreign language, a different teaching and learning culture, and often a completely different everyday environment demands a great deal of adaptation and stamina from students. Employers can also benefit from this potential and these skills." This is how Vice Rector International Affairs Prof. Tessa Flatten opened the International Career Fair. "The fair is not only for internationally active corporations, but also helps to increase the visibility of especially small and medium-sized companies among international students and brings them together with well-trained professionals." As co-organizer, Wulf-Christian Ehrich, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Dortmund Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Executive Board Member of the Society of Friends of the TU Dortmund, added: "We want to ensure that the attractive Dortmund region becomes a long-term home for international students."
Large number of international students at TU Dortmund
The participation figures for the career fair prove that international students have a similar goal: A total of 222 pre-scheduled interviews took place this year. The applicants come from a wide variety of nations, from India, Iran, Syria, Nepal, Mauritius or the USA. Most of the participants of the International Career Fair are enrolled in one of the ten English-language master's programs at TU Dortmund University. Among the 32,400 TU students, one in eight comes from abroad.
The variety of attractive companies at the International Career Fair was particularly interesting, said Ramy Salah, a student of electrical engineering. He comes from Tunisia and conducted four job interviews with regional and global companies. Iranian-born Shaghayegh Derakhshan also used the fair to get an overview of regional employers. She had chosen TU Dortmund University because the campus seemed attractive to students from abroad - an impression that was confirmed on site: "You notice every day how international this university is."
International career fair writes success stories
The international students hope for a success story like the one the fair has written again and again in the past years. For example, former mechanical engineering student Kasim Öztürk proves how the first on-site interview can lead to a long-term career in the region: he met his employer Albonair at the fair eight years ago, and now works there as head of quality management. The Dortmund-based company ICA Traffic can also report such successes: They have already been able to recruit a total of three specialists at the International Career Fair over the years. In particular, the cultural foresight of the applicants and getting to know them directly keeps the ticketing company coming back.
The international students were able to take part in preparatory courses for the career fair: The IHK offered a workshop entitled "The Perfect Business Appearance," which taught what standards apply in the German business world. The Center for Entrepreneurship & Transfer (CET) at TU Dortmund University also held a workshop for the first time this year to prepare participants for applications and interviews with potential employers.
10. International Career Fair on Thursday, 28 October 2021 in the International Meeting Center (IBZ)
"After graduating, I would like to stay in the region and work here," says TU Master's student Zahra Bonakdar. She completed her Bachelor's degree in her home country of Iran and then came to Dortmund for her Master's degree. Ashutosh Bhagwat also wants to stay in Germany after graduating. Like Zahra Bonakdar, the 25-year-old Indian is completing the English-language Master's programme in Process Systems Engineering at the TU Dortmund University.
For both of them - and for many other students - the International Career Fair at the International Meeting Centre (IBZ) on 28 October provided an opportunity to introduce themselves to companies based in Dortmund and the region. The companies included Bayer, DEW21 and Zalando. A total of 90 students from 23 countries took part in the event, which was organised by TU Dortmund University's International Office in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) and the Society of Friends of the TU Dortmund.
The 17 participating companies received different student profiles with CVs in advance and were able to choose who they wanted to get to know in the individual interviews. Zahra Bonakdar and Ashutosh Bhagwat, for example, were both invited for an interview with Bayer AG. "My interests coincide with those of the company, as I am involved in process control and optimisation," says Ashutosh Bhagwat, who is interested in an internship at Bayer and would also like to write his master's thesis there. Zahra Bonakdar, who also had a conversation with onoff AG, an automation and IT company, adds: "Both companies could give me the opportunity to meet many professionals and start my career. She will finish her Master's degree in January and is currently looking for a job after graduation.
More than 4,000 students at TU Dortmund University
In his opening speech, Wulf-Christian Ehrich, deputy managing director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Dortmund and member of the board of the Society of Friends of the TU Dortmund, explained that there are vacancies in many sectors and that there is a desperate need for well-trained specialists. With more than 4,000 international students, TU Dortmund University offers companies the opportunity to get to know potential employees. Many of the international students are enrolled in a MINT subject (mathematics, information technology, science and technology). With the International Career Fair, these students are shown attractive paths in the Dortmund region and in the whole of Germany. The 17 companies that presented themselves at the fair include Albonair GmbH, Bayer AG, catkin GmbH, DEW 21 - Dortmunder Energie- und Wasserversorgung GmbH, ICA Traffic GmbH, KHS GmbH, Materna Information & Communiction SE, Montanhydraulik GmbH, onoff engineering gmbh, Pieper GmbH, Redpath Deilmann GmbH, Ritter Starkstromtechnik GmbH &Co KG, Storm Reply GmbH, SQLI Deutschland GmbH, Uniper SE, viadee Unternehmensberatung AG, Zalando SE. Kumavision AG was unable to take part in the fair, but will invite some students to get to know them online.
For the two TU students Zahra Bonakdar and Ashutosh Bhagwat, the International Career Fair was definitely worthwhile. They were able to have interesting discussions with the representatives of the companies, gain an insight into the companies and make contacts. "It was a great event. When you apply for a job online, you don't always get feedback. Here you can get in touch with the companies directly," says Ashutosh Bhagwat. Zahra Bonakdar also thinks that the fair is definitely worth a visit: "I've already been to a few career fairs, but it's often the case that you can't have long conversations to really get to know each other. That is completely different here. Here you really have time to get to know each other."
Tandem2Job" mentoring programme
The International Career Fair is not the only programme offered by the International Office. The two students also take part in the mentoring programme "Tandem2Job". In this program, international students are assigned a mentor in order to discuss their strengths and competitive advantages for entering the German labour market and to clarify questions. "It helped me a lot to improve my application documents. I also learned how important it is to be present in the social media, e.g. on LinkedIn, and to network with people who have the same interests as me," says Ashutosh Bhagwat.
9. International Career Fair on Tuesday, 2 July 2019 in the International Meeting Center (IBZ)
Within the next five years, the lack of skilled employees in the eastern Ruhr Area will have reached an estimated 40.000 vacant positions. This is what Wulf-Christian Ehrich, deputy general manager of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dortmund (CCI, respectively IHK), pointed out on the occasion of the 9th International Career Fair which took place on the premises of TU Dortmund University on Tuesday, 2 July. He and Prof. Ursula Gather, Rector of TU Dortmund University, encouraged the students to search for employment on a regional level. “Stay here, this area is livable”, said Ehrich. Prof. Ursula Gather agreed with him: „Look for your future employer in the region. It is worth it“.
It is a considerable advantage for the businesses, said Prof. Gather when opening the fair, that this fair makes it possible to meet students who, apart from the knowledge gained during their successful studies at TU Dortmund University, also perfectly mastered a further language, namely their mother tongue. Wulf-Christian Ehrich, who is also managing board member of the Association of Friends of TU Dortmund University, highlighted that companies can find their qualified junior staff at this fair. This event was organized by the International Office of TU Dortmund University in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dortmund (CCI, respectively IHK) and the Association of Friends of TU Dortmund University.
Five years ago, Furkan Uyanik attended the 4th International Career Fair with a freshly acquired Bachelor degree in Computer Science in his pocket and introduced himself to ICA Traffic GmbH. On Tuesday, Uyanik, who had turned 29 years old in the meantime and had switched sides of the desk, was now on the search for suitable students for ICA in Dortmund. His company offers solutions for ticket systems, e.g. having supplied Deutsche Bahn with approximately 3.500 ticket vending machines and taking care of the ticket station’s programming, too. The ticket-related products and services offered by ICA also include apps which passengers can load onto their smartphones as tickets. The software solutions which are needed for this application are one part of Uyanik’s job, the former TU student. Having started as software developer, Uyanik has risen to become a software architect who devises and assembles full solutions from a variety of software components.
Furkan Uyanik’s development can serve as a good example for international students of TU Dortmund University. Approximately every 11th student of TU Dortmund University comes from abroad; 3600 young women and men from more than 100 countries are enrolled here. Four degree programs are held in English. The International Career Fair makes these students aware of career opportunitiess in the region of Dortmund and the whole of Germany as well.
17 enterprises with their headquarters in Dortmund or the local region make use of the International Career Fair in the International Meeting Center (IBZ) to present themselves to students of TU Dortmund University: ABP Induction Systems GmbH, Albonair GmbH, Dolezych GmbH & Co.KG, ICA Traffic GmbH, KHS GmbH, KTDM Metropole Ruhr UG, Kumavision AG, Lovion GmbH, Materna Information & Communication SE, Osudio Deutschland GmbH, P3 communications GmbH, QSG Verkehrstechnik GmbH, REMONDIS Service International GmbH, Rhenus Office Systems, , temicon GmbH and the power plant operator UNIPER SE. By the way, the 17th organization making use of the International Career Fair to showcase itself is TU Dortmund University, searching for young academics. “We like to hire graduates of our own university to prepare them specifically for leadership prepositions”, states Karolina Bihr from the Department of Human Resources.