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International Career Fair 2022

„It has paid off for both sides“

Umut Ceylan & Merve Usta | KPS AG, Dort­mund | about 1.200 employees

Sometimes spontaneity can open new doors: Umut Ceylan, a Bachelor's graduate in economics at TU Dortmund University, visited the International Career Fair in October 2022 without previous registration. There, the conversation with Merve Usta from KPS AG laid the foundation for his successful career start. KPS AG is a consulting firm that supports companies on their way through digitalization.

Two employees of KPS AG © International Office​/​TU Dortmund

Julia Pehle, International Office: Can you tell us something about your visit to the International Career Fair?

Umut Ceylan, SAP S/4 HANA Consultant at KPS AG: I had just written my Bachelor's thesis and was in my active application phase. During my studies, I focused on IT and also wanted to go in this direction professionally. I had not planned my visit to the career fair, but went there spontaneously and talked to company representatives. I had a very friendly and open conversation with Merve, and afterwards I was sure that this was exactly where I wanted to go.

Merve Usta, Recruiter at KPS AG: From our side, it was no problem that Umut did not have a resume with him due to his spontaneous visit. After the interview, we exchanged data and then went straight into the application process. For me, it is important to connect personally with students at the fair. Through direct contact with people, you get a completely different impression than just through the documents.


JP: A few months later, 1 April 2023, things really got started. How were the first days in your new job for you?

UC: Before I started, I was very nervous - but that is normal and went away on the first day. I started with 12 colleagues in the "boot camp", where junior SAP consultants are trained and assigned to different modules and areas at the same time. Of course, this makes it much easier to "get started" and also to network. I was very pleased with how warmly I was received at KPS and that everyone is so open and always ready to help.


JP: What role does internationality play in the workplace from your perspective?

MU: A big role! On the one hand, we are a diverse team with employees from different cultures. Even if our team members do not have a good command of German, this is not a criterion for exclusion, as we communicate in English. On the other hand, we operate in an international environment in various industries, and Umut has also noticed that we have many customers within Europe and that communication often takes place in English.

UC: That is right. At the moment, I am gaining my first practical experience in a project for a Swiss pharmaceutical company in the transport management module and looking over the shoulders of my experienced colleagues.


JP: What advice would you like to give to graduates who are currently in the application phase?

UC: Use career fairs and formats where you can get to know the company representatives. This gives you a completely different approach than applying only via documents - and also a completely different chance as a student or graduate to prove yourself. You can present your qualifications, but you cannot summarize your personality on an A4 page. Last but not least, such interviews are also a chance for you to get a clearer picture of what you are actually looking for.

I practically peppered the two KPS representatives with questions. After all, you can ask questions at the fair that you would not dare ask in a "real" application process.

MU: You should have a picture of how you want to present yourself - in my opinion, a good presentation leaves much more of an impression than just submitting a resume. Such fairs are also a good exercise in overcoming fears or reservations, coming out of one's shell and getting a feel for what it is like to talk to companies. After all, in the end, nothing can go wrong! We as recruiters can empathize with the situation of the applicants and are there to pick up the visitors well. At the next career fair in 2023, we will be there again as an exhibitor - maybe we will meet another spontaneous and suitable applicant like Umut!

UC: My example shows that you should not be afraid to attend events. The fear of possibly being rejected should not stand in your way. Therefore, my tip: Seize the opportunity, register or go spontaneously!

JP: Thank you for the interview!

More information about KPS as an employer


The next International Career Fair will take place on October 25, 2023 at TU Dortmund University’s International Meeting Center.