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Practitioners in talk Part #17
Many roads lead out of the BGHS. But where do paths lead to after the doctorate? In the winter semester we talk to historians and sociologists who have taken up their profession outside the university. Daniela Pollich spoke to us about her work as professor for police science at the University of Applied Sciences for Police and Public Administration in North Rhine-Westphalia in Duisburg.
Abbildung 1: Daniela Pollich
Daniela, you did your PhD in Sociology at Bielefeld University in 2009. Currently, you are working as professor for police science at the University of Applied Sciences for Police and Public Administration in North Rhine-Westphalia (HSPV NRW). If you remember when you started your career: How did you find your way into the job?
Daniela Pollich: I got started with a position at the State Office of Criminal Investigation in North Rhine-Westphalia, where I worked before I was appointed to the HSPV NRW. After finishing my dissertation, I really wanted to continue working in the subject area of my dissertation: in criminology. But I didn’t necessarily want to stay at the university. And so I started looking for positions in non-university, criminological research. However, it happened to me several times in job interviews that I was asked: “What do you want here? That’s second choice for you! Can’t you make it to university and now you’re coming to us?” I had the feeling that I had to prove that I really want to. I tried to show that with advanced training courses on crime prevention, for example. The fact that I actually found a job in non-university criminological research came more by chance through a contact with the State Office of Criminal Investigation in North Rhine-Westphalia, which I had made for a research project on violence against homeless people as part of my postdoctoral fellowship. That was my ticket. And again by chance, after a few years as a research assistant in the criminalistic-criminological research center of the State Office of Criminal Investigation, I discovered that the HSPV NRW had advertised a professorship that required exactly my combination of subjects: criminology and sociology.
What does your work at the University of Applied Sciences for Police and Public Administration look like now?
Daniela Pollich: It is primarily teaching: 18 hours per week. That doesn’t mean that I prepare nine different courses each semester; but that I give two or three courses on criminology at the same time, because we always teach in small groups. After the first few years, in which this teaching workload was actually very strenuous, research is now definitely possible again; even if the time is short. And finally, I work in academic self-government and I am spokesperson for our Institute for Police Sciences and Criminology.
What tips do you have for colleagues from sociology or history who are interested in a career in your profession?
Daniela Pollich: If you want to go to the University of Applied Sciences for Police, you should have an interest in police-related topics and ideally also a practical understanding of them. The practical understanding of this field does not necessarily have to be acquired from the police, but could also arise, for example, through experience with social work. But as a “pure academic” you would probably get the feedback relatively quickly: Well, you know the university, but not real life. Regarding the professorship at a university of applied sciences in general: Sure, you should seek contact with practice and prove this, for example, through further training. One should have teaching experience. And that is my experience after I left university: when selecting professors, universities of applied sciences pay more attention to the didactic qualifications of applicants than universities do.
Daniela, thank you for the conversation.
The interview was conducted by Ulf Ortmann.
The interview was conducted by Ulf Ortmann. The complete conversation is available here (only in German):