Practitioners in talk #Part6
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Practitioners in talk #Part 6
Many roads lead out of the BGHS. But where do paths lead to after the doctorate? In the summer semester we talk to historians and sociologists who have taken up their profession outside the university. Jette Prochnow-Furrer talked with us about her work at the „Forum Migration“.
Jette as Doctoral Representative at the inaugural ceremony of the BGHS.
Jette, you did your doctorate at the BGHS in 2013 and are now working as a DAF teacher in Visp. In the beautiful canton of Valais. If you remember the start of your career: How did you find your way into your profession?
Jette Prochnow-Furrer: I found it through volunteering. At the height of the refugee crisis, as it was then called, I was still working at the university. In 2015, people were desperately looking for people to teach German as a foreign language here in Switzerland. Especially for illiterates. Because you have to work in small groups. And I started unskilled in this field. A volunteer was needed to assist a teacher in a literacy class. So I got into it. We were then offered further training as volunteers. And through these further trainings I qualified myself more and more in this field. Although I was only a volunteer at first. But I found more and more pleasure in it and then I started full-time.
Where are you working now outside the university?
Jette Prochnow-Furrer: The institution is called "Forum Migration". It is a relatively small association that takes care of the concerns of migrants: both migrant workers and refugees. The Forum Migration offers various services: legal advice, help in finding accommodation, help in finding work, discussion groups and language courses. The Migration Forum has a mandate from the canton to conduct language and integration courses.
Jette in conversation with language course participants in Visp
What tips do you have for colleagues from sociology or history who are interested in a career in your profession?
Jette Prochnow-Furrer: If you are interested in leaving science after your doctorate, I would generally recommend that you start doing further training. I was still working at the university when I started volunteering as a language teacher. And I took an adult education course outside the university. In terms of content, it wasn't all that different from university didactics courses at university. But in this course I met people from my future employer. And I expanded my appearance a little: I was able to show that my life was not just in an ivory tower. After all, in Switzerland it doesn't matter whether you teach yoga in the adult education centre or business German in the language school: you must have the "adult educator". My second tip is not to think about it when leaving science: I didn't get my doctorate for that after all! I would rather say: The earlier you take the initiative to get out of science, the smaller the risk of becoming an unemployed fifty-year-old academic. During my dissertation I had a lot of fun doing science. I wouldn't have wanted to do anything else. But there are still other things that can be just as much fun. After all, we doctoral candidates are not free of talent.
Jette, thank you for the conversation.
The interview was conducted by Ulf Ortmann.
The complete conversation is available here (only in German):