Austrian Jasmin Memaran, 27, completed a master degree in Media & Business at Erasmus University between 2015 and 2016. Afterwards, she left for Berlin in order to become a content creator at EventMobi, a Canadian company that creates apps for conferences.
What were your plans after graduating?
“Initially I wanted to return to Vienna, where I’m originally from. I would have loved to become a content creator there. But while looking for such jobs in Vienna, I found there simply weren’t any jobs to be had. It’s as if the Viennese are lagging behind the rest of the world by several years. For every position advertised in Vienna, there were roughly fifty vacancies in Berlin. In Vienna, gigs in my field are given to young people doing work placements, even though it’s important that the work be done by people who have studied that sort of thing.”
Where do you currently work?
“I’m a content creator at EventMobi. It’s a Canadian company that creates apps for conferences. I maintain their social mediachannels and write articles for them, or I’ll translate things supplied by their headquarters in Canada.”
How did you land this job?
“When I was looking for a job in Vienna, a good friend of mine who works in Berlin told me that there was a vacancy at her employer’s. It was the first job advertisement that really made me feel good. And since I’d already sent a whole lot of letters, I thought, well, I might as well give this one a shot too. And in the end they hired me.”
What is Berlin like?
“Life in Berlin is very interesting. Everything is bigger, rawer and more artistic, and people are very diverse. Germany has a solidstart-up culture and there is a lot to do in the field of technology, compared to a city like Vienna. This makes things a bit competitive, but there are plenty of jobs at the beginner level. However, you are generally expected to be able to speak German if you want to get a job. If you don’t, you’ll have a much harder time finding a job in Berlin.”
Do you regard working abroad as a challenge, or is it more of an extension of your student days?
“It’s quite different from my student days. The idea of starting a new life abroad is the same as studying abroad for a semester, but a job does not have a clear end date. When I was doing my master in Rotterdam, I did have an end date: I knew it would be over after one year. Moreover, work has an advantage in that you can actually rest during the weekend, rather than having to write a paper or work on your thesis. On the other hand, your contacts with your colleagues are shallower than your contacts with your fellow students. As a result, it’s a bit harder to make friends.”
Is working in Berlin something you’d recommend to anyone or are some people better suited to this than others?
“If you really want it, I would recommend it. When you’ve just graduated is the perfect time to do it, as you won’t have much to lose yet and there won’t be many things that tie you to a particular place. Do make sure you have an actual plan. Too many people make their way to Berlin without having a clearly defined plan. They have a hard time finding jobs.”
Do you think you will ever return to the Netherlands?
“For the time being I’ll be doing this. I love writing, and I can learn my trade here. At some point I’d like to be in charge of an editorial team, but this company is too small for that. Maybe later. But for the time being, I’m fine here.”