Mentoring on the Alumniportal: 'valuable support for your career'

Is good advice expensive? Not on the Alumniportal. In early October, just a few months after going live, almost 4,000 members had registered as mentors in the new community. This provides alumni in Germany with a valuable resource for personal support in their careers – or they can give tips themselves.

At just 34 years of age, Bakhrom Radjabov can already look back on a noteworthy academic career. The Uzbek studied International Relations at the University of Tsukuba in Japan and Political Science with a specialisation in the field of global political economics at the University of Kassel. He also completed training courses under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Several months ago, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) hired Bakhrom Radjabov as a project manager and national coordinator in Uzbekistan for the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) in Central Asia. In his new job, Radjabov is implementing initiatives to counter the growth of violent extremism in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other countries in the region. His varied field of work ranges from training civil servants to resocialising sympathisers of extremism.

Valuable tips for a successful application

Radjabov also teaches international relations as an assistant professor at Webster University in Tashkent. His students don’t just benefit from attending his course, however. Holding a doctorate in political science, he is also eager to share his professional experience – in Facebook, LinkedIn and as a mentor of the new community of the alumni portal.

'Just a few days after I registered in the community, an Uzbek student got in touch with me. He asked me for tips on applying for a master’s degree scholarship from the DAAD Helmut-Schmidt-Programme.' We were a good fit. Since then, Radjabov has been advising the master’s degree student on how to pen letters of motivation and curriculum vitae to help him make his application.

Bakhrom Radjabov is 34 years old and works as a project manager and national coordinator to counter extremism in Uzbekistan and as an assistant professor at Webster University in Tashkent. He studied International Relations at the University of Tsukuba in Japan and Political Science with a specialisation in the field of global political economics at the University of Kassel. As a mentor on the Alumniportal, he offers advice on self-marketing and networking, career planning, and leadership skills.

Article of Bakhrom Radjabov on „DIY Garbage Lab“

Deploying resources wisely

'When I first started studying, I would have appreciated a mentor myself,' says Radjabov. Mentoring programmes, he’s noticed, are gaining in importance. 'The procedures for applications, study places and jobs are becoming increasingly complicated. Mentors can prevent students and job seekers from making mistakes and advise them on how to use their resources wisely.' And the mentoring concept has another major advantage: networking. Whenever colleagues ask Bakhrom Radjabov whether he knows of eligible candidates for a position, his mentees are his primary source for potential applicants.

Careful completion of your profile will help you find the right mentor

Mentoring programmes are particularly effective, because they enable students to ask someone for advice directly, rather than having to wade through the flood of information on the internet. The mentees build a personal relationship, benefiting from the experiences of their mentors. As a result, ever more higher education institutions and companies are launching their own mentoring programmes for their students and employees.

The Alumniportal’s new community brings together mentors and mentees from all academic disciplines and from all regions – from Berlin to Bangkok. 'The portal matches you with someone in the community based on the personal details in your profile, so completing your profile carefully will help you find the best match,' advises Daniela Becker, who works for the Alumniportal Deutschland at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. 'This lays the basis for a successful mentoring relationship and enables students to take the next step in planning their career.'

30 years of successful mentoring

The Indian Aruna Dhathathreyan is also happy to help young people on their professional and personal path. She has been successfully mentoring students for 30 years. Her goal is to open up career prospects for young Indians. Dhathathreyan is a biophysicist and professor emeritus from Chennai, who supports her 'protégés' to learn English and helps them to find suitable sources of information on the internet. 'I motivate young people from underprivileged backgrounds in India to study, and together we explore which of their career goals are realistic,' she says. She also supports students in applying to German universities. She is a DAAD Research Ambassador, and has already helped numerous students to pursue an academic career.

Recently, she also registered as a mentor in the Alumniportal community to provide help to international students seeking advice. For her, the most important thing is, first, to listen and discover the strengths of applicants. Mentoring is a subject close to Aruna Dhathathreyan’s heart. She herself was reliant on the help of her professors to start her career. 'Seeing how my mentees achieve their ambitious goals gives me a genuine feeling of satisfaction.'

Aruna Dhathathreyan is a professor and emeritus scientist at CSIR – Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai, India. Her fields of work and research include biophysics, biophysical chemistry and surface sciences. Her first academic visit in Germany was in 1996 at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interface Research, with further visits in 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2014. Aruna Dhathathreyan is a mentor on the Alumniportal Deutschland and regularly publishes articles about her time in Germany.

Author: Karoline Amon


Teaser photo: Aruna Dhathathreyan in the laboratory (Photo: private)

Become a member of the new Alumniportal community and benefit from the valuable tips of its mentors. Or become active yourself and support other alumni to take their own important career steps! Register now in the community.

To the community

October 2020

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