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As 2021 draws to a close, we look back on an eventful year. We are thankful for our partners in the US, Canada, and OWL and look forward to continue working together in 2022. A big part of our work and our projects took place online in 2021, but we also started to slowly move back to and plan in-person events and programs. A special highlight this year was launching the Professional Experience Program. The Campus OWL New York Office also organized and participated in many transatlantic events and conferences. This year we hosted three student interns, who worked virtually from Germany. Join us in looking back as we put a spotlight on some of the people and accomplishments that define Campus OWL.

Best wishes,
Katja Simons

Campus OWL is a network of five higher education institutions in OstWestfalenLippe (OWL), Germany – Bielefeld University, Paderborn University, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and Detmold University of Music.

New Program for OWL Students

This summer, we launched a new internship program designed for students at our OWL universities: PEP – the Professional Experience Program. This competitive program offers up to twelve students the chance to do a three-month internship in the New York metropolitan area from April to June 2022. It also includes a one-week preparatory skills seminar and a virtual workshop after the students return home. PEP intends to offer students valuable international work experience. We received 74 applications from students from all five universities in OWL from a range of different fields of study and are currently matching shortlisted students with companies. We are thankful to all the internship providers and for the collaboration with the German American Chamber of Commerce in New York. We are looking forward to welcoming the students to New York in spring 2022. Learn more about PEP here.

New Impetus for Alberta OWL Cooperation

Our Alberta OWL cooperation flourished thanks to the We CAN virtuOWL project funded through DAAD’s IVAC program. 9 collaborative online courses have jointly been developed and implemented by professors from Alberta and OWL, with topics ranging from HR practices, compiler construction, cultural and digital literacy to gender theory. These joint courses were accompanied by Community of Practice meetings for professors and administrators, as well as an E-Tandem and a Digital Exchange for students facilitating peer-to-peer learning, intercultural exchange, and language practice. We all gained invaluable experiences collaborating across the Atlantic, were able to build new professional partnerships in various fields, expanded our own perspectives and overcame challenges such as different time zones, different study cultures and academic calendars. The experience was summed up well by one of the students: “Truly authentic experience working with someone form a different country. I have been telling everybody about this […]”. Find out more about the Alberta OWL cooperation.

Alumni Stories: From OWL to North America

In 2021, we introduced Virtual Coffee Hours at our universities in OWL to stay connected and discuss relevant topics. Alumnus Christoph Tetzlaff was part of one of the Virtual Coffee Hours during the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences (FH Bielefeld) International Week where he shared his experiences working for CLAAS Global Sales Americas Inc. as Region Development Manager Americas in Omaha, Nebraska. Christoph Tetzlaff earned his B.Eng. at FH Bielefeld and his M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering & Management at Paderborn University. We reached out to him again this fall and asked him some questions about working in an international company, the effects of the pandemic, and his experiences studying in OWL. Read the full interview with Christoph Tetzlaff on our website.

How did your studies in OWL prepare your for working in a global company?
First of all, I think that the quality of teaching and the academic rigor at both, FH Bielefeld and Paderborn University, are very solid which provides a good foundation for a successful career overall. I was fortunate enough to spend a fair amount of time abroad during my undergraduate (B.Eng.) but also graduate (M.Sc.) studies. The FH Bielefeld and Paderborn University were really accommodating in this regard. In particular, the transfer and recognition of ECTS worked without any issues. Even though I did not go abroad using one of the university sponsored exchange programs, I would like to mention that both universities collaborate with well-regarded partner universities throughout the world to accommodate every student who wants to spend time abroad.

How did the pandemic affect the way you worked in 2020 and 2021?
When the world was turned upside down back in February/March 2020, I was actually in Omaha, NE on a business trip. I returned to Germany on March 13, when the US announced the border closure to the European Union. Up until August 2020 I worked from home which, in hindsight, did work out quite well. However, when I returned to the US in August 2020 I was able to return to the office under certain guidelines and protocols. Since CLAAS is an agricultural equipment manufacturer, we are considered “essential business”, i.e. the restrictions for our industry were not as severe as for other industries. What has changed though was the amount of time on virtual calls and meetings. But to be honest, I enjoy having virtual meetings because they are quite efficient. However, this will never replace the personal contact with people. What has helped me adjust to this environment was the fact that I knew all the people I worked with. For graduates that join the work force or professionals who change jobs during the pandemic, I can imagine the onboarding to be really difficult.

Photo credit: CLAAS

Connecting with Students, Researchers, and Partner Institutions
in North America

Campus OWL was part of several virtual conferences and fairs in 2021.

The Germany Grad Fair, organized together with the other university liaison offices in North America and the German Consulate New York, drew a lot of attention with over 700 registrations from over 30 countries (80% came from the United States) interested in Master and Doctoral programs in Germany.

The Postdoc in Germany Event was also held together with the other university liaison offices as well as the DAAD, DFG, and the American Friends of AvH for over 300 registered attendees from the US, Germany, Canada, and other countries.

At the GAIN21 Annual Meeting in August, Campus OWL New York convened a session together with Bielefeld University and WWU Münster on "Your Path to a Professorship", with TH OWL and University Alliance Ruhr on “Entrepreneurship and Academia”, and was present at the Talent Fair. “Professorships at Universities of Applied Sciences” was the title of another workshop in cooperation with GAIN, FH Bielefeld, UAS7 and HAW Hessen on Dec. 2, attracting 160+ people. 

This summer, we held a live web talk on “Post-Pandemic Public Spaces” in collaboration with DWIH New York, TH OWL, and the German Consulate General New York. The talk featured Prof. Elizabeth Sikiaridi from the Detmold School of Architecture and Interior Architecture, Dr. Harriet Harriss from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and Dr. Mona Sloane from NYU, who discussed future design, use and perceptions of public space. You can watch a recording of the talk on YouTube.
In the course of this year, we also presented at the International Virtual Exchange Conference IVEC and the Annual Colloquium on International Engineering Education, had a joint Campus OWL virtual booth at the European Career Fair, contributed to the partner spaces at DWIH’s Future Forum, and chatted with students at the University of Alberta Go Abroad Fair.

Special thanks to Delia Kaltenbach, student at Paderborn University and fall intern at Campus OWL New York, for her support with this newsletter.

Campus OWL New York would like to wish you happy holidays and thank all our partners for the great cooperation in 2021!
Campus OWL 
is the New York based liaison office of 5 higher education institutions in OstWestfalenLippe. We offer advice on study abroad and full degree programs, connect researchers and support research collaborations.
Copyright © 2020 Campus OWL, Inc. All rights reserved.

Campus OWL, Inc. 
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New York, NY 10017

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