Alma Mater Christian Albrechts Universitas Litterarum


Seal of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität of Kiel

A “universitas litterarum” is a full-scale university, i.e. a university that allows you to study anything of the major studying subjects. In Germany we have only six of these universities, one being the “Christian Albrechts University of Kiel”.

Why am I writing about it? Because this entry actually marks a major cut and change in my life. The “Christian Albrechts University” will become my “alma mater”, i.e. by October of this year I will be a student in Kiel with the goal of gaining a “Bachelor of Science in Computer Science”. There are plenty reasons for this decision, one of them I’ll dedicate an entire entry to, that you’ll find in here shortly. Some I’ll discuss here 😉

This change is not only a change of university, but also a move to a city and therefore a change of lifestyle – being able to drive busses again, a large choice of free-time activities and last but not least – a real students life with all its ups and downs. I spent so much time in Husum that sometimes I wonder if I’d be able to cope with a city and that many possibilities…

It is also a change of goals – I’m not pursuing a business career anymore. I did that the last 5 years, and I learned a lot that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise and it surely had an impact on my personality and my way of thinking and acting. But I also saw a lot of things that I didn’t like at all, i.e.

  • Stupid boring work
  • Working under such high pressure that you knowingly work unperfected and start cheating other colleagues as well as customers
  • Policies and rules that are ignored by superiors but that you have to stick to
  • Totally incompetent and arrogant assholes that make it director and that, just because of the fact that they are director, are more trustworthy than you yourself, who already worked there flawlessly 5 years (compared to half a year…)
  • Really unfair systems and conditions that just benefit the superiors (i.e. percentage income rises, instead of a fixed sums, superiors forcing employees to move or they get fired – regardless of the really excelent work they did, no time registration and no overtime payment, while employees have to work many hours overtime every day, …)
  • Money that is splurged by the management while on the other side workers have to save money (going as far as removing the independent vehicles heaters out of the service cars to save money, or rationing the lunch portions?!)
  • And so on…

Of course that is just one side of the coin. I also had lot of fun, I made new experiences, in the economic and business world, as well as personally, and I value these very much. My company gave me some opportunities I wouldn’t have had and I guess it had an impact on my personal life and views, on the way I cope with problems, made me more self-confidence, and made me understand how companies work and think, which comes in really handy also for your personal life. And last but not least, I made new friends, met interesting people and was able to work with nice colleagues.

But when I put on the scales, I see myself in a condition that I cannot square with my conscience, that isn’t my lifestyle and that does not really apply with my goals and my believes. I don’t know whether or not this just applies to this certain company I worked at, but I guess it isn’t – when I talk to other people I get the opinion that this is the normal way in many big companies… so when you find one that actually isn’t like this, stick to it, it’s a real treasure!

For me at least this is not the kind of environment I’d like to work in. Those are not the interesting and intellectual challenges I was looking for. I want to work with competent persons, want to have superiors that actually understand what I am doing, that can guide me and that also value my work. And I want to do things right, I want to think them through, work on a high level and on high standards, instead of just finding temporary and technically unsatisfying solutions that are enough as they do the job this instance – and that are patched up as soon as they do not anymore…

My goal is therefore to this time have a more scientific focus. No university of applied sciences this time, no “Computer Science and Business Administration” that’ll just teach you foundations and how to use stuff, but stops when it comes to science or interesting projects/topics – I am going to study at a full-scale university, that has a broad scientific background and that allows me to set focus on things that I find interesting. I guess I will minor in biology and try to get a focus on marine biology, and I will major in Computer Science. I’m not that sure about my focus yet. I’m thorn between IT-Security, Artificial Intelligence and Embedded Systems – but I still got time to figure that one out.

And I’ll try to work at the university, as student assistance, scientific assistance, and later hopefully also as tutor.

Such a change makes me think a lot about my life, as it is a new start and allows you to think about what went well and what didn’t – it somehow allows you to remodel your life and push yourself into other, more preferred directions. And I’ll try to do that. Right now I am still somewhere in the state of actually realizing that a change is going on. Of course, I already have found a flat in Kiel and signed a contract for it. Also the number of weeks I am still in my old life is reduced to two. And my current flat is more and more packed into boxes… but somehow I am not there yet. I guess this will really kick in when it actually is my last day. But I’ll try to draw a line beforehand, balance the books, review my life to identify the point that I am actually at – and then see what I will get for the future and how I can use it to model my life.

Those are the next step and I’ll keep you posted 🙂

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