What interesting companies are run by students?

Students are becoming more and more choosy

Christian John leaves nothing to chance. The young man is currently doing his bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, specializing in construction and real estate, at the Stuttgart University of Technology. After completing his bachelor's degree, he definitely wants to add a master's degree in Berlin. Because John knows how important networking is in an - editor's note: non-transparent - industry such as the real estate industry, he and fellow students founded a university group twelve months ago. The students make contacts during their studies that could be useful to them later: at parties, in workshops and on excursions to real estate projects and companies. To date, 85 young people with an affinity for real estate from three Stuttgart universities have joined the group. Sponsors who do not finance their activities completely unselfishly have of course made it clear to John & Co. long ago.

John prepared meticulously for the IZ career forum. Judging by his demeanor - dressed in a business-like manner with a suit and tie, confident and eloquent in conversation - he would be more on the side of the exhibitors than on that of the students. John made more than a dozen appointments with the companies in advance. This makes him one of the hardest-working speed-daters among the almost 350 applicants who turned up on June 9th on the Westend campus of Frankfurt's Goethe University. After a good half of the discussions, however, his interim conclusion is modest. "I felt left alone during the talks." Quite a few exhibitor representatives made rather general statements about job opportunities in the respective company: "Whenever I wanted to know something specific, I was often referred to the career website."

Milos Momcilovic, student at the HfWU Nürtingen-Geislingen (real estate management, seventh semester), has had similar experiences: "It is difficult to make something clear here." Fellow student Tobias Traue is looking for a job as a trainee. "The contact persons at the stands can seldom talk about company practice, however, they are mostly people from the HR department," complained Traue. Nevertheless, the visit to the career forum was not wasted time: "You get in touch with suitable contacts," said Momcilovic. John cites positive examples of companies that specifically offered him a job. A student who wants to remain anonymous and is about to complete her master's degree at the Bauhaus-Uni Weimar even rejoices: "The day went very well for me. I had seven appointments and had interesting and informative conversations now knows better which company suits me. "

The students and graduates have already invested a lot in advance: bought a ticket, organized the arrival and departure, put together a suitable outfit. "That shows a high level of commitment," says Kerstin Böhler, Senior HR Manager at Patrizia Immobilien. Above all, however, one thing stands out: "The participants are extremely well prepared. They know exactly where they are going." The self-confidence of the offspring is also due to the knowledge that candidates currently have good cards. "They say openly when they have further offers and discussions," said Böhler. Nadine Scheel, HR officer at LBBW Immobilien, had to put up with the question - it was about a student job in Berlin: "Why should I go to you? There are 20 others here too." Many a graduate student of course exaggerates their self-confidence: Sandra Müller from GBI's HR department has already seen young professionals with a master’s degree who had an annual salary of 60,000 euros in mind - she assesses the actual market value of master’s graduates (always depending on many factors ) about a quarter lower.

Thomas Beyerle, Managing Director of Catella Property Valuation, noticed that the no-show rate "has shot up significantly this year". This phenomenon was also observed at other stands. At Catella it was like this: if only one in 32 stayed away from the agreed date last year, this time nine of 54 candidates broke the meeting. At least three had apologized - but there are still six that are causing Beyerle headaches: "I can only imagine that this is an expression of increasing competition."

Saskia Schmude and Lisa Dietz have also got wind of the increasing competition for heads: "You can tell that companies have to sell well on the market. They are apparently looking for staff and are very open," Schmude summarizes. The 21 and 22-year-old women are studying real estate management in their fourth semester for a Bachelor's degree at the Bernburg University of Applied Sciences in Saxony-Anhalt. On the one hand, they came to Frankfurt because an internship is compulsory in their degree program. They are of course familiar with big names such as JLL or Deka Immobilien, but in the list of exhibitors "we also read names that we didn't know before" - they wanted to close this knowledge gap.

Melina Braxator went to the IZ career forum as an applicant two years ago when she was writing her master’s thesis. During her studies she was in contact with the big players in the real estate market, and also through the stories of former fellow students "I was able to get a very good picture of these players. However, I was also interested in the possibilities far from CBRE, JLL, etc." It was important to her "not to be just any part of the system", but rather to "invest creative brainpower". In small and medium-sized companies, Braxator speculated, that would be more possible. At the career forum she therefore took a close look at companies that she "did not have directly on the screen" - such as CEV. The appearance of the Edeka subsidiary with 120 employees convinced them: Braxator has been completing a trainee program at CEV since April 2017. Last month she was accepted to take over.

The dual students who speak to the IZ editor almost within earshot of the stand of the retail company where they are doing their practical work are not lacking in self-confidence either. You would like to join a classic real estate company later - directly, without detour, because a dual course of study does include work experience: "We were only offered trainee positions."

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