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  • Bielefeld School of Public Health

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Competence and career orientation in studies

Students at the Faculty are often unaware of the career opportunities and options available to them in the field of health sciences. "Whereas degree programs such as law, medicine, journalism or education, for example, provide clear career paths through subsequent traineeships, voluntary work, and clearly defined career prospects, students of health communication do not have a clear career path ahead of them. This is because, firstly, the job description and university education are still in their infancy compared to other disciplines. Secondly, it is due to the fact that the job market is only slowly adapting to the young professionals leaving university; consequently, there are profiles and occupational fields, but no clear appointments as health communicators yet. Acceptance in the labor market can therefore only be spoken of with reservations. (Online) job exchanges currently contain hardly any vacancies directly linked to the field of study or the degree. The few job offers that do exist mostly emphasize  health journalism or even health marketing, aspects that play little role in students’ university training. The Federal Employment Agency has also pointed to the slow development of the occupation field.

Students should therefore define and sharpen their own profiles over the course of their studies and also identify their own individual career paths and develop a more concrete idea of the profiles they already have and still wish to develop and of the qualifications they already have and those they still wish to acquire. In the medium term, students should pursue and consolidate these findings so that the career orientation they develop through internships, for example, is goal-oriented.

The Bielefeld Competence Logbook - Individual Navigator for Studies and Career is an individual digital learning and reflection space for students. It enables structured and self-reflective portfolio work to identify one's own individual competencies.

Great importance is attached to career orientation during students’ time at the Faculty. The Career Orientation in the Health Sciences event gives students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with several different occupational fields within the health sciences. There are also additional events, such as panel discussions, interviews with graduates and practical lectures, that promote exchanges between current students and alumni of the Faculty.

The Career Orientation in the Health Sciences event is offered as a block event each summer semester during the week of Pentecost and can be attended by students on all the Faculty’s degree program. Further information can be found in the electronic course catalogue (ekVV).

Job shadowing involves a student accompanying an employee at their workplace, usually for half a day or a full day, in order to experience typical tasks and the organization at first hand and to gather relevant information. In contrast to an internship, the focus is not on working together but on getting to know each other and exploring the workplace. It is intended to serve as an in-depth study of a particular area, not as a general orientation.

In this way, students have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with work practices from a personal perspective and to explore the job description and the central areas of responsibility. Furthermore, students can get to know potential employers and establish contacts for a later application for an internship or a job. The prerequisite is prior attendance at a short preparatory workshop.

Job shadowing is organized in cooperation with the Careers Service of Bielefeld University. Click here for the job shadowing offers.

Advice on career orientation

Advice on skills acquisition, profile building and career orientation

Dr. Marina Böddeker


Phone: 0521 106-3889

You will complete two mandatory internships as part of your bachelor’s degree program. The aim is to gain direct insight into fields of practice for health communicators through these two internships in professional fields of activity in the healthcare sector, which are to be completed during the lecture-free period. Students choose the fields of activity themselves and are supported in this by the internship exchange of possible internship providers and by the Faculty’s internship officer. In the internship exchange, students can find basic information and references to supporting offers from the university, answers to frequently asked questions, current job vacancies as well as experience reports.

Internship Counselling

Counselling around internships M11, initial counselling M23, M24

Thomas Schafft


Tel.: 0521 106-3880 (initial contact by e-mail only, please)

In the fifth semester of the bachelor’s program, you have the choice of undertaking practical projects led by teaching staff or going on a practical semester, preceded by preparatory training. In contrast to the compulsory internships, the practical semester with preparatory training focuses on conceptualizing or researching practice: students either develop a research question that they work on in practical health communication institutions or develop a scientifically based concept that is implemented and/or evaluated during the internship. The practical semester with preparatory training thus enables students independently to implement a research question or to plan projects to be implemented during a longer period of practical experience and is intended to facilitate their entry into the professional field of health communication.

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