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Student Anirban Saha made a virtue out of necessity and now gives tips in his podcast on how international students can best find a job in Magdeburg (Photo: Jana Dünnhaupt / University of Magdeburg)
03.05.2021 from 
Campus + City
Dream job despite the language barrier

The right answers to the most pressing questions: student Anirban Saha is studying for his Master's degree at the University of Magdeburg and gives tips on job-hunting for internationals in his podcast.

Anirban Saha had many questions when he came to Magdeburg from Calcutta in India in 2017. The 31-year-old is studying Data and Knowledge Engineering in the Master's program at the university of Magdeburg. "In addition to the range of courses on offer, a decisive argument for prospective international students is whether there is a sufficient supply of part-time jobs in their new adopted home, and that was the case for me," explains the Master's student. After arriving in the state capital of Saxony-Anhalt, however, he found little information and answers in English for his pressing questions. To change this and make it easier for new students to get started in Magdeburg, he has been involved as a mentor at the student council of the Faculty of Computer Science since 2018. Through his activities, the student quickly became aware of where international students need support. "The idea that Magdeburg is a small city and there is only physical work for students here, or that international students have a particularly hard time getting a job as a student assistant at the university, are widespread. I wanted to create content that refuted some of those rumors," he says. That is how his podcast, "Anirban Saha's Podcast," came to be, in which the student shares job search tips for international students, among other things.

Being of help to others

In each podcast episode, he interviews students from Master's programs about their work experience in Germany. "I wanted a mix of students from different cultures from the countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. My interviewees are fundamentally different: different employers, industries and all have different professional experiences," explains Anirban Saha.

In addition to his podcast, he also runs his personal blog since 11 years in which he reports his experiences, life and studying in Saxony-Anhalt. "Hearing myself in the podcast is a bit strange. I'm still getting used to it," he jokes. What he likes most about the podcast medium, however, is that unlike classic text, you can also convey emotions and not just information.

Reorienting himself and passing on experience

For Anirban Saha, the move from Calcutta to Magdeburg was an escape from his comfort zone. In retrospect, however, he benefited from this move and the great support of his colleagues. "Like many of my fellow students, I was a little apprehensive, but it was not difficult to get my first job at Magdeburg. The working environment was always cordial and my ideas were well received," reports the Master's student.

He always passes on one tip to first-year students: don't just learn the language, speak it too! "A good knowledge of German definitely broadens your horizons and there are more job opportunities. Not knowing German limits your scope. But there are also many jobs for which the English language is sufficient," says Anirban Saha. He also recommends that international students read job postings carefully, always give honest information and, above all, are not afraid of rejection. "If they have different work experiences, it's best to create multiple, area-specific resumes," he adds.

Hobbies during the pandemic and the future of the podcast

The impact of the Corona pandemic is hitting Anirban Saha, like many other students, hard. Looking from the other side of the world to his home country of India is challenging. "At the beginning of the Corona crisis, it was very scary. I was very worried about my parents back home. They are both at an advanced age. I wasn't sure how they would handle the change and how the authorities would react to the situation," he says. Since traveling and meeting friends are no longer options, Anirban Saha has been looking for alternatives. He is learning new dishes and is currently keeping busy in his kitchen.

His podcast also helps him as a distraction, as he plans to produce more new content in the future: Anirban Saha is planning new podcast episodes as well as blog posts or videos. "The response I've received so far has been overwhelming. Not only students from Magdeburg University, but also from other universities found the exchange of experiences and tips very useful," he says. "They can relate to this because almost everywhere international students have very similar fears and have similar experiences," he concludes.