2nd MAINZ Student Seminar

Windischeschenbach, Germany

August 13th to 16th, 2011

The 2nd MAINZ student seminar took place in Stützelvilla in Windischeschenbach, Germany. Thirty three participants including three alumni from different countries and various cultural backgrounds such as India, Venezuela, Canada and Georgia took part in the seminar. During the sessions all PhD students gave an introduction to their research topic as well as the results obtained. New members who had become MAINZ colleagues or stipend holders only recently, presented their PhD project and research plans. During the fruitful discussions the presenters received valuable input by their fellow students as various problems and investigation techniques were discussed.

Additionally, two alumni talks were part of the program. Eberhard Jakobi who is working at Boston Consulting Group gave a presentation about his job and daily work as a consultant. He described the tasks a consultant has to deal with and how the special qualifications gained in his PhD studies helped him solving these problems.

Niklas Loges gave insight into BASF and the BASF research and production site at Trostberg. Additionally, he talked about the career steps a chemist will typically go through after entering BASF. Differences between university and industrial research were discussed and the participants had the chance to ask specific questions about job search, interviews and experiences during the first time after joining the company.

With Leonid Spirin a third alumni participated in the seminar. As he is working for a different consulting company (d-fine) the PhD students had the chance to gain insight into another consulting firm during discussions in the evening.

In addition to the scientific program the afternoons were reserved for in-depth discussions among the students. Further activities were planned to boost communication and team spirit between graduate school members.

On Saturday a top rope climbing course was held in the park around Stützelvilla. Two climbing tasks had to be solved by a team of two students each. On Sunday a canoeing trip challenged the MAINZ students in teams by three to four and a barbecue on Sunday evening further strengthened the social relation between the students.

In summary the seminar offered the possibility to meet PhD students from various location and wide-spread research topics. It provided a place for interesting talks, collaboration options and inspiring discussion among the MAINZ students and alumni plus the chance to get to know different research topics as well as new people.

Christian Moers
Vice Student Speaker MAINZ