Why did you choose to study Sustainable Cities?
Quite from the start of my Bachelor’s degree, I realized that I was very much interested in sustainable city planning. Furthermore, my dad works in sustainable urban development, and I therefore got to know all the issues first hand. As there was no similar course in Germany, and I always wanted to go abroad, I chose Copenhagen and AAU as the perfect place to learn more about sustainable cities.
How did you experience your study time at the university?
Overall it was a great experience to study in Denmark. I was only the second year of doing the Sustainable Cities (SusCi) course so there were still some things to improve, I guess. Yet, I think all teachers and students tried really hard to constructively improve the course further. The atmosphere was very easy going and teachers and students met at eye level. I liked that and it was quite different from my experience at my German University.
JobTitle: Projektleitung, ZEBAU GmbH, Hamburg
Full name: Karla Rika Müller
Year of graduating: 2015
Did you do an internship? If you did would you recommend it? And where?
During my third semester, I did an internship back in Hamburg. Personally, I found that very enriching for me and also for reflecting on my study. I have always worked as a student worker during my Bachelor’s degree which I can highly recommend to everyone. It takes you mind of your studies, and you can actually experience where your studies may lead you or what you could do after the graduation. This was also leading to my first job after I graduated.
How did you get your first job?
After the internship at the IBA Hamburg, I got the opportunity to write my master thesis on an actual project with my former employer (ZEBAU - Centre for Energy, Building, Architecture and Environment). After the graduation, I was offered a job and my own project.
What is your current job situation? What does it imply?
Currently, I am working for the ZEBAU, an energy and network agency on energy efficient building in Hamburg. We are a small office with about 30 employees. We do a wide range of different projects. In my team we do a lot of conferences and events for both architects and engineers but also for end consumers on how to build sustainable buildings or what to do to save energy etc. We also have a small number of projects on municipal heat planning basically, in which I am very interested.
What skills from your education can you use in your present job?
I think work is like a big student project. You need to deal with lot of different parties and need to organize a lot, so that has been quite helpful. Also in my course we got a good overview of many different perspectives, sectors and tools to work with. Furthermore, I think it is really important to keep yourself updated on current legislation, best practice projects or current research within your field. At the end of the day, I think that it is just about getting organized, go for it and if you do not know everything that is ok - just ask someone who knows.
If you need to highlight projects you have been involved in - what should that be?
Currently, I am working on a project from the federal building ministry in Germany on Efficiency Houses Plus (buildings that produce more energy than they consume). It is a network of 36 Efficiency Houses Plus in the whole of Germany, and we are organizing it (hosting events, publishing a newsletter and advising municipalities or end consumers).