SOS!Editor-in-Chief: Guilherme Becker (2019-2020)

Have you ever wondered what being part of The Euroculturer is like? In this mini-series, former editors-in-chief will reiterate upon their experiences as a Euroculture student and the impact that being part of the Euroculturer has had on their professional career! In this second edition, Guilherme Becker (2018/2020, Göttingen and Groningen) will tell you about his experiences.

The Euroculturer Magazine (EM): Out of the universities you have attended, which one did you enjoy the most (and why)?

Guilherme Becker (GB): I honestly liked – and could improve my knowledge in – both of them. What I perceive now is how good Göttingen had at that time prepared me in the first semester to go to Groningen, for example. The learnings of both of them have some different paths, I would say, along with their peculiarities and deadlines, but it seemed worthwhile to me having had a very good introduction in Göttingen and then going to a quite different system in Groningen, where I was able to improve especially my theoretical perception.

EM: What did you do in your third semester? What is the most valuable thing you learned during your research/professional track?

GB: I did two different internships. The first one at Deutsche Welle, in Bonn, Germany, from October to December 2019, and the second one at a newspaper called Thüringer Allgemeine, in Erfurt, also in Germany, from January to March 2020 – and then the world went upside down because of the pandemics…

Well, as a journalist, the most valuable thing I learnt was the fact that I could put some experiences into practice and, at the same time, work in a German newsroom – or a German journalistic environment, which is simultaneously quite similar and quite different compared to the experiences I previously had in Brazil. I mean, the fact that I could write my thoughts in German for the first time and, while in Erfurt, witnessing the Thüringen state election of 2020, when moderate parties sealed an alliance with a far-right party for the first time in German history since the Second World War was something intense. You can read what I wrote about it here.

EM: Why did you decide to become part of The Euroculturer team, and how long were you active?

GB: Because I am a journalist and I love writing and editing, and I thought I would be able to help the team in some way, bringing interesting ideas and talking to classmates to write about issues and analysis from their countries, regions, backgrounds, experiences, which in the end I think I could accomplish somehow. I worked as editor from October 2018 until July 2019, when I became editor-in-chief until the end of Euroculture, in August 2020.

EM: About what did you write your Master thesis?

GB: My thesis is titled: Back in Germany: identity and cultural perspectives of German-Brazilians in their ancestors’ land. As the title already tells, I tried to explore the identity and cultural perspectives of Brazilians who hold German citizenship because of their ancestors, based on German citizenship laws. I interviewed five German-Brazilians (qualitatively) who had been living in Germany at least for a year (at that time) and then crossed those information with identity, culture and migration theories. So, basically, these people are doing the reverse way their ancestors once did. Anyway, they immigrated. They are officially Germans, but they are actually Brazilians. They are both. They are Brazilians who live in Germany, but hold the local citizenship. Do they feel completely at home? Are they seen as foreigners? Do they carry the cultural boundaries their ancestors once brought to Brazil? Because regarding papers and documents, they are officially Germans living in Germany. But are they really? Do they feel completely at home or there’s a lack of sense of belonging, identity and culture, in regard to their immigration background? Those are some of the questions I asked and tried to answer after comparing their answers with theories aforementioned.

EM: What did you do the year after graduating Euroculture, and could you tell us more about your experiences during this period fresh out of university?

GB: Well, honestly speaking, the months right after graduation were not that easy for me. Because of the pandemics and the lockdowns, I simply had to stay stuck at home trying to find job opportunities that came, but then disappeared, and were canceled… And this happened many times. Interviews were canceled, vacancies were canceled. It was a difficult time, I have no reason to hide it. But in the end I had a goal in my mind and I tried to respect this introspectiv rhetoric: I kept my head high and moved forward. Somehow, after much insistence and persistence, I think I was finally able to achieve something.

EM: What are you currently doing?

GB: I am currently working as a journalist (reporter and copywriter) at Deutsche Welle, in Bonn, Germany.

EM: In hindsight, how has your experience of working with The Euroculturer been helpful for your post-graduate career?

GB: Undoubtedly it helped me perceive other ways of organizing tasks as well as the way people write and see the world around them, certainly because all of us come from different cultures and backgrounds. And this is the most amazing thing: you discuss topics and the way the text should be exposed talking to people that come from many different parts of the planet. This broadens your perspective regarding the way you should see certain situations, as well as approaching those people, discussing with them, suggesting topics and so on. A great experience, in the end.

EM: Based on your experiences, why would it be useful for current Euroculture students to become involved in the Euroculturer?

GB: I think the previous answer almost answers this question. But the fact that you will get involved in something with such nice content will make you get around people full of creativity and brightness. And failures. And bad mood. And good mood. And so on. The fact is that you can also take advantage of that to improve your writing skills, suggesting creative topics or series, I mean, it’s something that pushes you almost automatically forward. It can be heavy, yes, if you have many deadlines and the priorities are your studies, firstly.

Nevertheless, it can be great exactly to make you think outside the box and all that formal writing you have to build on your papers. It’s a good opportunity to mix it all up a bit, maybe.

For the full Euroculturer 10th Anniversary Special: Click here!

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