Some people start a new year with new year’s resolutions. Some are just trying to get over their New Year’s Eve hungover. Here in the offices of Euroculture, we have a different tradition to start the new year. I introduce to you: the Management Meeting.
For a Management Meeting, directors and coordinators from all Euroculture universities get on trains, planes and automobiles to meet each other, to battle it out in an arena (meeting room) in one of the Euroculture cities. The upcoming meeting will take place in Göttingen, which means that in between debates we get to regain our strength by eating sauerkraut and drinking beer.
The Meeting happens twice a year: once in January, and once during the Intensive Programme, which also includes delegates from the non-EU partner universities. The January meetings are somewhat bleaker: less sun, less partners, less students (none at all!), which leaves all the more room for what needs to be done: talk, discuss, manage, meet. All work and no play.
So what do we discuss during these sessions? Boring stuff mostly, but vital for a complicated international programme like ours. Important decisions are made here too: which students will get to go to a non-EU partner for the third semester? Which applicants will be selected for Erasmus Mundus scholarships? (Spoiler: none, we’re in a gap year.)
Despite the high level of boring discussions and endless note-taking, I see the meetings as a treat. Not only do I get to see all Euroculture cities, it’s always great to see the extended Euroculture family, meet new additions to the team, and most of all to take part in the best tradition of them all: gossiping about the students we share.
The Euroculturer has invited Dr. Lars Klein, Senior Lecturer of Euroculture Goettingen, to ask about what distinguishes Euroculture Goettingen from other Euroculture universities, how his various research areas are closely related, when he felt it was a disadvantage to be German in other European countries, and which career advice he could give to MA Euroculture students.
Topic 1. Euroculture Goettingen
1) Hello, Lars. Could you briefly introduce yourself and your job as Senior Lecturer at Euroculture Goettingen? Please tell us about your first encounter with MA Euroculture. What was the hook?
Well, to start with the last question: The Euroculture Program and the Research Training Group (Graduiertenkolleg)
“Generations in Modern History”, in which I was doing my PhD, were sharing the same building prior to 2008 – and the same photocopier. My first encounter with Euroculture was thus through the Coordinator and Assistant who spent hours at that photocopier, which was right next to my office door. It also turned out that a few of my colleagues had actually studied the Program, and quite a few staff members I met were involved in Euroculture.
So in a way, Euroculture was a very familiar programme for me already when I applied for the lecturer-position at the end of my term at the Research Training Group. I got the job and followed the Program to the Oeconomicum, the building it still is in now. Arwed, our Program Coordinator, and I started together in Spring 2008.