"The ladies' sponsorship is a special concern for us because we would like to have more women in VERBUND – especially in the technical professions. After the success of last year we have thus again awarded a VERBUND ladies' scholarship this year. We are simultaneously sponsoring three students this year – a freshman, a Master's student and a PhD student of the Vienna University of Technology," says Georg Westphal, explaining VERBUND's motives.
"In Austria, the share of women in technical fields of study still lies at a mere 25 %. Target-oriented measures for the promotion of women in technical disciplines therefore appear all the more important. The VERBUND ladies' scholarship, which is being awarded this year for the second time, is the result of an especially successful collaboration with a top Austrian employer and represents a unique ladies' sponsorship measure at a technical university," says a delighted Helene Czanba, managing director of the University of Technology's Career Center, commenting on the successful project.
The VERBUND scholarship awardees
The three winners stand out on account of their excellent course achievements, practical and foreign experiences, as well as a high degree of social skills. Freshman Min Fang, Master's student Christiane Kienl, BSc. and PhD student Petra Goldenits are the proud winners of the VERBUND ladies' scholarship.
Freshman Min Fang is studying information technology at the Vienna University of Technology and linguistics at the University of Vienna. She is convinced that "women in technology" are a winning combination that is still found too infrequently today. Forward-looking companies such as VERBUND represent an exception to the rule. "It is a great honour for me to be sponsored by such a company," says a delighted Min Fang, speaking about the VERBUND's ladies' scholarship.
Christiane Kienl, BSc, Master's student of mechanical engineering, would like to expand her knowledge of languages by means of the ladies' scholarship: "I believe that languages are especially important for engineers in order to enable them to work internationally, as well as nationally. With the aid of the VERBUND ladies' scholarship, I would like to finance an overseas semester in Scandinavia or Iceland."
For Petra Goldenits, PhD student at Vienna University of Technology, the VERBUND ladies' scholarship represents a decisive support in her research activities. "I consider the attendance at international conferences and workshops of diverse, top-class institutions to be an important part of a successful research activity. They represent an enrichment that many are unable to afford privately. A sponsorship such as that of VERBUND enormously eases a broad application of research work."
A more comprehensive, multistage selection process
Around 30 highly qualified University of Technology students applied for the VERBUND ladies' scholarship. All applicants completed a telephone interview; the best of those were invited to attend a hearing. There, the three winners had to convince a top-class jury, comprising human resources experts and top managers from VERBUND, as well as experts from the University of Technology's Career Center.
Tailor-made career planning
The human resources experts from VERBUND and the University of Technology's Career Center will now develop a tailor-made sponsorship package with the three winners of the ladies' scholarship. This contains selected expert conferences and seminars on personality development. In addition, the students are reimbursed for material expenses such as textbooks or travel costs, as well as a semester's public transport ticket or travel expenses.