Within the framework of Vienna University of Technology’s job fair "TUday11", Johann Sereinig, Deputy Chairman of the Board, awarded the VERBUND women’s scholarship to three outstanding students of Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna). The winners can look forward to a tailor-made support for their careers throughout an entire academic year.
"We are convinced that optimally utilising the available talent is a decisive factor in the company’s success. Special efforts are particularly required in the technical sector, which is still powerfully dominated by men today. For this reason it is our wish to actively support women in the training for technical fields of occupation," said Dr. Johann Sereinig, explaining VERBUND’s motivation.
"The issue of women in technology is not only very topical, but clearly one of THE subjects of the future. In several technical fields of study, such as engineering or electro-technology, for example, the percentage of women among those studying still lies at less than 10%. The VERBUND women’s scholarship is an important and accurate signal for the targeted promotion of qualified technicians. They act as role models and encourage more women to opt for technical training and careers," says Helene Czanba, manager of the TU Career Center, expressing her conviction concerning the VERBUND initiative for the promotion of women.
The VERBUND Scholarship Awardees
The three winners have distinguished themselves through outstanding academic performances, practical and overseas experience, as well as through a high degree of social skills. First-year student Clarissa Stracke, master’s student Sandra Thurner and PhD student Christa Simon are the proud winners of the VERBUND women’s scholarship.
First-year student Clarissa Stracke studies industrial engineering – mechanical engineering at TU Vienna. She is fascinated by the "diverse and multifaceted" nature of her studies and is an "avid engineer". She regrets the fact "that women in technical fields of study continue to be in the minority." For this reason she is all the more delighted by forward-looking initiatives such as the VERBUND women’s scholarship, "since the targeted sponsorship of prospective and qualified technicians can give women more courage to take up technology."
Sandra Thurner, master’s student of electro-technology at TU Vienna, chose energy technology as the focus of her studies. "My special interest is in renewable energies, and the VERBUND women’s scholarship gives me the opportunity to further deepen my expertise in hydropower and wind energy. However, my self-development and language skills shouldn’t be overlooked. I would like to use the scholarship for the further development of my self-confidence and negotiation skills and to learn a third foreign language," says a delighted Thurner about the VERBUND sponsorship.
For Christa Simon, PhD student of technical mathematics at TU Vienna, the VERBUND women’s scholarship represents the opportunity to network more intensely at national and international conferences in her area of research. "Presenting the results of one’s own research at symposia and to exchange ideas with colleagues at international workshops is a unique opportunity for young researchers, but also a very costly affair. The VERBUND women’s scholarship provides me with an invaluable advantage in this area." She views the sponsorship by VERBUND as "a unique opportunity for further development, both personally and professionally."
Comprehensive Multilevel Selection Process
Some 30 highly qualified TU students applied for the VERBUND women’s scholarship. All candidates initially completed a telephone interview, and several participants were subsequently invited to attend a hearing. It was here that the three winners had to convince a top-class jury comprising HR experts and top managers from VERBUND, as well as experts from the TU Career Center, among others, within the framework of presentations and team exercises.
Tailor-made Career Planning
The HR exerts from VERBUND and the TU Career Center will now develop a tailor-made sponsorship package in consultation with the three women’s scholarship awardees. These will contain select expert conferences and self-development seminars. In addition, the students will be reimbursed for material expenses such as reference books or travel expenses, as well as the semester ticket for public transport.