Jennifer Gerend
  • Theme Regional Management and Social Science Methods

Prof. Dr Jennifer Gerend

What fascinates you about being an HAW professor?

We have a bit of everything: contacts with actors from practice and politics, cooperation with students, and many opportunities to realise projects with colleagues. There is the opportunity to further develop through various offices, commissions and the internationalisation of the University of Applied Sciences.

What do you particularly appreciate about the HSWT?

Many things: the good standing of the HSWT, the pleasant atmosphere among colleagues and students, the competent support in the preparation of funding applications, in digital teaching through to semester planning. And who doesn't love the storks at the Triesdorf campus?!

What was your personal path to the HAW professorship? Where did you gain practical experience outside the University of Applied Sciences?

I worked for several years in urban and economic development in local governments of Germany and the USA. Also fundamental on my way: Smith College (a college for women), my first teaching position in Brooklyn, the German Chancellor Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the role model of a friend with her doctorate, and my family. I had my first child during my doctorate. I learned to work more efficiently and to pay attention to many priorities at once, "the juggling act"... a real advantage as a professor today.

What challenges have you successfully overcome during your time as a professor?

Online teaching! Besides the technical aspects, last semester, we were reminded of the importance of flexibility, creativity and a positive attitude. I invited a guest speaker from NYC last semester via Zoom - it was no problem. My students were thrilled.

What is your main recommendation to women interested in this career path?

Take advantage of mentoring programmes and training at your University of Applied Sciences or work! This time is well spent. Especially for professors from abroad like me, it can be a challenge to understand application procedures and university policies in Germany. Good preparation will help you to meet open Appointment Committees.