Spotlight on... | 23.06.2021

"Spotlight on..." Julia Strasheim

DP Alumna Julia Strasheim is working as Deputy Managing Director and Program Director for European and International Affairs at the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung. Learn more about her current job and her time at the GIGA in this interview.

What tasks and responsibilities do you have in your current position? How does your daily working routine look like?                   

My daily working routine is that there is no daily working routine! As Program Director for the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung, I am in charge of overseeing all activities and projects related to European and international affairs. In practice, this means I spend my days recording podcasts, writing short opinion pieces or longer articles, planning smaller and bigger events, moderating or speaking at panel discussions, or liaising with cooperation partners or decision makers. As Deputy Managing Director, there’s also additional administrative tasks, such as taking part in recruitment processes.

Were you clear about what you wanted to do after your PhD or was your career path more by chance?

It became clear to me during my PhD that I wanted a position with a lot of creative freedom, societal impact, job security and a good work-life balance – so I actively started looking for positions other than “classic” research positions at universities that allowed me to use the skills and knowledge I acquired during my PhD, but also offered all of these features.

Which moment during your doctoral studies was the most memorable?

Besides my field work in Nepal in 2015, which greatly influenced me as a person, I was generally lucky to be part of an amazing team at the GIGA during my doctoral studies. Travelling to conferences in Canada, the US, South Africa or Hong Kong together with my great and inspiring colleagues and always adding a day or two for some sightseeing, hiking or wine tasting definitely created many memorable moments!

What was the most valuable piece of advice that you received during your doctoral studies that you still draw on today?

There is no single piece of advice, but what I still draw on today is the great support and advice I received from many female colleagues and peers at the GIGA, or through the GIGA mentoring program, on being a woman in academia – and that I try to pay forward in my work today.


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