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Practitioners in Talk – Part 22

Veröffentlicht am 15. September 2021, 11:53 Uhr

::Non-academic careers::

Practitioners in Talk – Part 22

Many ways lead out of the BGHS. But where do postdoctoral paths lead? We talk to historians and sociologists who have taken up their career outside the university. Marc Ortmann spoke to us about his work for the city council of Munich as advisor of the parliamentary group of Die Linke.


Foto: Marc Ortmann

Marc, you are a doctoral researcher at the Institute for Sociology in Munich and you work for the Munich City Council. If you remember starting your job with the city council: How did you get started?

Marc Ortmann: At the beginning of my PhD, I worked as a research assistant for twelve months at the LMU and then for six months at the University of the Federal Armed Forces here in Munich. When my position at the University of the Federal Armed Forces expired and I was threatened with unemployment, I checked my networks and maybe told them about my worries. At that time, in March 2020, local elections had just taken place here in Bavaria. And my former liaison professor from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation then pointed out to me that there would be scientific advisory positions for the city council that had just been elected. Then I applied to the joint parliamentary group DIE LINKE and DIE PARTEI on my own initiative. The positions were not even advertised then.

You work for the city council of the state capital Munich. Where do you work exactly?

Marc Ortmann: Depending on the size of the parliamentary group, the elected parties are assigned positions for academic advisors. We are a team formed by DIE LINKE and DIE PARTEI: four city councilors and five academic advisors. I mainly deal with these people, from my own group. One of the five advisors is the management of the parliamentary group. The other four advisors are each assigned to a city councilor – and thus distributed over different topics because the city councilors sit on different committees of the city council. The topics I work on are: health, work and economics, and IT.

What are your most important tasks in this job?

Marc Ortmann: My first task is to prepare request and inquiries that the parliamentary group puts in committees or in the general assembly of the city council. These can be requests and inquiries on topics that we initiate. But that can also be requests and inquiries that we formulate in response to the work of other groups in the city council. My second job is press work. So, if the parliamentary group puts together a request package on rental issues over a period of months, for example, I turn it into a press release. It can also be a response on a statement by another group that I am drafting and sending to the press. Often there are only a few hours for such a response. My third task is research for the parliamentary group: What is happening in urban society? What are the other city council groups doing, what is the government coalition doing in Munich? Which local political problems and solutions are currently being discussed in other cities?

You work full-time for the city council and do your PhD part-time. How do you combine that?

Marc Ortmann: In my experience, when working on my dissertation, it is best if I take two weeks at a time to write. I can prepare for this time and decide in advance: Which points do I want to write down for my dissertation during these two weeks? Outside of these writing phases, however, there are also many weeks in which I cannot get to work on the dissertation. Also because for the past six months I have attended conferences, accepted teaching assignments and worked on them almost every weekend without writing my dissertation. That was too much.

What tips do you have for colleagues from sociology or history who are interested in a career in the occupational field you are in?

Marc Ortmann: If you are interested in scientific advisory positions, then I would recommend on the one hand to think about: In which political disputes am I involved in this work? What position would I take in these disputes? What is it that appeals to me? And for which organization would I like to do this work? On the other hand, it is helpful to establish contact with clubs, associations, parties, trade unions or foundations that are active in the envisaged political field. Maybe also to write an unsolicited application. Because these contacts also share information about where which advisory positions are currently being created with which content. This is information that is difficult to obtain by researching the Internet.

Marc, thank you for the conversation!

The interview was conducted by Ulf Ortmann.


You can find the complete interview (in German) here:

Komplettversion als PDF

Further information on the non-university careers project is available here . The previous interviews in the series are available here.

Gesendet von NMartins in Allgemein
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