AStA project work:
Credits for the “Galeriefest”
Thomas, what was your task in the scope of the “Projektarbeit”?
Thomas Hallermeier: I planned the “Galeriefest”, the annual party the student council organizes for the freshers. Together with a fellow student, I was responsible for organizing the entire event. There were more than 120 volunteers involved in preparing the party, and it was our responsibility to keep everything together.
How did you come across the idea of organizing the party as a “Projektarbeit”?
I’m also involved in the department’s student association – and I wanted to organize the “Galeriefest” anyway. When I found out that it’s possible to get three credit points, I signed up. I think it’s a great thing that TUM rewards volunteer work with credits. On top of all that, I was able to learn a lot in the preparatory seminars for the project work.
How exactly does such a project work?
You can register in the winter semester, until mid-November. Then, there’s a kick-off meeting at the MCTS (Munich Center for Technology and Society), where the students get a first overview of the project timeframe. A few weeks later, there are two seminars on teamwork and project management. At the beginning of January, the students present their plans for the respective projects, including a schedule and first considerations – about possible difficulties and things like that. After the project, you have to write a report in which you reflect the process and the result.
Does every student carry out a project all by him-/herself?
No. You can work on a project on your own together with others. Each group has a supervisor from the student association, who provides help with the project and who is always available to answer questions. And anyone who is interested but has no specific idea can contact the student association or the AStA to ask for hints about what kinds of projects would be possible.
How much time does one invest in a project work like this?
That partly depends on the respective project. It can take one to three months, possibly with about 90 hours in total. Organizing the “Galeriefest” is not representative in this regard, as it was a larger project than it should normally be. We started planning in August, and the party took place on December 1st.
What do you like most about the module “AStA Projektarbeit”?
I think it’s great that we give students the opportunity to do some practical work alongside their theoretical studies – and to acquire soft skills. Our student association has been organizing the “Galeriefest” more than 20 years now, and there are quite a lot of instructions and to-do lists – but even if you have it all written out for you, it still has to be put into practice… and that’s something else again.
In what ways did you benefit from the project work?
I learned a lot about conversation techniques – primarily about communicating more clearly, to ensure that there are no misunderstandings. Also, I learned a lot in the way of time management and financial management. You can of course have loads of plans for such a party, but you need the money to be able to make it happen. For me, one of the most important experiences was that you have to see the big picture before dividing it into small work packages. Then, you have to hand these work packages over to your organization team. Even if you are responsible, you just can’t do it all yourself.
Thomas Hallermeier (22) is a student of Electrical Engineering at TUM. He is now in his 9th semester and has been involved in the student association for more than two years. He also wants to complete his Master’s degree at TUM and study abroad for a while during this time.
- Organize an AStA seminar weekend, lead an AStA working group, or organize an AStA event, e.g. at the “Lange Nacht der Universität”! You will receive support by the AStA and a trainer of the WTG@MCTS / ProLehre. More information about the interdisciplinary module “AStA Projektarbeit” (3 credits) can be found on the website of the TUM’s AStA, under the topic “Engagier dich!” or on the website of WTG@MCTS.