-julie-

PhD in Berlin (Germany)

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Hi everybody!

I was offered a PhD position in Berlin at the Charité and wanted to know if anybody made some previous experience with a PhD in Berlin or working at the Charité? I know it's Europe's largest University clinic and said to have a good reputation, so I was wondering if this is true or if anybody thinks different? And what can I expect from living in Berlin and doing a PhD? At the beginning I was super convinced to do a PhD after finishing my master studies, but now, as I talked to many people, starting a normal job after graduating seems more popular. They claimed it gets more and more difficult to find a job with a PhD later on. What are your opinions on that? I know in the end I have to know what I want and what my aim is, but I'm still curious about other opinions. Maybe someone mentions a good point that helps me with my decision, as I was also offered a normal job as a Technical Assistant in my hometown.
Thanks for your help! :)

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Hi Julie!

I guess the best word to describe Berlin is unique. The city is still set in this 90s look with a mix of socialist architecture in East Berlin and skyscrapers in West Berlin. Also, the city still holds onto this Cold War identity and is not afraid to show it daily. Therefore, you will find a lot of students, migrants, and tourists. The occasional German does pop up, but the city has really become an international one. This means you can find just about anything you are looking for: grunge dive bar that allows smoking = yup; amazing Vietnamese and Turkish food = yup; opera, ballet, theater = yup; classic German bureaucracy = yup. In sum, finding a balance between studies and play is very important in Berlin because the city can suck you into its life very very very fast.

As for the job market, the short answer is yes. Job hunting in Berlin is a pain and can take weeks and sometimes months. A lot of people with amazing skills and ideas are flooding to Berlin to get into the startup business. This also means that people from all walks of life are moving to the city in hoping of finding success and a new life. However, if you keep your head down and continue your search, finding work in Berlin is more than possible. Although, as I would expect someone getting a PhD from Charité, I do not think you will be living in Berlin for the long haul. The rest of Germany needs a lot of medical staff and doctors, especially Western Germany; so do not be persuaded by the job market of Berlin in not attending Charité.

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yeah, I'd agree that the more important question is: do you want a PhD, y / n ? 

Then, from there, I'd move into figuring out whether you want to go to Berlin or not. 

For my undergrad project in 2010, I worked with the Stiftung Charite as a client to redesigning their brand identity. Imo, everyone I worked with seemed friendly and smart. With more information on the kind of PhD, who you'd be working with etc., I am sure people might be able to give you better feedback / suggestions. 

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