Pia Heitmann studied "Stadt- und Regionalplanung", which was renamed "Städtebau und Stadtplanung" (urban development and urban planning), at the BTU and works in urban planning for the Henningsdorf city administration. In October she visited the BTU with a delegation. We took the opportunity for a BTUAlumni interview.
Hello Pia, how did you come to study at the BTU?
I became aware of the course and the BTU through a former student who presented her course in urban and regional planning at an event at my school. What made me curious back then was the work in the studios, which she reported on. My time in the studios was often very challenging, but also incredibly fun and exciting. I was able to learn a lot about myself during this time and I am therefore very happy to look back.
How did you make the transition from studying to working life?
It was a smooth transition for me between the mandatory internship and the employment relationship. I can't really say too much about starting a job. Originally I planned adding my Master's degree directly after my Bachelor's degree, which I'm now postponing by a year. Accordingly, I can only say that sometimes it is good to keep an open mind, especially when starting a career.
You are now working in the city administration of Henningsdorf. What are your tasks there?
I was lucky that I was given a lot of responsibility very quickly and I also have the freedom to go to a wide variety of seminars and conferences. On a day-to-day basis, I work fairly closely with our Hennigsdorf city management team, with whom I develop measures and also help with implementation. We were recently able to jointly present our first cargo bike, which will be available to the public for free. The three of us with the city’s sustainability manager and a colleague from city management, started the project. In general, I was recently assigned the role of mentor for the trainees in our specialist service, which is of course also an honour. I could list a number of other projects I'm involved in, but that would probably go beyond the scope. Before I started in the city administration, I had no idea how wide-ranging and interesting the thematic range of tasks in administration can be, which unfortunately is often not perceived as particularly interesting.
What should prospective students bring with them to enroll for a degree in urban development and urban planning at the BTU?
In any case, those interested in studying should bring a lot of time with them, since most projects are very time-consuming. In addition, perseverance, self-discipline and of course creativity are not wrong. I think you just have to get involved with your studies, then you will have a lot of fun. I have never regretted my choice of degree or my time at the BTU and I would do it all again at any time.
How was it for you to visit the campus in Cottbus again?
It was a nice being back on campus. Due to the pandemic, I hadn't seen the university campus very regularly, even before I finished my bachelor's degree. A lot has happened on the site over the past year. The event also allowed me to take a look at the new start-up center Startblock B2 and get an insight into interesting projects from other courses. Again, I am grateful for everything that my work enables me to do.
What do you miss most from your student days in Cottbus?
My fellow students, of course, and all the conversations and the nonsense that one drove during the numerous night shifts. Definitely also the studios, the model building workshop and the pleasant working atmosphere with some lecturers and professors.
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