SUCCESS STORY

Abena Liebisch

B.A. Social Work

Part-Time Studies

ABENA LIEBISCH, B.A. SOCIAL WORK

"Hardly any other university offers a high level of flexibility like IU International University."

A successful career change: Her voluntary work in counselling girls and young women sparked Abena Liebisch's desire to study Social Work. While still studying at IU, she received an offer for her dream job: Social Pedagogue at an autonomous women's refuge.

When I found out about the possibility of studying social work, it became obvious to me that the time had come for a change of direction: After my vocational training as an Office Communication Assistant, I worked for eight years as a commercial clerk in a medium- sized company. I was mainly involved in human resources development.

Towards the end of my vocational training, I developed the desire to pursue a social activity. Over the years, I have become more and more aware that a 9-to-5 office job simply has nothing to offer me. Besides my job in human resources management, I got to know the social sector better through my voluntary work.
Studying at IU finally gave me the opportunity to start my desired degree programme in Social Work and still enjoy the financial security that comes with my job. As a mother of two children, an important factor for me was to be able to stay in my old job for the time being while studying.

Autonomous women's refuge: working against violence

My primary task as a social pedagogue now is to accompany, support and consult women who are victims of violence. We work according to the principle of helping people to help themselves. The approach in counselling in autonomous women's refuge is to activate and strengthen the woman's own resources and to support her personal responsibility and, if necessary, her practical steps. What fascinates me about my profession is that I can contribute a small part towards fighting the violence of patriarchal society.

Learning while studying: Independent work and resource planning

Balancing family, children and studies was very stressful and exhausting from time to time. But I always had the goal in mind of making the career change. That motivated me. In addition, the flexible study programme at IU helped me to get everything organised under one roof. I could write assignments and exams when everyone at home was asleep. For my current job, the modules from my studies at the IU that introduced me to the methods, instruments and framework of social work are still very useful. During my studies, I also learned to work independently and to utilise my own resources effectively. This is extremely beneficial for me in social work. That is also one of the reasons why I would recommend studying at IU: The high level of flexibility that hardly any other university can offer.

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