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Jozefina Milanovski: 'Being a social scientist in a techno world'

Alumna testimonial

Jozefina Milanovski graduated in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (Bachelor) in 2011, Urban Sociology (Master's) and Political Communication (Master's) in 2013

FMG Sociology - Urban Sociology - Jozefina Milanovski
Jozefina Milanovski in Cologne Photo: Pedro Robalo

The reason I chose the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences programme is because I've always enjoyed learning about a wide range of topics. I knew I wanted to study something involving sociology, political science, culture and psychology. This programme offered all of that. My main aim was to get a taste of all the social sciences first and then decide where to focus. I particularly enjoyed the specialisations in Urban Sociology and Communication Science, which led me to the Urban Sociology Master and the Political Communication Master.

Your field of research is all around you

A big advantage of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences is its broad scope and variety, which gives you a helicopter view of social issues. In this way you start to see how the social world coheres together, but at the same time it makes you start questioning things that once seemed so obvious, also since your field of research is always around you. Assuming I could always easily find a job with the skills I was learning, I never made concrete plans for my future. It was more important to me to absorb as much knowledge as possible, to develop myself as a person and take on additional challenges. That's also why I wanted to go abroad. I wrote my Bachelor's thesis in Vienna and my Urban Sociology Master thesis in Sarajevo. After completing my Masters I did an internship at one of my favourite magazines, Vice, in order to build more practical skills, but of course also because I thought it would be fun. There I worked at the marketing department, focusing on the Balkan region as they needed a person with background knowledge of that area. After my  internship I worked as a freelancer for the magazine for a while.

What you study matters

In early 2014 I moved out of love to Cologne to be with my boyfriend and I got a job as a regional marketing specialist at a multinational that manufactures instruments and equipment for DNA and molecular research. I'm in charge of marketing activities for the Benelux and the UK. I would never have thought that with my social sciences background I would end up working at a technical company. However, contrary to what many people have told me, what you study really does matter. It defines how you approach your job. Working in this marketing position, I notice that I can quickly combine information to come to ideas and solutions, and that my broad knowledge about how people and society work makes it easier to develop targeted marketing campaigns. So my sociology and communication background are paying off. It's a fun job in which knowledge of the human nature and creativity are important. My diary is crammed with meetings, but luckily there's also always time for a friendly chat at the coffee machine. Having a broad background also makes me more flexible and means I can switch jobs more easily, which is pretty important in times like these.