"The year was so varied that I almost never spent a week just in the office."
Nils Fischer started his FSJ Culture at the Münsterland Cultural Office in September 2018 and finished in August 2019. He already had a lot of fun organising events and projects at school and wanted to pursue this in his FSJ as well. Find out what he experienced and learned in the interview.
First of all, there were the typical clichés when you start an office job: All I have to do is make coffee and tidy up the warehouse. Fortunately, that wasn't the case at all. At the beginning, I also thought that some meetings or gatherings were only used for drinking coffee and didn't understand the meaning behind it. I didn't realise how important exchanges and networking are in this profession and especially for the cultural office. Sometimes it was immediately clear in the conversations that you couldn't help the respective person, but it was still super important to have an "open ear".
On the one hand, clearly working independently, i.e. working on tasks on your own responsibility and structuring your day or week with your own tasks. On the other hand, I also learned a lot about working in a team or in different projects, for example, how to contribute myself and my opinion in a meaningful way. I also learned a lot about organising events, especially how many little things have to be taken into account. In addition, my skills in graphic programmes, CMS systems and "beautiful participation lists" have increased exponentially. Yes, I also learned during my FSJ that there can be non-nice attendance lists.
My independent project was to create a social media guide for the cultural office with some hopefully helpful tips and hints. Not as brilliant as the project of my successor Anna-Ida, but almost. ;)
It's difficult to name the best memory. In general, so many positive impressions of the exciting places and the interesting people from art, culture and politics have stayed in my mind. That's also why the year was so varied and it never really happened that you only spent a week in the office.
Otherwise, the digital museum project Apokalypse Münsterland comes to mind. It was great to be able to accompany the project all the way to the container tour and to be able to contribute a lot of my own input.
To be honest, the first month was pretty hectic in the cultural office. The phones were going crazy so close to the application deadline for the Regional Cultural Policy (RKP) funding programme and you would find the three colleagues in the cultural office almost constantly in counselling sessions. So it wasn't easy to get in the way of questions, and they didn't want to ask unnecessarily. This worry was unfounded, however, because I could always ask my questions and also always ask for help when I had difficulties. When things got too much, I liked to walk around the airport to recharge my batteries.
I don't even know if I want to admit all that now in retrospect ;). I can only remember that the graphic combination of sponsor logos and tickets almost drove me to the brink of despair once.
You should ideally enjoy organising and planning projects and events. But you can set your own priorities in your FSJ at the Kulturbüro and - also through your own project - shape them individually. It also helps if you enjoy working with people and are interested in cultural topics.
I'm currently studying politics and economics in my third semester in Münster. Thanks to the FSJ, it's much easier for me to structure my everyday university life independently - especially now in Corona times. In my part-time job, the Photoshop skills I was taught during the FSJ are particularly helpful.
Just a tip: Never rely on the handwritten notes of the two male colleagues. They are impossible to decipher ;). Otherwise, I can only say that I had a lot of fun during the year and that there is no better way to explore or get to know Münsterland than during this time.