“Welcome to DIE” – we can still remember these words and all the new faces all too well. It is hard to believe that nine months of the Postgraduate Training Programme have passed ever since. Back then, we still dreamed of possible stays abroad as part of the research projects and of setting up work places at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). Little did we know …
Unfortunately, we did not have the experience of doing research abroad. In addition, the last time we met as the whole Postgraduate Training Course (PGK) was in November 2020 and we had been sitting in our rooms and doing home office since January. Also, due to the digital farewell, we won’t all be able to get together anytime soon.
But nonetheless: little did we know how great these nine months would be. The course was a unique experience that allowed us to grow both personally and professionally. During the plenary phase, which still took place on site at DIE, we were able to get to know each other and grow together as a group. In the research teams, we were able to actively shape our research and learned to deal with all sorts of hurdles that presented themselves on the way. The online research even made it possible to look at several countries and to establish contacts with a large number of partner institutions, which would probably not have been possible in this extent through on-site research.
We look back at inspiring moments during the plenary phase and the research teams, at mock online government negotiations without a carbon footprint, at an excursion to the Ahr Valley, at joint summer evenings at the Rhine, at a pre-winter lockdown birthday party that we were still able to enjoy together, at online game evenings – at impressions and memories that we will take with us on our further journey. During our nine months at DIE, we developed wonderful friendships that will accompany us well beyond the course.
Now, a new phase of life starts. Some of us already have jobs, others are still looking, and others are just beginning to search. Some stay in Bonn, others move within Germany, and others move to other continents. Nevertheless, one thing connects us all: the memories of a wonderful time at DIE, which shaped and advanced us in so many ways, as well as friendships and the will to jointly point out structural obstacles and work for the global common good.
At this point, we would like to thank everyone who made our time at DIE unique: above all Regine Mehl, Andrea Herder, and Sven Grimm, as well as our research team leaders Christian von Haldenwang, Michael Roll, Karina Mross, Charlotte Fiedler, Silke Weinlich and Max-Otto Baumann. As we do not want to exhaust the scope of the newsletter too much, we would like to express general thanks for the support we experienced inside and outside the DIE.
We hope to finally get to know you personally at one of the summer get-togethers in the DIE garden (which will certainly take place again in the future).
See you soon,
The 56th course of the Postgraduate Programme