Interview with a Graduate - Diploma Programme Law
Stefan Hlavac, 2003 (year of graduation)

Completed program of study at the University of Innsbruck/year of graduation:
Diploma Program in Law 2003 (curriculum 1994W)

What is your current profession? In brief, what are your responsibilities?
I am currently working in Afghanistan on a project to improve administrative training. Two years ago, administrative science faculties were established at five universities. As the team leader in Kabul, I support and advise these faculties in curriculum development, expanding teaching capacities and organizational development. In another part of the project, we are establishing networks among the universities to improve the employability of graduates. Before I came here, I worked at a university in Mozambique as an advisor to the rectorate in the area of corruption prevention.

To what extent does your current profession relate to your degree program?
A law degree is a very broad program and gives students a large 'toolbox'. The program provided me the basics of economics, in-depth knowledge of core subjects, and the opportunity to take electives and supporting subjects to develop my own interests. Studying law encourages interdisciplinary thinking, and 'thinking outside the box' is especially helpful to understand complex issues in intercultural contexts.

How did your working life get started after you finished your degree?
I had experience with special interest groups while I was still at university, and before I graduated, I started working part-time in administration. I found it especially motivating to apply what I had learned in practical contexts.

My boss had confidence in me right from the start, and she gave me tasks that helped me grow.

Specialization in a particular area of law – in my case university law – also made it easier for me to start working.

What advice would you give students, especially those at the beginning of their degree programs?
Use your time as a student to have experiences abroad! Understanding other languages and cultures is becoming increasingly important for legal professions. As someone who didn't choose one of the classic legal professions, I can strongly recommend that. But even for future lawyers, judges, etc., I think such experiences can be positive.

Remember that a law degree is often just the beginning and qualifies you for further (occupational) training, e.g. LL.M, MBA, MSc.