Interview with a graduate - Catholic Religious Education
Maga Astrid Höpperger

Completed program of study at the University of Innsbruck/year of graduation:
Religious Education/German Philology/1988

What is your current profession? In brief, what are your responsibilities?
Director of a crisis telephone service
Responsibilities: personnel management, advising employees, public relations, organizing training and supervision programs

To what extent does your current profession relate to your degree program?
The material I learned during my degree program is only marginally related to my current work. I needed to do additional training (psychotherapeutic and supervision training) for my profession. At work, I benefit from my abilities in areas of ethics, world view and spirituality. I see my theological training as providing a more universal background.

My degree in German philology is very helpful for public relations work because I often need to write articles.

How did your working life get started after you finished your degree?
Starting was easy – various opportunities were open to me: as a teacher, a pastoral assistant, then the leadership position at the telephone crisis service. That came about because I had volunteered there while I was a student and had already started various additional training programs.

What advice would you give students, especially those at the beginning of their degree programs?
A degree program is often something like a basic education, which you build on according to interests. That can be done while at university, e.g. through internships, summer jobs and other activities that suit one's interests. In so doing, contacts can be established that are useful for finding a job. It can also happen that one of those jobs or experiences leads to new ideas and the motivation to pursue a particular direction and acquire certain skills.

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