Julia Unger BSc, MSc

Julia Unger recommends that graduates show initiative and apply for research posts.


Key data

Job description: Research assistant
Company: FH JOANNEUM Gesellschaft mbH
I work in: Bad Gleichenberg, Austria
I’ve worked here since: 2011
My contact

What I do:

I am responsible for project acquisition and project handling. I often have to travel nationally and internationally, for example to project meetings or congresses to present the results from the current projects. I also hold selected classes for the Bachelor’s course in Occupational Therapy.

Why I love my job:

I love the variety, I love working on different projects and collaborating with different people from different professions. No two days are the same. This brings lots of new perspectives and helps with my own personal development. And of course I love sharing my knowledge with others – working with students in lectures and on projects is great fun. It inspires you to reflect on your knowledge and forms of interaction. I am always pleased when students are enthusiastic about their research and development work .

Important skills in my job:

  • Flexibility
  • Ability to cope with pressure
  • Initiative

My biggest accomplishment so far:

Making the students smile although the ‘Scientific Methodology’ class is certainly not their ‘favourite class’ after a full day’s work.

How I found my current job:

I studied for my Bachelor’s degree at FH JOANNEUM myself. Once I had finished, I was assigned a post as a research assistant which I then officially applied for.

What I learned for this job during my studies:

If I were to write down everything I learned for my job during my studies, there would not be enough room here!

Job prospects in my field:

Thanks to the increase in research and development opportunities in occupational therapy in Austria, I think there will be more and more posts available to interested graduates. I recommend that graduates take the initiative and apply for research posts, even if they are not specifically looking for an occupational therapist. The content and skills being sought often fit well with those of an occupational therapist.

I am:

  • dynamic
  • ambitious
  • cheerful (mostly) :)

About my job:

It is important for me to have a job which interests and challenges me and which helps me get up in the morning and look forward to my work. My biggest goal is to further expand the institute’s research and development activities, to make research more relevant to the students and to make them see that science is anything but ‘dry’ .

I am currently studying:

I completed a Master’s in Occupational Therapy at the FH Campus Vienna straight after finishing my Bachelor’s at FH JOANNEUM. I am currently working towards a PhD in medical science at the Medical University of Graz.

I am continuing my studies because:

I have been interested in medical sciences ever since I started working as a research assistant and I am striving to contribute to the further development of occupational therapy as a field. The course is expected to provide me with the skills required to engage in scientific research.

How I make studying compatible with my job:

It is a challenge to study and work and there are often timetable clashes. So it is important to have good time management, to be well organised and to look after yourself. I also receive a lot of support from my employers and superiors in terms of having flexible deadlines within a specified timeframe. This makes it much easier to combine studies with a job. And not forgetting my family and friends who are a fantastic resource for me.