Jump to content
Hochschule vor Ort

StudyScout Günny: Demolition for a successful start

In the heart of Nordstadt: Sabrina Günther's ("Günny") favorite place is Dortmund's harbour.

Her grades are good and the course content is interesting - that's when Sabrina Günther makes a surprising decision: she drops out of law school.

During her studies, the young woman realizes that she doesn't want to be a lawyer - and she is brave enough to change her direction. Sabrina, nicknamed "Günny" everywhere she goes, is now in her fourth semester of social work at Fachhochschule Dortmund. As a StudyScout at the university vor Ort, "Günny" is now trying to convey to young prospective students that supposed failure always brings opportunities.

Birthday law book

At the age of ten, "Günny" wanted her first law book - and justice for all. As a child, she dreamed of a better world and of contributing to it as a lawyer. It never occurred to her that she would one day study social work.

During her time at secondary school, "Günny's" interest in legal subjects grew stronger and she decided to complete her Abitur at a vocational college in Unna. Günny" made the decision to study law in the sixth form. No one in her family had ever studied before. Because her parents wanted the best for their daughter, they advised "Günny" to start an apprenticeship after leaving school and earn money as quickly as possible. But the young woman had other plans - she wanted to go to university.

"The TalentScouts are encouraging people who help them plan for the future."

Life at the university seemed strange at first, even a little intimidating. The TalentScouts responsible at the vocational college took care of "Günny's" questions and concerns. How can studying be financed and what does the word "matriculation" actually mean? The counseling sessions gave "Günny" the courage to apply to study law. The TalentScouts successfully supported the then pupil in her application for a scholarship.

Young talents like "Günny" are supported in their choice of studies or career by TalentScouts from currently 17 universities. Fachhochschule Dortmund is part of the NRW-wide TalentScouting network with 21 cooperating schools.

Dropping out of university is not a break

As a lawyer, "Günny" wanted to help people. But the closer she got to this goal, the more she doubted her choice of study. Despite a successful course of study and interesting lecture content, the student felt unhappy. "I was grateful for the opportunity to study law. But I didn't want to study for years only to end up feeling unhappy in my job," "Günny" recalls the emotionally stressful time.

Günny" only realized what her dream job would look like during her law studies. The decisive factor in this discovery process was knowing what she didn't want.

"Knowing what you don't want is worth a lot. I only learned what suits me through trial and error."

The young student realized that instead of desk work, she mainly wanted direct contact with people. She wanted to support people in emergency situations and accompany them over a longer period of time.

Nevertheless, leaving her law studies behind was not an easy decision for "Günny". She had invested a lot of time and effort in her studies: page after page, term paper after term paper. Although she had vague ideas about her dream job, she had no idea how she would achieve it. "Günny" once again turned to the TalentScouting department at her old vocational college, where her attention was drawn to the social work study program. TalentScouting put her in touch with a student from Fachhochschule Dortmund. After the interview, "Günny" was certain: "I want to study social work at the UAS."

"I felt comfortable and in the lectures I thought: this is exactly what I want."

The young student, who has now been studying social work(Opens in a new tab)  at Fachhochschule Dortmund for four semesters, is certain that she has made the best decision of her life. "Without studying law, I might never have come to social work," says the now 23-year-old. "I now know exactly why law wasn't for me and why social work suits me. Now I'm on the way to my dream job."

"Günny" is particularly happy to be able to deal with both social and legal issues in her study program. During their studies, students deal with areas of law that are relevant to social work.

"Günny" explains to prospective students at Westfalenkolleg why she studies social work.

Encourage students yourself as a StudyScout

"Günny", who is involved in the student council and the student parliament alongside her studies, has been working as a StudyScout at the Hochschule vor Ort since April 2023. "I come from Nordstadt myself and know what it feels like to be the first in the family to study. There are many young people with a similar life path," says the student. "My experiences in choosing a course of study have shaped me and help me to put myself in the students' shoes in my work as a StudyScout. The personal exchange with the young people gives me a lot."

At eye level, "Günny" gives pupils from the north of Dortmund practical insights into the social work study program. During campus tours or workshops, prospective students not only learn where which faculty is located, but also what "Günny" himself would have liked to know before starting his studies.

"As a StudyScout at the Hochschule vor Ort, I gain valuable experience for the time after my studies. Now I'm on the other side - it's a nice feeling to make someone think."

Two minutes to the "aha moment"

As a StudyScout, "Günny" has developed a school workshop in which prospective students deal with their individual resources. In social work, resources refer to personal sources of strength as well as social and material protective factors. "At the end of the workshop, the students realize how much they actually have: Family, friends, health, a roof over their heads or even a bus ticket can be resources. My specialist project is about empowering the pupils." Empowerment is a social work concept that focuses on people's personal strengths to help them cope with life and is therefore a recurring topic of study.

"When the students have fun, it's a sense of achievement. The two-minute exercise always lightens the mood in workshops".

"Günny" prepares a school workshop.

The students are divided into teams of two. While one talks about a topic of their choice, the other does nothing. No facial expressions, no gestures, no murmuring in agreement - simply nothing. In the second round, the roles are retained, but now the discussion partners interact with each other. The person listening nods, smiles and asks questions. At this moment, the pupils breathe a sigh of relief and "Günny" is there to experience the "aha moment". In a playful way, the pupils learn what appreciative communication means.

"Günny's" story is an example of educational paths that are not straightforward after school. Taking new paths means seizing opportunities and actively shaping your life. When "Günny" had doubts about her educational path, she sought support. Today, she is a role model on the other side - and encourages pupils.

Notes and references

Photo credits

  • Hochschule vor Ort | Carina Fast
  • Hochschule vor Ort | Carina Fast
  • Hochschule vor Ort | Carina Fast

This site uses cookies to ensure the functionality of the website and to collect statistical data. You can object to the statistical collection via the data protection settings (opt-out).

Settings(Opens in a new tab)