’I enjoy administrative work’

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21 year old Annalena Sigl graduated as the top student in a class of more than 4

21 year old Annalena Sigl graduated as the top student in a class of more than 400. She is now working as a government inspector at TUM. Image: Uli Benz / TUM

The 21 year old civil servant Annalena Sigl graduated at the top of her class - and was immediately hired by TUM. In her role with the finance department, she now supports science - and is inspired by a wish to promote understanding between the worlds of administration and research.

"I was always interested in public service," says Annalena Sigl. Her reason: "Everyone has their dealings with it and everyone needs it at one time or another." The young civil servant is thus motivated in her role at TUM at least partly by a desire to serve the common good. But she also loves the job: "I’m a structured person. I enjoy administrative work because I get to organize things."

Annalena Sigl graduated from the combined work-study degree program in internal administration at the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration in Bavaria (HföD) in October 2021 as first in a class of over 400 students. This earned her a special congratulatory message from TUM chancellor Albert Berger - and an appointment as a government inspector, with a position in Central Department 3 - Finance at TUM. Sigl had previously been assigned to TUM as a trainee government inspector. She completed the internships in her degree program with various TUM departments, the Munich District Administration Office and the Government of Upper Bavaria, among other authorities.

"One thing I loved about my program was the sheer variety," says Sigl. The curriculum included public and private law, economics and management as well as statistics and social sciences. Her training also involved stints with the refugee service and in a municipal legal department. And during the pandemic, she even stepped in to support the contact tracing team at the public health office in Bad Tölz and helped to process applications for covid support payments. A highlight was the internship with the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union in Brussels, completed on a work-from-home basis - also due to the pandemic.

For the fact that she joined the civil service immediately after completing school - initially on a preliminary basis, as a university student, and now with probationary status - Annalena Sigl actually credits her mother, who noticed a recruitment announcement. The choice of TUM for her trainee posting was an easy one: the university somehow stood out as compared to the regional government and the district administration office. In her free time she likes to read, most recently books on decision making and behavioral economics. She also enjoys cooking, taking trips with friends and calligraphy. In her view, an important contribution of the sciences to society is teaching, and thus the training of researchers and support staff. "Science also creates innovations that contribute to a better planet and a better society."

Sigl has a lot of respect for what scientists do. However, she notes: "It’s a completely different mindset." She believes that it is important to foster mutual understanding - for example, by helping the other side make sense of the budgetary laws. "Administration is seen too often as a brake, rather than a source of support. I would like to change that."

Her studies will help in that regard. "I learned how important it is not just to issue a decision, but to provide plausible and understandable reasons." Sigl could not see herself doing scientific research - she’s quite comfortable in her administrative role. "I have the feeling that I’m making my own contribution."

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