Meet Gytis Nakvosas


Gytis is one of our alumni and graduated 2023 with the M.Sc. European Urban Studies. Find out more about her interests, experiences and challenges after graduation below.

Masters degree at BUW: M.Sc. European Urban Studies

Graduation: 2023

Masters thesis topic: 'Loft' housing in Vilnius as an example of microliving in the context of post-socialist housing market"

What are you doing at the moment?

I have just started working at the European Humanitarian University as a Coordinator for Development and Cooperation, which alludes to facilitating the process of research and publishing for the faculty (academic staff). The University itself is a liberal arts college for Belarusian students and researchers; therefore, it has specific challenges for the staff to work within the higher education in Lithuanian and European context.

How was your transition from being a student to your current position?

Well, the transition took a while given that a year ago I was in the process of writing my Master's thesis. Given that I had been leaning towards returning to my home city after the studies, I have had some cushion and privilege to let some time pass before I wrap my head around. Besides applying to various jobs, primarily at the public sector, I have had several tasks where I could be useful with my insights and knowledge from the studies in Weimar.

A particular example: the EHU, in cooperation with the universities in Brno and Wroclaw, is aiming to establish a MA study programme on Urban Studies with a particular focus on Central and Eastern Europe - and I happen to be a graduate of EUS from Vilnius having done my Guided Research Project at the very university in Brno!

What have you learned during your studies that benefit you now in your working life the most?

Besides the knowledge that is of high value and quite unique (in a way that it goes across the disciplinary boundaries), the studies and the odd experiences of being an actual researcher have also taught me some useful skills: a go-for-it attitude, eagerness to learn more, last but not least - not being afraid to improvise and be creative in situations when one might not be 100 percent sure of one's abilities or knowledge.

Improvement in organization skills, English language, reading, and writing. Moreover, while writing my thesis I did a lot of research on smart mobility, and I am currently able to apply this knowledge in my job.

Do you have any further tips and remarks for current (international) students joining the job market outside of Germany?

I believe that my situation is quite specific and I have been always much more secure than my peers. I came back to my home city with hope (or ambition one would say) to get involved with urban development of the city - which, in case you are familiar with the context of postsocialist Central and Eastern Europe, can sometimes be challenging.

It is important to put a disclaimer - I have chosen to return home not only because I thought I could always do so, but first and foremost because it is safe to do so.  As a citizen of EU, I could have stayed in any country of the EEE and not worry about visa and other requirements. For example, in the Czech Republic, where I have lived for several years and achieved proficiency in the local language.

I believe that there are many attractive locations in the CEE region that might be attractive for graduates of our programme. I would say that a lot of urban matters are still at the stage of development and the value of education in programmes like EUS is valued well. It might also be the case that there are more opportunities to get a job in English language. However, for sure, besides the cons there are certain cons and it might be just as hard to adapt and be accepted in another country.

What are the project you feel most passionate about currently?

Besides my new position at the University which comes with the challenge of making it work, I have been involved in a wide array of other activities. For example, joining a cyclists' pressure group; a student/youth organization that aims to be vocal about progressive causes in education and youth politics; helping to organize the activities of my beloved sport, orienteering. Even though I might have entangled myself with too many extracurricular activities (as I call them), it gives me a lot of joy to help someone out. Lastly, what about my knowledge on the housing situation in Vilnius? Hopefully there will be opportunities to advance in that realm as well. Besides making a guided tour in the district where I had done most of my fieldwork, I wish to investigate more on the housing situation, given that I am myself affected by the housing market.

Can you tell anything about the most influential parts of your study experience at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (e.g. interests, courses, GRP, extracurricular activities)?

The programme provided me with knowledge that would hardly be available in my country. So despite the fact that I had been familiar with many of the themes that are presented in EUS (I had studied Political science as a BA), the particular twist and issues have been strongly grounding and convincing. For me personally, learning about the field of housing was a huge eye-opener, and I can only be grateful to the lecturers and people behind the curriculum. Even as there have been many courses that I was not so sure about, in the end, different experiences from the courses or simply, having studied with people with such diverse backgrounds, somehow add up like a nice colorful puzzle.

Which advice would you give your younger student-self if you could?

I was very impressed with the student life in Germany and the attitude of the students who are active, vocal, creative and at times, living their lives as if there was no tomorrow. I mean, when else would any of us do things such as help run a self-help bicycle workshop, help to decorate a party stage or build a vehicle for the SpaceKidHeadCup? That has been something that I have missed out on during my BA in Vilnius. Of course, for many foreign students, it is not always possible to enjoy that life as much as possible - that has also been a big lesson. So, go out, get involved, be supportive, don't be afraid of risks. Even if it means talking to the woman who starts her evening shift at the library in broken German even if there are 99 reasons not to do so.

In what ways are you still connected to the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and your course peers?

I am still in contact with many friends that I have made during my time in Weimar. I mean, Mensa - Atelier/M18 shifts, looking for a job after defending the thesis - those are strong bonding experiences! Referring to what I have written above, I have to say es tut mir leid to my friends from Weimar that I have not been out as often as I could :) I wish everyone the best of luck and success in finding a comfortable living in whatever you decide to pursue in the future!