What is your educational and professional background? I did my Bachelor's degree in Germany in a cooperative study system with one of Europe's largest food discount retailers. In total of 3 years (6 semesters), every semester consisted of around 3 months of theory at the Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Heilbronn, Germany, and around 3 months we of practical experience within different departments of my study partner.
After my B.A. and before I've started M.Sc. here in Umeå I had been working for a consulting company in Germany for 9 months, where I was engaged in multiple projects in Germany to make processes leaner, to improve the client's performance on shop floor-level and to give strategic advices using multiple methods.
Why did you choose to enroll in your degree programme at USBE? I wanted to study in Sweden, as international experience was lacking in my Bachelor. I applied for many different programs that sounded interesting, just like the BDI program at the USBE. Finally, I got accepted to USBE. So, I did not only apply for this university, but the choice of the program was based on its promising name and the outline of it, as it sounded very interesting.
What do you like most about you program? What I really liked about the program was the conception and connection of different topics, the interesting fields of study such as entrepreneurship or innovation courses, and the practical courses to get experience of field work with real-life cases.
What is the most interesting thing you learnt in your program so far? I learnt that entrepreneurship and innovation for generation of success is tightly linked and must not necessarily be applicable in start-ups, but should also be incorporated in the vision/mission and strategy of existing companies, which is not a matter of company size.
What do you do when you are not studying? I play handball in a team here in Umeå which includes training twice a week and matches on an occasional basis. Besides, I go to Iksu to balance school/work and leisure time. And of course, meeting friends from school.
What is you impression of Umeå and the surrounding area? It is a calm place, good to study for not getting distracted, but can also be a problem for some people as there is not too much to experience in and around this town. I also suppose that the cold and dark times during Winter are without problems for everyone.
What do you find is the biggest cultural difference, both socially and educationally, between your country and Sweden? As both countries are quite similar in terms of culture, I did not run in any big problems, when I arrived. However, Swedish people are generally more individualistic than Germans (which I could not believe before) and this makes working in group works or making new friends more difficult.
What would you say or what advice would you give to a student thinking of applying to this masterprogram? Think about it very detailed as both positive and negative things must be balanced. It is clearly a good adventure but it does not come without extensive work and difficulties. And Umeå is probably not the first place to visit, when thinking about going to Sweden, although the program is good in total.
What are your career aspirations? My previous employer, the consulting company, offered me a job, when I left the company before the Master's, as this is a requirement to work for this company. So, it was planned, and it will happen like planned, that I go back to this company. Contracts about to be signed during Easter break.
Three words to summarise your time in Umeå: Challenging but formative.