In the following interview Emmi Sperrhake, our second year student from Germany talks about herself and shares her IBS and Budapest experience with us. She also reveals why it is essential to have a degree. Enjoy!
How did you choose IBS to come and study here?
I begin from earlier. I was not really the type who wanted to study. After high school I took smaller jobs, I worked in a hotel and a fast-food restaurant, but I did not fully enjoy these jobs. I went to the US as an Au-pair and I worked there for almost two years, first in Fairfax, Virginia, then in San Antonio, Texas, later in Princeton, New Jersey, where I audited a social psychology class at the Princeton university. At a point I realized that you have to work a lot, do jobs that you don’t enjoy, and still you make very little money. You can do better if you have a degree, so I decided to study.
First, I wanted to study in Scotland but then I met my Hungarian ex-boyfriend. I met him in the US. We both worked there, and later we moved together to Dortmund, where we lived for a year. He wanted to go back home and I decided to come with him to Hungary. So, I moved to Hungary because of him but I stayed because I enjoy the student life in Budapest a lot.
Did you find IBS through him?
No, I found it myself. I researched every university in Hungary in the Budapest area. I was sure I wanted to study in English and also, that I want to go into business.
How did you choose psychology and business?
I am interested in human resources and marketing, both seems really exciting for me. I am in my second year at IBS, I have just chosen my specialization in psychology. I did an internship in marketing this summer in the Deutschen Edelstahlwerke in Witten, a steel company in Germany where they produce stainless steel. I might go back to this company to do an internship next summer again. During my first year at IBS, we studied a lot of IT, which proved to be very useful during my internship; I really had to apply all those knowledge and computer skills. My task was to take care of intranet marketing towards the employees.
What does that mean? Was it a kind of internal marketing?
Yes. In Germany there is a lack of workers, I mean physical workers. So, the jobs should be made attractive for them. I did both towards the workers who were already working there in the factory and towards those who the factory wanted to recruit. I also worked a lot with new apprentices, for example, those students who were still in high schools and did not know much about the company, we informed them about the factory to help their decision where to go on after school.
What is it that you are really interested in psychology from a business point of view?
My favourite subject right now is behavioural economics. That gives you information of how people make decisions, and the rationale behind these decisions. It is good to “look into people’s head.” I am going to give a presentation about altruism, if it is really possible and how it can affect the economy. I never thought it could but actually it can. It can influence business a lot. Donating money, for example, to non-profit organizations is very complex and even though these companies are not profit oriented, in the end they do have a profit. Or, those who donate, are they really doing it because they want to be “good” and selfless? They can deduct these donations from their taxes in some ways and they always get something out of it. Being “good” is very rewarding for promotion purposes as well. It is very interesting to learn to see these things from different economic viewpoints.
I think you would be eligible to have a semester somewhere abroad as an Erasmus student. Do you plan to do that?
Yes, I might, but honestly, I would prefer an internship. As the previous one really proved to be very useful for me. It could also be a chance to set foot in a company, to build relationships.
What are you doing in your free time?
During the first year I was very involved with the Erasmus students, I lived like them and I often went out with them, I was partying with them. We travelled a lot with the international students; we went to Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Croatia, etc. This year is a bit different. I became an Erasmus mentor, we help Erasmus students if they have questions or organize events around the city. I know the town already well enough to be able to do that, and I am less into partying this year. Last year I rented a place with five other Erasmus students. This year I am living with an American and a Finish full time student, at Astoria, it is absolutely great to live in downtown.
Do you support yourself, as IBS is a relatively expensive school?
I am very independent, I support myself, but I have to save a lot. The German State gives me a kind of a loan. I need to pay back approx. 50 % of it, but the state gives me time. They wait until I have a good, safe and secure job before I have to start paying back.
What are your long-term plans?
I probably would like to go to the UK. I would like to work there and do my MA. There are programs where you can study and work at the same time.