Alexandra Beeler - EBS University of Business and Law, Germany

Dual Degree – BA Business and Management (Exeter), BSc General Management (EBS)

Alexandra is making the most of the opportunities offered by the Dual Degree programme, spending the first two years of her course in Exeter and the last two in Germany.

“I started studying at the University of Exeter Business School in September 2013 on the BA Management with Tourism programme, but switched to the dual degree in 2014. I wanted to go to Germany to improve my language skills and employability, and this course allowed me to study at a prestigious German business school, as well as completing a four month internship. The dual degree also enables me to stay in Germany for the final two years of my degree so I will have a longer experience abroad and will be well-placed geographically to consider working in Europe after graduating.

For my first semester in Germany, I carried out a work placement at atrain GmbH, which is an HR consultancy company specialising in HR development. I originally found the internship on the Career Zone website, having developed a German CV and application with help from the career service at EBS.

I was an intern in the Talent Management area so my main role was to help to organise and run development centres in both English and German, as well as completing internal projects, such as developing new training for a scheduling tool. I was given a lot of responsibility, for example within four weeks of arriving, I was at a development centre in Switzerland with a major client, where I was part of the logistical team, ensuring the smooth running of the event, as well as actively taking part as a role player, which is usually done by the consultants.

I was very proud of my work and at the end of the internship I was told that I was an integral part of the team and was offered a freelance position, so I could continue working while studying.

For my second semester, I am currently studying at EBS, where I am completing the transition semester, which prepares all incoming dual degree students for the fourth and final year so that we are at the same level as the local EBS students. This gives me the opportunity to take modules which are vastly different to those I studied at Exeter, such as Finance and Investments, but I am also studying some modules, such as Strategy, which I am already familiar with from my studies in Exeter.

The dual degree has enabled me to improve my language skills and cultural understanding, widen my horizons and improve my employability – and the Business School has been extremely helpful and supportive throughout this experience. One of the best parts of my time abroad has been the opportunity to see new places and meet people from all over the world. I have had so many new experiences, such as moving to a new country, where I didn’t know anyone, so I had to orientate myself and be truly independent. There have been lots of cultural interactions, such as when I acted as a mediator between my German landlady and my Asian housemates, when there were misunderstandings caused by cultural differences.

In terms of the future, I would like to become an executive coach eventually, but for now, I’m considering further studies in HR, strategy and organisational behaviour. I’ve gained real work experience, which gives me something to talk to recruiters about and will definitely help me in any future career.”