Sabrina Ihlenfeldt10 March 2015

Sabrina Ihlenfeldt was a Faculty Scholarship recipient in 2012 and has just graduated with her Master of Business in International Business. Originally from Germany, Sabrina made the most of her time at UQ, by becoming an international student ambassador and helping facilitate the launch of a social enterprise initiative in Australia.

Why did you choose to study in Australia?

Australia gives you the opportunity to study in English, combined with a great education system and an interesting culture and perfect weather. My past experience with studying in Australia (an exchange semester during my bachelor’s degree) showed me that there is not only a high quality of teaching, but the country is also interesting and fun. Additionally, the support services for students here are excellent. All this made me want to come back for my master’s degree.

What was it that appealed to you most about the Master of Business?

The UQ Business School Master of Business offers students the opportunity to specialise in a field of study whilst covering important, mandatory core business classes. The classes are challenging and some even allow students to implement their knowledge in practice. All classes that included actual work for outside companies or business simulations were the most rewarding for me. Additionally, UQ Business School offers the opportunity to network and connect to the industry via internships, job finding support and mentoring programs.

Have you taken part in practical experience as part of your degree? If yes explain what you enjoyed about it and how this has been of benefit to you.

Practical experience was part of a few of my classes. For instance, the class Global Media and Advertising provided this opportunity by working for a not-for-profit organisation, BAMGAM (Buy a Meal, Give a Meal), by helping them to create an advertising and social media strategy. This class could not have been any more valuable for me and my team members. The project opened up so many doors to the actual industry, as we met many amazing established businessmen and women. Additionally, knowing that hard work can actually make an impact in the real world and can be successful is the best feeling for any student.

What was the most rewarding part of working on the project with BAMGAM (Buy a Meal, Give a Meal)?

My team members and I are still in touch with the initiator of BAMGAM, however, this particular project has been put on ice for now. Instead, we were introduced to other amazing entrepreneurs in the social enterprise sector and are currently working on projects for them. We will now help Food Connect to lay the foundation for future growth by analysing their current customers and improving business processes. Really any industry experience and the opportunity to meet business people, hence, building up your own network, are most valuable for students as we all have to look for jobs at some stage.

What are your future career aspirations and how do you think your experience studying at UQ Business School will help you?

In the immediate future, I want to develop an expertise in one of the areas of international business to be able to use my UQ degree to its full potential. The in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge I have gained from my classes will no doubt support me in finding a job. In the long-term, I aspire to manage my own team to use the leadership skills that I developed during numerous group projects and the engagement as an executive of the UQ Business School Postgraduate Association.

What do you enjoy most about your Australian life?

I love the weather; the sun is shining almost every day and keeps me in a great mood. Every time I go to the beach, I remind myself of how lucky I am to have this opportunity. Also, everywhere you travel there are new things to discover, the uniqueness of the Australian nature is breathtaking.
In and around Brisbane there are so many areas to relax and restore your energy. Living here makes it almost easy to forget all the hard work.

What advice do you have for other students from your country coming to study in Australia?

Due to Australia’s unique culture, lifestyle and nature, studying here is a once in a lifetime experience that anyone will find to be unforgettable.

The application process needs to be started early; especially when applying for a scholarship. Have a look at all different kinds of offered scholarships – whether you have excellent grades, valid work experience or records of engaging in community service – it is worth applying. For me a dream came true with the great support of the UQ scholarship.

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