Sabine Maisch

Country of origin: Germany

R&D Pharma, Amcor Flexibles Europe & Americas

With an engineering degree behind her, Sabine has used this MA to develop complementary skills in HR.

Before coming to Lancaster I studied Packaging Technology at Media University in Stuttgart, Germany. Completing the course successfully I became officially a Diplom-engineer.

The ‘normal thing’ would have been to get a job – and as I had enjoyed my subject and getting an insight in the world of packaging, I am sure I would have loved my job. But I was only 24 years old, and so I really wanted to enhance my professional and personal knowledge, skills and abilities. I consider ‘learning’ very important – whether it is on the job or individually, learning is the base for developing. So in my opinion doing an MA in a different area from my previous studies was perfect for preparing me for later work. Going abroad is always a good means of developing, too, and as I’d enjoyed the year I spent in England five years earlier, I believed it would be awesome to come to the UK again, this time joining LUMS!

I had heard quite a lot about Lancaster University from former students, and a friend of mine who studied there two years earlier was still fascinated by all the possibilities – such as the equipment, the library and other things provided for students at LUMS. So I decided to visit the University campus and I really liked the site. Having everything – lecture halls, flats, shops, etc – all in one place made a deep impression on me, as I was convinced of the importance of one’s surroundings for studying successfully. In addition, the atmosphere at LUMS seemed very cordial and professional.

Combining theory and practice

I liked the idea that this MA programme examines many types of management development and seeks to enrich your awareness of different approaches to diagnosing organisational and individual needs. I also believe it is important to have theoretical as well as practical elements in a university course, and the programme structure with modules and learning groups sounded very good to me. Furthermore it is great to get the chance to work together with big organisations to translate the ideas into practice.

The fact that this is an international programme, and that one can get to know people with various backgrounds, different cultures and from countries all over the world, enriches this MA, too. All in all, I supposed my job chances would be even better after gaining the MA as it would complement my engineering background with human resource skills.

Now after actually graduating I can say that these expectations came true – and that is why I am still so enthusiastic about Lancaster! It was like being allowed to live a dream – and this dream did not burst like a soap bubble. That does not mean that everything was easy, that I did not have to work hard, and that I was always in a happy-clappy mood. But I think it ‘built’ my character and there were people who helped and who gave advice – always seeing you as a person with your strengths and weaknesses and not just as ‘one more student’. Moreover, it confirmed for me that a crucial thing in life is to follow your heart – only your heart knows what is best for you and what will make you happy and satisfied.

In September 2009 I started work for a German Christian organisation called SMD (Studentenmission Deutschland), which offers many kinds of youth work all over Germany. Being responsible for work in the Württemberg region gave me the chance to work on many different projects at the same time – planning and executing conferences as well as staff training, organising and leading youth camps. It was very varied, and I was in touch with young people helping them to develop and to find their own way in this world of opportunities.