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Going further for international experience

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Published on Thursday, 11 February 2016

Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation alumna Sarah Liesenfeld had the unique opportunity to spend four weeks at Sophia University in Tokyo after being awarded the Top Student Prize in 2015.

Sarah completed a Bachelor in Business Administration, specialising in marketing and strategy, at the University of Trier before working for an online marketing agency and later a start-up based in Luxembourg.

“But I decided I still wanted to do my Master’s and that’s when I heard of the Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Luxembourg,” she said. The programme, she explained, helped her develop her knowledge in entrepreneurship, management and finance. “I’m not really planning on founding my own business,” she added, “but want to help entrepreneurs who want to start a business and support companies to grow internationally.”

Practical skills gained during the MEI, such as analysing and evaluating business plans, but also working in an international and multicultural team, play a significant role in Sarah’s current job, working as Advisor for PwC’s Accelerator, which helps SMEs go global. As part of her degree Sarah had previously completed an internship with PwC. “The programme really helps you connect with companies and makes it easier to enter professional life.”

The Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation emerged out of a collaboration with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. Both partners together founded the Luxembourg Business Academy with the aim to promote business education.

Sarah and the other prize-winning students with Luxembourg ambassador to Japan, Béatrice Kirsch

Sarah’s hard work as a student paid off in more ways than one. She was selected as one of nine University of Luxembourg students to receive the 2014/2015 Top Student Prize for her academic achievements. “We went to Sophia University in Tokyo, taking part in a summer business school programme.” With the possibility to take two courses, Sarah opted for a class on business and management in Japan and an introductory Japanese language course. “It was a great experience but we also had some tough weeks. We had courses every day, we had homework, we had to learn vocabulary; we had exams. We had to study a lot to keep up with the fast Japanese pace of work,” she recalled.

Studying aside, Sarah and the other students from the University of Luxembourg had the opportunity to discover Tokyo, visit Kyoto and learn about a different culture. “We went to a Kabuki theatre performance, participated in a traditional tea ceremony; we went out in the city; we visited temples and spent time at Tokyo’s parks and nearby beaches. It was a different world and I’m glad I did it.”

Photos courtesy of Sarah Liesenfeld