Augustine: (English, further education Master Paper Technology)

“The many great excursions make studying unique”

Where are you from?

Nigeria But now I live in Studentenstadt.

How long have you been studying here and how much longer do you still have to study?

I am now in the 3rd semester and I am due to get my master’s degree after the 4th semester, as it is planned.

How did you get the idea to study Paper Technology?

Back home in Nigeria I worked for a beer producer. For my master’s degree, I wanted to go into process and production technology because I wanted to produce something. It was important for me to have the knowledge about production processes. Then I heard about recycling plants in my home country and I wanted to learn more about them but in Nigeria the technology is not very mature yet. I also wanted to study in Germany because the tuition fees are affordable here and I have met many Germans in my professional life.

What kind of bachelor’s degree did you do?

Diploma in electrical engineering and B.Sc. in communication technology. 

Did you like studying from the very beginning? Were there some obstacles?

Of course, there are always small hurdles to overcome, but my start here in Munich was really pleasant. I was really well received in Germany and everything was organised by IVP (Institut für Verfahrenstechnik Papier e.V.) such as being picked up from the airport. I was also given a lot of support with finding accommodation, for example.

What was your favourite subject during your studies?

Automation with Dr. Tobias Kleemann because this is exactly the area I worked in before. I found it exciting to find out how this was related to paper technology.

How do you organise your studies? What do you find difficult?

It is important for me to complete my studies in two years as planned. I want to understand the individual subjects completely and not just pass. I have thus created my own plan so that I know what I have to do every day. Only with discipline can one be successful. I also attend every event at the university, and so it happens that I am here from morning till evening.

Was it difficult at the beginning of your student life?

At first, everything was super great and exciting here in Germany. But then reality set in and I got a bit scared about how I would manage everything with all the bureaucracy in Germany and the language. But this fear didn’t last long as I was able to integrate quickly and started to understand how Germany works.

What does success mean for you?

Achieving the set goal in the set time. In future, I would like to be in a management position.

What do you plan to do after your master’s degree?

I would like to stay in Germany and work as an engineer in the automation and paper industry. I would like to work, for example, with manufacturers or suppliers of paper machines.

What are your impressions of your studies?

The professors are really competent people who are interested in ensuring that every single student learns the skills required for the industry so that they can later employ it.

During our studies, we have numerous excursions to companies and thus have the opportunity to see the machines in their full sizes.

What is the biggest difference to studying in Nigeria?

Here the exams count for everything. At home, there were grades awarded during the semester as well, so that one was not completely dependent on the exams.

Did you know German before you came here?

Yes, I got the A1 level because I wanted to talk to others in Germany. At the moment, I attend German classes and these are not expensive.

Who or what is your contact point for questions?

The professors.

What do you do in your free time?

I love making music. I play guitar and recorder. I also do a lot with friends and go to the “Biergarten”.

How often do you go home?

I haven’t gone home since coming here but I want to visit my family soon.

Do you work a lot with companies?

Yes, I do through the many excursions and visits from companies at the university. There is a lot of networking going on here and at the moment, I am looking for a company for my master thesis. Networking is very important during your studies, and the Paper Symposium helps a lot.

Were there any cultural surprises for you?

Yes. I am amazed that people drink beer everywhere all the time, even in the early morning. I love drinking beer as much as the Germans and I think it is nice that it is normal. I also find the many different dishes interesting; there are potatoes of all kinds and in all shapes. But I don’t like the Bavarian food so much, at least not everything. When I ate my first “Weißwurst”, I was very surprised about the rules for eating it.

Winter semester 2019/20

Interview by Anna-Sarah Charlotte Weigel (IVP)